Earlier this month Boris Johnson was in hospital fighting for his life, this morning he was there for the arrival of new life: his partner Carrie Symonds gave birth to a healthy baby boy this morning.
David Cameron took paternity leave when his daughter Florence was born in 2010 and Tony Blair took a ‘paternity holiday’ when his son Leo arrived in 2000. But the timing of this birth, in the middle of a national crisis, undoubtedly complicates the question of Prime Ministerial paternity leave. This is particularly the case given that Boris Johnson’s rapid return to Downing Street post-hospitalisation was driven, in part, by frustration that things weren’t happening at what he thought was the necessary pace in his absence. There’s a feeling that only Prime Ministerial pressure can drive some things through the system.
With testing and tracing needing to be increased significantly in the coming weeks, and more PPE procured if the UK is to begin seriously easing the lockdown, I suspect that Boris Johnson will conclude that now is not the moment to take his paternity leave.