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Will new father Boris Johnson take paternity leave?

Mr Johnson’s son is the third baby to be born to a serving prime minister in recent history.

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Boris Johnson and Carrie Symonds’s son is the third baby born to a serving prime minister in recent history (Yui Mok/PA)

Boris Johnson and Carrie Symonds’s son is the third baby born to a serving prime minister in recent history (Yui Mok/PA)

Boris Johnson and Carrie Symonds’s son is the third baby born to a serving prime minister in recent history (Yui Mok/PA)

Following the birth of Boris Johnson’s son, questions have been raised about whether the Prime Minister will take any paternity leave amid the ongoing Covid-19 crisis.

Mr Johnson’s fiancee Carrie Symonds gave birth to their son in a London hospital on Wednesday morning, and a spokeswoman for the couple said both mother and baby were doing well.

It is understood Mr Johnson was present throughout the delivery, with the news that he would be absent from Prime Minister’s Questions coming shortly before the birth was announced.

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The Prime Minister was with his partner Carrie Symonds during the birth (Yui Mok/PA)

The Prime Minister was with his partner Carrie Symonds during the birth (Yui Mok/PA)

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The Prime Minister was with his partner Carrie Symonds during the birth (Yui Mok/PA)

New fathers are entitled to up to two weeks of statutory paternity leave.

This statutory leave is paid at £151.20 per week, or 90% of average weekly earnings, depending on which is lower.

Expectant fathers must give at least 15 weeks’ notice to their employer.

Some couples are entitled to take 50 weeks of shared parental leave in the first year after a birth or adoption, although the eligibility criteria are narrower than for the statutory benefit.

Mr Johnson and Ms Symonds’s son is the third baby born to a serving prime minister in recent history.

Former prime ministers Tony Blair and David Cameron took paternity leave after the births of their children while in office.

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Former prime minister David Cameron took paternity leave after the birth of his daughter Florence Rose Endellion Cameron (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

Former prime minister David Cameron took paternity leave after the birth of his daughter Florence Rose Endellion Cameron (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

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Former prime minister David Cameron took paternity leave after the birth of his daughter Florence Rose Endellion Cameron (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

Mr Johnson previously indicated that it was likely he would take paternity leave.

When asked in early March whether he intended to take time off, Mr Johnson said: “The answer is almost certainly, yes.”

But he later added: “I can’t remember what the question was.”

Since then, the coronavirus outbreak has progressed significantly.

The number of people who have died in hospital with Covid-19 has reached over 20,000, with the number of daily deaths reaching their highest so far in early April.

The nationwide lockdown imposed on March 23 is set to be reviewed early next month.

The Prime Minister only returned to Downing Street on Monday, after contracting coronavirus.

Mr Johnson tested positive for the illness on March 27, with Ms Symonds later suffering from some symptoms of the virus.

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Former prime minister Tony Blair also took paternity leave after the birth of his son Leo (Tony Harris/PA)

Former prime minister Tony Blair also took paternity leave after the birth of his son Leo (Tony Harris/PA)

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Former prime minister Tony Blair also took paternity leave after the birth of his son Leo (Tony Harris/PA)

He was admitted to hospital in early April, spending time in intensive care.

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab deputised for the Prime Minister while he was receiving treatment and recovering from the virus at the Buckinghamshire Chequers estate.

If Mr Johnson does take paternity leave, it is not known whether Mr Raab will resume the position.

The Foreign Secretary stood in for Mr Johnson at Prime Minister’s Questions on Wednesday.

Mr Blair attracted praise for his decision to take two weeks of paternity leave after his wife Cherie gave birth to son Leo in 2000.

Leo was the first baby born to a serving prime minister in 152 years.

Conservative prime minister David Cameron and his wife Samantha welcomed daughter Florence Rose Endellion Cameron in 2010.

PA