Boris Johnson proposed in Mustique over Christmas: Prime Minister will be first to wed in office for 200 years as he expects summer baby with Carrie Symonds
- PM is believed to have proposed during the couple’s romantic break in Mustique
- Ms Symonds, 31, released an intimate picture of an unshaven Mr Johnson, 55
- Mr Johnson would become the first British PM to marry in office for 200 years
Boris Johnson has become engaged to girlfriend Carrie Symonds and the couple are expecting their first child, Downing Street announced last night.
Mr Johnson put an end to months of speculation in Westminster by declaring that their baby would be born in the ‘early summer’ – and that he would become the first British Prime Minister to marry in office for 200 years.
He is believed to have proposed during the couple’s romantic break in Mustique over Christmas.
Ms Symonds, 31, released an intimate picture – also thought to have been taken during the trip – on her personal Instagram page of an unshaven Mr Johnson, 55, kissing her cheek, accompanied by a message which made it clear that the couple had been engaged since last year.
She wrote: ‘I wouldn’t normally post this kind of thing on here but I wanted my friends to find out from me… many of you already know but for my friends that still don’t, we got engaged at the end of last year… and we’ve got a baby hatching early summer.’
Ms Symonds, 31, released an intimate picture – also thought to have been taken during the trip to Mustique
Boris Johnson has become engaged to girlfriend Carrie Symonds and the couple are expecting their first child, Downing Street announced last night
He is believed to have proposed during the couple’s romantic break in Mustique over Christmas (resort pictured)
Ms Symonds, who is the first unmarried partner of a Prime Minister to live in Downing Street, added that she felt ‘incredibly blessed’.
According to one source, the couple had come up with a plan several weeks ago to announce the pregnancy and engagement simultaneously and then ‘slip away quietly abroad to marry in private’ as soon as his divorce from Marina Wheeler, his wife of nearly three decades and the mother of their four children, was finalised.
A No 10 source said: ‘Boris and Carrie are both delighted at this news. They have both known for a while but have kept it under wraps until the pregnancy progressed.
‘It partly explains why he has been lying low recently – although he works flat-out and that won’t change. Carrie is thrilled and she will also continue to work on her environmental projects.’
The marriage to Ms Symonds will be the third for Mr Johnson, who will be turning 56 as he welcomes his latest offspring.
It is the culmination of a whirlwind 18-month relationship for the couple, who were first linked in September 2018 shortly after Mr Johnson had announced the start of divorce proceedings with Marina, his second wife.
However, he has known Ms Symonds since she worked on his successful bid to win a second term as London Mayor in 2012.
The marriage to Ms Symonds will be the third for Mr Johnson, who will be turning 56 as he welcomes his latest offspring
Labour MP Charlotte Nichols accused Mr Johnson of timing the announcement to distract from bitter rows in the Home Office
Former Chancellor Sajid Javid, who resigned last month after he was ordered to sack all of his advisers by No 10, wrote on Twitter that it was ‘wonderful news’
Former Chancellor Sajid Javid, who resigned last month after he was ordered to sack all of his advisers by No 10, wrote on Twitter that it was ‘wonderful news’, while Tom Tugendhat, chairman of the Commons Foreign Affairs Committee, described it as ‘lovely news’.
New Tory MP Dehenna Davison, a friend of Ms Symonds, tweeted: ‘Huge congratulations to the boss, Boris Johnson, and the wonderful Carrie Symonds – though something tells me there’s a new boss coming to Number 10!’
But Tony Blair’s former spin doctor Alastair Campbell – who has never married partner Fiona Millar, the mother of his three children – struck a sour note by tweeting: ‘Sorry but Boris Johnson getting another woman pregnant hardly qualifies as news.’
And Labour MP Charlotte Nichols accused Mr Johnson of timing the announcement to distract from bitter rows in the Home Office.
She tweeted: ‘Congratulations to the happy couple notwithstanding, it’s truly remarkable that the announcement JUST HAPPENED to be on the day of the unprecedented resignation of top Home Office official Sir Philip Rutnam who will be taking a case of constructive dismissal against the Govt.’
Last month, a family court granted Marina Wheeler, a human rights barrister, permission to apply for a decree absolute to end her 27-year marriage to Mr Johnson
Bookmakers put up Charlotte, James and Winston as early favourites for baby names – with ‘Brexit’ at 1000-1. The announcement comes just days after No 10 said that Ms Symonds had hired her own PR supremo. Sarah Vaughan-Brown, ITN’s former director of corporate communications, started work last month. Her salary is paid by the Conservative Party.
Although the party said that Ms Vaughan-Brown would assist with Ms Symonds’s charitable work with the environment, animal cruelty and combating violence against women, it now seems likely that her new role will largely be dominated by protecting the Prime Minister’s partner from intrusive interest as she prepares to give birth to her first child.
Ms Symonds, a former Conservative Party director of communications and special adviser to John Whittingdale and Sajid Javid when they were Cabinet Ministers, is employed by the Oceana charity.
Over recent weeks, Downing Street has been bombarded with press inquiries after rumours spread that Ms Symonds was expecting a child, but aides refused to comment until the couple were ready to go public with the news.
Last month, a family court granted Ms Wheeler, a human rights barrister, permission to apply for a decree absolute to end her 27-year marriage to Mr Johnson.
Mr Johnson met his first wife, Allegra Mostyn-Owen, while they were students at Oxford
During the ten-minute hearing, their lawyers and a judge set out how the pair had agreed a private deal to carve up their estimated £6.5 million fortune.
Out of deference to Mr Johnson’s delicate family situation, Ms Symonds maintained a low profile during the early days of their relationship – apart from the night in June last year when police were called in the early hours to the home she was then sharing with Mr Johnson, in Camberwell, South London.
The police visit came after a neighbour heard screaming during an apparent row between the couple.
They bought a house together in the area the following month.
Ms Symonds was pictured outside No 10 welcoming Mr Johnson to Downing Street when he succeeded Theresa May as Tory leader and Prime Minister last July.
The last child born to a sitting Prime Minister belonged to David and Samantha Cameron, who welcomed Florence Rose Endellion into their family in August 2010, three months after he moved into No 10.
Leo Blair was born to Tony and Cherie Blair in May 2000 – three years after Mr Blair took over at No 10, having been conceived, according to Mrs Blair, during a visit to Balmoral, the Queen’s residence in Scotland.
Mr Johnson met his first wife, Allegra Mostyn-Owen, while they were students at Oxford.
They married in 1987, but the marriage was annulled in 1993, when Mr Johnson married Ms Wheeler.
A spokesman for the couple said: ‘The Prime Minister and Miss Symonds are very pleased to announce their engagement and that they are expecting a baby in the early summer.’
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