The UK’s “First Lady”. The driving force behind the Prime Minister.
By kaz bosali: political COLUMNIST
The Prime Ministers’ partners are not in the public eye nearly as much as the American First Ladies, but Carrie Symonds, the fiancée of Boris Johnson has had her fair share of headlines and scrutiny.
Dubbed the ‘first girlfriend’ by the British tabloids, she has raised concerns over the influence she has had on Boris Johnson and his decisions, the latest one being the dismissal of Dominic Cummings for reportedly clashing with Symonds.
Prior to seemingly having the Prime Minister’s ear, Symonds was established in her own right. Here are 3 facts about the private but possibly influential figure in UK politics.
She’s had an impressive career
She graduated from the University of Warwick in 2009 with a degree in Art History and Theatre Studies.
Her first job after graduating was as a Press Officer for The Conservative Party. She first met Boris Johnson in 2012 when he was campaigning to be re-elected as London mayor.
At just 29, she became the Tory Party’s youngest Head of Communications. In 2018, she left her communications role at the Conservative Party for an advisory and PR post at Oceana, a charity advocating ocean conservation.
She’s an advocate for the environment & animal rights
On her Twitter account, she describes herself as “Conservationist. Oceans. Fighting plastic pollution” and regularly uses her platform to raise awareness of climate change and animal cruelty.
carrie symonds: 3 factsTweet
Her first job after graduating was as a Press Officer for The Conservative Party.
In 2019, she was barred from visiting America for her environmental work due to a visit to Somaliland, one of the Muslim countries excluded in Trump’s Administration.
Reaching over 126,000 followers, she also uses her account as a show of support for the PM and features posts of the pair when they make official appearances together.
She’s had a rocky relationship with the PM
Johnson separated from his wife of 25 years after claims of infidelity with Symonds. She is the first unmarried partner of a Prime Minister to live at the most famous address in Britain, 10 Downing Street.
In 2019, the police were called to the couples London home after the pair were heard arguing. The police took no further action.
She gave birth to their son, Wilfred Lawrie Nicholas Johnson, a fortnight after the PM was in intensive care after contracting Covid-19 himself. He almost lost his battle with the virus. Their child’s middle name Nicholas, is in honour of the two doctors of the same name that saved Johnson’s life.
A new mother with an established career and an outspoken advocate of causes close to her heart, we will be seeing more of Carrie Symonds. Her and Johnson’s relationship is a reflection of modern Britain and its contemporary family dynamics.