Regardless of coronavirus, Boris Johnson should take paternity leave | The Independent

by pregnancy journalist

Boris and Carrie have had a baby. Mainly Carrie, ut Boris was present – which is, actually, quite impressive.

The birth of a baby is obviously lovely news. Everyone seemed delighted – apart from Dominic Raab, that is, who realised he had to once again face Keir Starmer at PMQs and immediately lost another inch of his hairline.

And they had a baby boy! I wonder if they threw a gender reveal party a few weeks ago. Maybe they tried, but Matt Hancock ballsed up the order of blue balloons and had to get the RAF to pick up an emergency stash from Turkey.

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Baby Johnson (good name for a band) is the third child to be born to a serving prime minister in recent history. Blair: 2000. Cameron: 2010. Boris: 2020. I’d like to offer my early congratulations for the year 2030 to prime minister Zoella. 

So now Baby Johnson is here, what now? As a man in the workplace (I know, they can have it all), Boris is entitled to two weeks’ paternity leave. Will he take it? He’s previously said he would, but a tot has happened since then. He’s now reportedly taking it later in the year. 

Personally, I think he should take it now. Those first few hours, days, weeks – they’re so important. For new dads, it’s less about bonding with your child (though obviously do that as well) and more about supporting your partner. 

And I’m sure Johnson and Symonds have a better support system than most. They don’t have to worry about money. The most pressing matter will be whether the little one successfully breastfeeds or if they’ll have to take up Jacob Rees-Mogg’s kind offer to share his wet-nurse.

Some people seemingly don’t think he should take the leave, as he has more important things to be doing. But it’s worth remembering that Johnson is just one man. If a doctor or nurse or some other key worker just had their first child, they should also take time off. And besides: does Britain really want a leader who hasn’t slept in ten days and whose mind is elsewhere? Of course not. (Side note: Carrie and Boris live in the Number 11 Downing Street flat. That’s above where Rishi Sunak works. I’d carve out some room in the budget for some noise-cancelling headphones, Rish).

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There are plenty of things Johnson should be doing now, with his Dad Hat on. He should be choosing a name for his new son. I’m betting either ‘Winston’ or a curveball like “Xavier”. At least then his initial could serve as a reminder of what number child he is. 

If he does take his leave later in the year, then that’ll be good for him, too. If the majority of the country is open, then he can turn up to baby classes with little Xav and try to aim his glance anywhere other than the six breastfeeding mums opposite him.

What an exciting time! He could be the most progressive mrime minister in terms of being a dad. I would certainly watch those 5pm daily briefings far more regularly if I knew that the PM was going to have a muslin on his left shoulder trying to burp his son whilst also skilfully evade a question from Robert Peston. And this isn’t his first rodeo. (Alexa, what are the odds on him calling his baby “Rodeo”?) He’s a father of [redacted] children, for God’s sake. But do you think he’s ever changed a nappy? Possibly during a Bullingdon initiation ritual. 

I’m personally not a fan of the guy. I don’t agree with his politics or his morals, but should he have some time with his newborn son? Of course. Everyone should be able to get to know their new baby. Especially if they’re called Little Xavi Johnson.

This content was originally published here.

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