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Amid scandals, Britain's Boris Johnson announces the birth of a daughter

Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his wife, Carrie Johnson outside 10 Downing Street. File picture: Thomas Mukoya/Reuters

Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his wife, Carrie Johnson outside 10 Downing Street. File picture: Thomas Mukoya/Reuters

Published Dec 9, 2021

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London – First, the glad tidings. Boris Johnson and his wife, Carrie Johnson, announced on Thursday the birth of a daughter, their second child since he became prime minister.

The mop-headed British leader previously boasted he "changed a lot of nappies," a Britishism for diapers, so now he may change many more. The couple have a son, Wilfred, born in April 2020.

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The news came on the same day - almost within the same hour - it was announced that the Johnson family's Conservative Party broke electoral rules over extensive renovations to their official flat at Downing Street, resulting in a fine of around $23 000 from Britain's political spending watchdog.

The Electoral Commission ruled that the funds to pay for the refurbishment of the prime minister's four-bedroom apartment at 11 Downing Street were not properly disclosed - and led to accusations by critics of Tory "sleaze."

Johnson is leader not only of the government, but the Conservative Party. Carrie Johnson, nee Symonds, was a top communications official at the Conservative Party before the couple were wed.

The prime minister's former top aide, Dominic Cummings, has charged that Carrie plays an oversized role in the inner circle, with great influence over both policy and personnel. Carrie's defenders have told the British press her role is appropriate - and that the charges by Cummings and others are smears designed to undermine political spouses.

The mother, 33, gave birth to the baby at a London hospital and the prime minister's spokeswoman said he was there, adding "both mother and daughter are doing very well."

This is a third marriage for Boris Johnson, 57, and it is believed, his seventh child.

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The prime minister could use some good news. He's engulfed in a scandal over alleged Christmas parties hosted at 10 Downing Street last year in the middle of a strict lockdown.

Johnson said there were none, but allowed for an investigation by his cabinet secretary. The leader of the opposition Labour Party, Keir Starmer, accused him of lying and taking the British people for fools.

The sheer number of news events and scandals buffeting Johnson amused many on social media.

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"No, darling, I'm afraid we didn't keep any of the newspapers from the day you were born," joked the author Tom Hamilton on Twitter, referring to the couple's birth announcement.

The Washington Post

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