British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been kept busy this week as he batted away questions over staff parties during coronavirus lockdowns.
Now some happy personal news has given him a reprieve from press scrutiny.
But not for long – the BBC reports Mr Johnson’s staff will face an official investigation about three separate parties held while the rest of England was being told to keep safe by staying home.
That follows the resignation of the PM’s former press secretary Allegra Stratton who was filmed joking as she rehearsed deflecting questions about government staff gathering at a time when tens of millions of people across England were banned from meeting family and friends to celebrate Christmas.
The BBC reports an official investigation will examine parties held last year at Downing Street on November 27 and December 18, and at the education department on December 10.
Paymaster General Michael Ellis said any potential criminality uncovered would be reported to the police. The opposition Labour Party has called for the PM to resign if he is found to have misled parliament about the parties when he repeatedly insisted no rules had been broken by staff.
Expect more questions on Friday (British time).
But Mr Johnson might have a valid excuse to skip media briefings, as he and wife Carrie are busy preparing to bring their new daughter home.
Mrs Johnson gave birth to the girl, whose name is yet to be revealed, in a London hospital on Thursday morning (local time).
“The Prime Minister and Mrs Johnson are delighted to announce the birth of a healthy baby girl at a London hospital earlier today,” a spokeswoman for the couple said.
“Both mother and daughter are doing very well.
“The couple would like to thank the brilliant NHS maternity team for all their care and support.”
A masked Mrs Johnson, 33, and her husband, 57, had earlier been spotted going through the side entrance of the University College Hospital with a suitcase, an overnight bag and what appeared to be a cordless speaker.
The PM returned to Downing Street at lunchtime after leaving the maternity ward. He returned to the hospital about 3pm.
The baby is the couple’s second child together, after their son Wilfred was born in April 2020. They were married in May this year.
Mr Johnson has been married twice before and has four children with his second wife, Marina Wheeler, a lawyer.
He has previously refused to say how many children he has fathered, although in an interview with NBC in September he said that he has six children.
A spokesman for Mr Johnson said the PM would not take two weeks off for paternity leave.
He would “take some time with his family” and “balance that” with his government responsibilities next week, the spokesman said.
“I think there’s a recognition the Prime Minister has a unique role and this is a particularly challenging time for the country and the Prime Minister will continue to lead, as the public would expect, while making time for his family,” the spokesman said, according to the Daily Mail.