Boris Johnson and his girlfriend Carrie Symonds are engaged and expecting a baby in early summer, they announced tonight.
On her Instagram this evening, Ms Symonds shared an intimate photo of her and the PM and 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.’
The date of their wedding has not been announced, but it will mark the first time in at least 250 years a sitting prime minister has married while in office.
The Prime Minister, 55, has five confirmed children, however this will be the first child born to his 31-year-old partner.
Mr Johnson, who has been married twice previously, recently finalised his divorce with estranged wife Marina Wheeler, with whom he has two daughters and two sons.
While he was still married, he began dating PR guru and Tory adviser Ms Symonds, and the couple are believed to have been in a relationship for over a year.
A spokesperson for the couple said tonight: ‘The Prime Minister and Ms Symonds are very pleased to announce their engagement and that they are expecting a baby in the early summer.’
Boris Johnson and his girlfriend Carrie Symonds are engaged and expecting a baby in early summer
Ms Symonds is the first unmarried partner of an incumbent British prime minister. She has largely kept out of the public eye since Mr Johnson, 55, took the reins of government in July (pictured February 14, the last time Ms Symonds was seen)
Ms Symonds and Mr Johnson, who live together in Downing Street, recently enjoyed a luxury Caribbean vacation in Mustique.
The couple’s relationship has been firmly in the public spotlight, and a row in her Camberwell flat during last summer’s Tory leadership election wobbled Mr Johnson’s bid for the top job.
Yesterday, it emerged Ms Symonds had hired a media professional to handle her communications and help on her campaigns as she molds into the role of the UK’s first lady.
But she has already been described as the power behind the throne, with reports of her and Downing Street supremo Dominic Cummings in a tug of war for the PM’s ear.
Ms Symonds is the first unmarried partner of an incumbent British prime minister. She has largely kept out of the public eye since Mr Johnson, 55, took the reins of government in July.
She was scarcely seen at the PM’s side on the general election campaign trail, but waved with her soon-to-be husband on the steps outside the famous black door following the Conservatives thumping victory.
The couple chose to live at the larger four-bedroom flat at No 11 Downing Street instead of the smaller two-bedroom official residence at No 10.
The couple already share a dog, Dilyn, together with the PM saying that he helped keep his stress down during the election campaign.
The Prime Minister leaving Downing Street on Valentine’s Day, shortly before he and partner Ms Symonds announced their engagement tonight
Ms Symonds waved with her soon-to-be husband on the steps outside the famous black door following the Conservatives thumping victory
While he was still married, he began dating PR guru and Tory adviser Ms Symonds, and the couple are believed to have been dating for close to two years (pictured in 2019 at the party conference in Manchester)
Boris Johnson Election Night. Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his partner Carrie Symonds watch the 2019 Election results on the TV in his study in No10 Downing Street
Charlotte, James and even Winston are the bookies’ favourites for potential baby names – with odds for the name ‘Brexit’ at 1000/1.
Previous prime ministers David Cameron and Tony Blair both had Downing Street babies, Florence and Leo, respectively.
Former Scottish Conservatives leader Ruth Davidson led the congratulations, which flooded social media tonight.
Re-tweeting the news, she wrote: ‘Congratulations to Boris Johnson and Carrie Symonds.’
Ms Davidson, who had been critical of Mr Johnson during the European referendum campaign, stepped down as Scottish leader last year to spend more time with her young family.
Tom Tugendhat, chair of the Commons foreign affairs committee, called the baby and wedding announcement ‘lovely news’.
The Conservative MP said: ‘Congratulations to both Boris Johnson and Carrie Symonds. Happy news!’
But Mr Johnson’s political rivals questioned the convenience of the timing of the announcement, which comes as the government is taking fire for its slow response to the coronavirus outbreak and bitter rifts at the top of the Home Office.
Labour MP Charlotte Nichols 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.’
And Labour MP Florence Eshalomi said it was ‘very convenient’ for the Prime Minister and Ms Symonds to make their announcement tonight.
The couple chose to live at the larger four-bedroom flat at No 11 Downing Street instead of the smaller two-bedroom official residence at No 10
Prime Minister Boris Johnson with partner Carrie Symonds, they have announced that they are expecting a baby in the early summer and that they have got engaged
The couple already share a dog, Dilyn, together with the PM saying that he helped keep his stress down during the election campaign
Boris and Carrie’s ‘Brexit baby’ – a romance carried out in the Westminster Bubble
Boris Johnson and Carrie Symonds made history as the first unmarried couple to officially live together in Downing Street.
The 55-year-old Prime Minister and 31-year-old conservationist, whose relationship has been the subject of intense intrigue, are now getting ready to welcome what may be referred to as a ‘Brexit baby’.
Ms Symonds, a former Conservative Party communications chief, found herself making headlines when she was romantically linked to Mr Johnson last year just months after the announcement of his separation from second wife Marina Wheeler.
The public relations expert had been in the so-called Westminster Bubble for most of her remarkably ascendant career, a high-point being when she was made head of party PR aged just 29.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson walks with his partner Carrie Symonds as they arrive at The Midland, near the Manchester Central convention complex in Manchester
Mr Johnson, who has been married twice previously, recently finalised his divorce with estranged wife Marina Wheeler, with whom he has two daughters and two sons
Boris Johnson’s marriage to Marina Wheeler
Marina Wheeler and Boris Johnson married in 1993 and have four children. They separated in 2018.
The couple announced that they had separated and were going through the process of divorce in September 2018 – saying that ‘as friends we will continue to support our four children in the years ahead’.
Mr Johnson was a childhood friend of Ms Wheeler – the daughter of BBC journalist Charles Wheeler – when they were both pupils at the European School in Brussels.
He met his first wife Allegra Mostyn-Owen while they were students at Oxford, and they wed in 1987, but the marriage was annulled in 1993 and he married Ms Wheeler later that year. The couple have two sons and two daughters.
Mr Johnson has repeatedly come under scrutiny over his personal life.
The Appeal Court ruled in 2013 that the public had a right to know that he had fathered a daughter during an adulterous liaison while Mayor of London in 2009.
In 2004, he was sacked from the Tory frontbench over a reported affair with journalist Petronella Wyatt.
Last year Ms Wheeler, a QC, revealed she had been diagnosed with cervical cancer but considered herself to now be free of the disease.
Ms Symonds joined the Tory party media machine in 2009, first as a press adviser, then head of broadcast at Conservative campaign headquarters ahead of the 2015 general election.
Her association with Mr Johnson dates back to the early years, having worked on his successful re-election bid at City Hall in 2012.
But a row that saw police called to their home in the early stages of the Conservative leadership race offered a glimpse into the complicated private life about which Mr Johnson tries desperately to avoid answering questions.
The couple had been living together at Ms Symonds’s flat in Camberwell, south London, until the well-publicised row recorded by neighbours in June 2019.
They now live in a flat above Number 11 Downing Street and have adopted a Jack Russell-cross puppy called Dilyn.
In December, Mr Johnson’s sister Rachel Johnson said she has yet to meet Ms Symonds.
But their father Stanley, who appeared alongside Ms Johnson on ITV’s Good Morning Britain, said he has met Ms Symonds, adding: ‘The Johnsons are united in this.’
Back in January last year, Ms Symonds was joined by Stanley Johnson at an event in London opposing Japan’s plans to resume commercial whaling.
The pair were spotted smiling and chatting together after they both addressed the crowd.
Meanwhile, Boris Johnson’s turbulent marriage to Ms Wheeler, during which they had four children, ended after 25 years together in September 2018.
In 2004 he was sacked from the Tory front-bench over a reported affair with journalist Petronella Wyatt and the Appeal Court ruled in 2013 that the public had a right to know he had fathered a daughter during an adulterous liaison while mayor of London in 2009.
Claims that Mr Johnson squeezed the thigh of journalist Charlotte Edwardes, at a private lunch at The Spectator magazine’s HQ shortly after he became editor in 1999, overshadowed his first Conservative Party conference as PM.
But in a public display of affection, Mr Johnson kissed Ms Symonds after his speech to party members at the event.
Mr Johnson greeted Cabinet ministers before embracing his girlfriend, kissing her on the cheek and then walking out of the hall holding her hand.
Meanwhile, allegations about Mr Johnson’s relationship with American entrepreneur Jennifer Arcuri, and whether she enjoyed preferential treatment while he was London mayor, also dominated the headlines in September.