Boris Johnson and his ‘notoriously complex’ baby count

Even PM’s biographer has struggled to pinpoint how many children the Tory leader has fathered

Boris Johnson in New York City
Boris Johnson in New York City for the UN General Assembly
(Image credit: Michael M. Santiago-Pool/Getty Images)

Boris Johnson has finally admitted to having six children, after dodging the question for years.

Following two divorces and a reported love child from a secret affair, “the prime minister has previously tended to avoid questions about his notoriously complex family life”, said The Guardian.

But when an interviewer put it to him yesterday that the tally stood at half a dozen, Johnson replied: “Yes.”

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His monosyllabic answer - during a chat with NBC’s Today show from the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York City - “might not seem like the most eloquent, expansive or indeed interesting” that Johnson has ever given, said The Telegraph’s parliamentary sketchwriter Michael Deacon. “But it none the less represented a genuine scoop.”

Until now, the Tory leader had always refused to say how many children he had fathered. “Even the most innocuous questions relating to his family life had been awkwardly batted away,” Deacon continued.

But this time round, the PM “was, by his standards, boldly forthcoming, informing America not only that having children in Downing Street was ‘fantastic, fantastic’, but that ‘I change a lot of nappies’”.

“Boris Johnson admits he has six children” is “not the kind of headline you read everyday in Britain”, explained The Washington Post to US readers who might have been baffled by all the fuss.

Previously, journalists have just guestimated about his “five, six or seven offspring”, and even Wikipedia had “fudged the issue”, added the paper.

The Sun said that it was “already known that the PM has at least six children”, but added that “his reluctance to put a number on it has given rise to speculation he has more”.

Johnson has four grown children - Lara Lettice, Milo Arthur, Cassia Peaches and Theodore Apollo - with his second wife Marina Wheeler, and a one-year-old son, Wilfred, with his third wife Carrie Johnson, who is pregnant again. He is also believed to have a daughter, Stephanie, born to arts consultant Helen Macintyre in 2009, when he was still married to Wheeler.

But while the mystery surrounding his baby count appears to have been solved, The Washington Post pointed out that whether Johnson’s “full tally” included Stephanie or the baby on its way remained unclear.

Even Andrew Gimson, author of Boris: the Making of the Prime Minister, told the paper: “I can’t claim to be great source on how many children he has, and I am his biographer.”

And as John Crace in The Guardian noted, Johnson also “didn’t say whether there might be more he had forgotten about” - or “if he could remember all their names”.

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