Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s fiancée Carrie Symonds on Tuesday gave birth to a ‘healthy’ baby boy at an NHS hospital in London today – weeks earlier than anticipated, Dailymail reports.
Mr Johnson is said to have been by his 32-year-old fiancee’s side throughout the labour before their son entered the world in the early hours of this morning.
The safe arrival of their child, Carrie’s first and Boris’ sixth, has come as a shock because Miss Symonds was expected to give birth later in the summer, although a due date was never confirmed by the couple.
They announced the pregnancy on February 29, days after the PM’s divorce from Marina Wheeler was confirmed, and got engaged while holidaying on the exclusive Caribbean island of Mustique over the new year.
Announcing the birth of their son, who has not been named yet, his spokesperson said: ‘The Prime Minister and Ms Symonds are thrilled to announce the birth of a healthy baby boy at a London hospital earlier this morning. Both mother and baby are doing very well. The PM and Ms Symonds would like to thank the fantastic NHS maternity team.’
No 10 have not revealed the hospital they went to – although St Thomas’, where Mr Johnson was in intensive care this month, is the closest to Downing Street. It was previously reported that Carrie had wanted a home birth but these have largely suspended by the NHS because of coronavirus.
Mr Johnson said in early March that he is likely to take his two-week paternity leave when their child is born – but it is not known if he will take a fortnight off now at a time of national emergency. There are also concerns that key decisions over the coronavirus lockdown and how to ease Britain out of it will be delayed because of the Prime Minister’s new baby.
The birth came after an extraordinary month for the couple, who were self-isolating separately, first because of Carrie’s pregnancy and then when Boris fell ill. Mr Johnson then spent a week in hospital, including three days in intensive care, and Miss Symonds was also briefly bedridden with symptoms of Covid-19, but had made a full recovery. They were only reunited last week at Chequers.
It is also just weeks after the PM was discharged from intensive care where he had been battling coronavirus. Miss Symonds also suffered symptoms of the disease.
It is unclear whether Mr Johnson will take paternity leave, although he is not expected to take Prime Minister’s Questions in Parliament this afternoon.
Mr Johnson is said to have been by her side throughout the birth. She sent him scans of the baby while he was ill with coronavirus earlier this month to raise his spirits.
The spokesman said: ‘The Prime Minister and Ms Symonds are thrilled to announce the birth of a healthy baby boy at a London hospital earlier this morning.
‘Both mother and baby are doing very well. The PM and Ms Symonds would like to thank the fantastic NHS maternity team.’
Miss Symonds has been back living with Mr Johnson at Number 11 Downing Street as the Prime Minister leads the Government’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.
She had previously been self-isolating in Camberwell, South London, with the couple’s dog Dilyn, after suffering from symptoms of coronavirus.
The 32-year-old former government adviser then joined Mr Johnson at the PM’s country home of Chequers in Buckinghamshire while he recovered from the virus.
Mr Johnson returned to work on Monday after being photographed back at Downing Street on Sunday evening.
If it was a full-term pregnancy of 40 weeks, conception would have taken place last July, around the time Mr Johnson took over from Theresa May as prime minister.
Boris already has four children with second wife Marina, Lara Lettice, 26, Milo Arthur, 24, Cassia Peaches, 22, and Theodore Apollo, 20. He also has a fifth child, Stephanie Macintyre, 11, after an affair with art consultant Helen Macintyre with a sixth child from another affair also rumoured.
The acrimonious split with Marina has caused tension between Mr Johnson and his children, who he asked to meet in person in February to tell them he was engaged to Carrie and they were having a baby.
But not all of his children reportedly turned up for their father’s announcement and are said to be ‘furious’ because they believe Carrie and Boris got together after an affair.
Lara reportedly branded her father a ‘selfish b******’ after his split with her mother.
Mr Johnson, 55, and Ms Symonds announced in late February that they were expecting a baby in ‘early summer’, and that they had become engaged at the end of last year.
The news of the birth was welcomed by politicians today, with Health Secretary Matt Hancock tweeting: ‘So thrilled for Boris and Carrie. Wonderful to have a moment of unalloyed joy!’
Chancellor Rishi Sunak said: ‘Great to hear Downing Street is getting a new resident. Congratulations to Boris Johnson and Carrie Symonds on the birth of their son.’
Former chancellor Sajid Javid tweeted: ‘Congratulations Carrie Symonds and Boris Johnson. Such wonderful uplifting news!’
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said: ‘Wonderful news. Many congratulations to Boris Johnson and Carrie Symonds.’
The Prime Minister’s father, Stanley Johnson, said he was ‘absolutely delighted’ and ‘thrilled’ by the birth of his grandson.
Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon tweeted: ‘Some good news – sending congratulations to Carrie and the PM. And wishing health and happiness to the wee one.’
And the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, tweeted: ‘Congratulations and prayers for @BorisJohnson and @CarrieSymonds as they welcome their son into the world. Wishing them every blessing and happiness.’
Mr Johnson was discharged from St Thomas’ Hospital in London following a period in intensive care, they both thanked NHS staff for their ‘magnificent’ work. But was not well enough for work straight away.
First Secretary Dominic Raab ‘deputised’ for Mr Johnson while he was off, but he was said to have acted as a facilitator of debate in Cabinet rather than forcing decisions.
Mr Johnson and Ms Symonds made history as the first unmarried couple to officially live together in Downing Street when they moved in last year.
Rumours had been swirling all morning about Mr Johnson’s absence from PMQs today.
Downing Street had refused to say whether the premier would be in the Commons for the regular session, which would have been his first since recovering from illness.
It was not clear whether he was still not up to an hour of intensive grilling from MPs, but Ms Symonds’ pregnancy was also the source of speculation.
Carrie and Boris first met in 2012 when he was Mayor of London and she worked for the Tory party.
There were whispers of a close relationship in 2018 after they were seen speaking flirtatiously outside a Tory party ball.
Later that year Boris was thrown out by his wife Marina and said in a statement they were divorcing and had ‘separated some time ago’.
Six months later their relationship was confirmed after they were seen holidaying together in Italy.
When Mr Johnson and former Tory Party head of press Miss Symonds fell in love, many were sceptical that it could last.
The cynics appeared to have been proved right when they were overheard having a spectacular domestic spat in their London house early in their relationship.
But they have proved the doubters wrong. Despite not being married, they negotiated tricky moments like visiting the Queen at Balmoral as an unmarried couple, with great dignity.
Miss Symonds proved a great asset to Mr Johnson in the election campaign. She curbed her love of the limelight and made sure he was the centre of attention.
Within weeks of becoming Prime Minister she became pregnant. Mr Johnson was heavily criticised soon into his premiership when many parts of Britain were badly flooded and he failed to visit them.
At the time he was staying with Miss Symonds at the Foreign Secretary’s official residence, Chevening in Kent, while repairs were being carried out at Chequers. Mr Johnson fell in love with Chequers in his days as Foreign Secretary in Theresa May’s government.
The birth of their first child comes after a rollercoaster month where Boris almost died from coronavirus and his fiancee also started showing symptoms.
On March 27 – the day Boris tested positive for coronavirus – Carrie shared a photograph of herself self-isolating with their dog Dilyn at the £1.3million Camberwell house she bought with Mr Johnson last year.
On April 5 Mr Johnson, 55, was rushed into ICU at St Thomas’ Hospital in central London with breathing difficulties and his partner is not allowed to be by his side because of her pregnancy and a blanket ban on visitors. Carrie Symonds and his children are all barred from seeing the prime minister, who was discharged last week.
Carrie was brought up by her mother Josephine, who is now 71, in East Sheen, South-West London and attended the private £20,000-a-year Godolphin & Latymer School.
Her father Matthew, a founder of the Independent newspaper, lived in a large property not far away in Twickenham with his wife, Alison, with whom he has three children.
Matthew had an affair with Josephine, who was a lawyer on the paper— and Carrie is the product of that affair, born in 1988.