POLITICS
29/04/2020 15:12 BST | Updated 29/04/2020 15:30 BST

Boris Johnson To Delay Paternity Leave Amid Coronavirus Crisis

Partner Carrie Symonds has given birth to a "healthy baby boy" but PM will remain in Downing Street until "later in the year".

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Boris Johnson is not planning to take paternity leave until “later in the year” after his partner Carrie Symonds gave birth to their baby boy

The prime minister, who like any other father is entitled to a statutory two weeks’ leave, returned to No.10 after Symonds gave birth at a London hospital on Wednesday morning. 

It comes as the UK is in the grip of the Covid-19 pandemic and after Johnson himself has recovered from the disease following a stint in intensive care. 

The couple’s baby had been due in early summer, prompting speculation that their son had arrived early. 

Asked earlier this year at a press conference if he would be taking paternity, he replied: “Almost certainly, yes.” 

The prime minister’s official spokesperson said on Wednesday, however: “Later in the year, he will be taking a short period of paternity leave.” 

A number of figures, including Labour leader Keir Starmer and health secretary Matt Hancock, have congratulated the couple, who are also engaged to be married.

A spokesperson for the pair 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.”

David Cameron was the first prime minister to take statutory paternity leave when wife Samantha gave birth to their son in 2010. 

Tony Blair refused to take paternity leave when son Leo arrived, instead saying he would be in “holiday mode” temporarily.