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It's a Boy for Britain's Blairs; Mother and Baby Doing Fine

May 20, 2000|Times Wire Services

LONDON — The wife of Prime Minister Tony Blair gave birth to a boy early today--the couple's fourth child, Blair's Downing Street office said.

Cherie Blair, 45, and the baby were in good health and were back at home, officials said.

She had been due to give birth May 24 but was admitted to Chelsea and Westminster hospital in London at midday Friday. The prime minister joined her early in the evening.

The boy, whose name was not immediately disclosed, becomes the first baby born to a serving British prime minister in 152 years.

The Downing Street spokesman said the Blairs were "delighted."

Blair is a prominent lawyer who practices under her maiden name, Cherie Booth. She and the prime minister have two sons, Euan, 16, and Nicholas, 14, and a 12-year-old daughter, Kathyrn.

News of the pregnancy took Blair--and the rest of the nation--by surprise when it was announced last year.

Despite heavy public hints from his wife, the prime minister has said he will not take parental leave, but he plans to initially scale back his official workload. He also said he imagined it would be his job to "take care of things at night."

"Cherie has many excellent qualities, but once she goes to sleep, it takes a minor nuclear explosion to wake her up," he said.

On Tuesday, Cherie Blair went to the High Court to challenge her husband's government on the subject of parental leave. She was representing 2.7 million workers from the Trade Union Congress, who, she said, were being unlawfully excluded from the right to take leave.

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