Boris Johnson becomes fourth prime minister to have baby while in office in 170 years

Sabrina Barr
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Boris Johnson has become the fourth British prime minister in 170 years to have a baby while in office.

On Wednesday 29 April, Mr Johnson and his partner Carrie Symonds announced the arrival of a baby boy.

A spokesperson for the couple 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.”

While Mr Johnson is not the first prime minister to have a baby while in office, he joins a very small group of politicians who have done so.

The 55-year-old has become only the fourth prime minister in more than 170 years to have a child while in his senior position, following David Cameron, Tony Blair and Lord John Russell.

Furthermore, Ms Symonds has become the first partner of the serving prime minister in Downing Street to become a first-time mother.

When announcing her pregnancy in February, Ms Symonds wrote on Instagram: “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. Feel incredibly blessed.”

Preceding Mr Johnson, here are the other former prime ministers of the UK who had children while sitting in office:

David Cameron

David and Samantha Cameron with baby daughter Florence Rose Endellion outside 10 Downing Street on 3 September 2010 (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

In August 2010, then-prime minister David Cameron and his wife, Samantha Cameron, celebrated the arrival of their daughter, Florence Rose Endellion Cameron.

Florence was the couple’s fourth child, born just a few months after Mr Cameron’s Conservative Party entered a coalition with the Liberal Democrats, led by Nick Clegg.

The Camerons’ first child, Ivan Reginald Ian, was born in 2002. Born with cerebral palsy and a severe form of epilepsy, Ivan passed away at the age of six in 2009.

Their daughter Nancy Gwen was born in 2004, while their son Arthur Elwen was born in 2006.

Following the birth of Florence, Mr Cameron became the first British prime minister to take statutory paternity leave, having been introduced for the first time in the UK in 2003.

Tony Blair

Tony and Cherie Blair with son Leo at 10 Downing Street on 21 May 2000 (Getty Images)

When Leo Blair was born to Tony and Cherie Blair in 2000, he became the first legitimate child of a serving prime minister to be born in more than 150 years.

The baby took his name from Mr Blair’s father, Leo Charles Lynton Blair, who was a British barrister and law lecturer at Durham University.

Leo is the couple’s fourth and youngest child.

Their first child Euan was born in 1984, their second son Nicky was born in 1985 and their daughter Kathryn was born in 1988.

In her 2008 memoir Speaking for Myself, Ms Blair revealed Leo was conceived while she and Mr Blair were staying at Queen Elizabeth II’s estate house Balmoral in Scotland.

Lord John Russell

John Russell, 1st Earl Russell, pictured on 1 August 1861, between his two terms in office as prime minister (Photo by Mayall/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

John Russell, 1st Earl Russell known as Lord John Russell, served as prime minister of Great Britain twice, first from 1846 until 1852 and the second time from 1865 to 1866.

During his first tenure as prime minister, the Whig and Liberal politician fathered two sons with his wife Lady Frances Elliot-Murray-Kynynmound, the first, George, in 1848 and the second, Francis, in 1849.

Lord Russell had six children in total, having two daughters during his first marriage before his wife, Adelaide Lister, passed away.

He then had four children during his second marriage.

Following the death of his eldest son Lord Amberley in 1876 and his daughter-in-law Katharine Russell two years prior, Lord Russell and his second wife raised the couple’s children.

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