Mar 1, 2020 - World

Boris Johnson and Carrie Symonds announce pregnancy and engagement

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Carrie Symonds at their Downing Street residence in London. Photo: Giannis Alexopoulos/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Carrie Symonds announced on Instagram Saturday that she and U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson are engaged and expecting a baby.

Details: "Many of you already know but for my friends that still don't, we got engaged at the end of last year ... and we've got a baby hatching early summer," she said. "Feel incredibly blessed." But while many in Johnson's Conservative Party congratulated the couple on the news, lawmakers from the opposition Labour Party and some journalists questioned the timing of the announcement, with one member of parliament calling it "very convenient."

Context: Sir Philip Rutnam, the most senior civil servant in the Home Office, had earlier quit and said in his resignation letter he would "be issuing a claim against the Home Office for constructive dismissal" after being subjected to a "vicious and orchestrated briefing campaign."

  • He accused Home Secretary Priti Patel of "shouting and swearing, belittling people, and making unreasonable and repeated demands." Patel has yet to address the allegations, but she has "previously denied she mistreated staff," the BBC notes.

Go deeper: Britain remade by Boris Johnson

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405,000 in U.K. volunteer to join coronavirus fight in 24 hours

Johnson at the podium. Photo: Ian Vogler-WPA Pool/Getty Images

In just 24 hours, 405,000 people volunteered to help the U.K.’s National Health Service cope with the country's fast-growing coronavirus outbreak, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced Wednesday.

Driving the news: Johnson said the government had hoped 250,000 people would sign up “over a few days," and was amazed that so many "answered the call." The volunteers will be asked to deliver medicine to patients, bring patients home from the hospital, and make phone calls to check on people who have the virus but are remaining at home.

Go deeper: The latest coronavirus news

Keep ReadingArrowMar 25, 2020 - World

U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson orders nationwide lockdown

Photo: Ian Vogler-WPA Pool/Getty Images

In a national address on Monday, U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson became the latest world leader to order a nationwide lockdown in an effort to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

Why it matters: Johnson warned on Sunday that a surge of coronavirus cases over the next two weeks could cripple the country's National Health Service, and that the U.K. is only "a matter of weeks" behind Italy — now the site of the worst coronavirus outbreak in the world.

Go deeperArrowMar 23, 2020 - World

U.K. hedges its massive coronavirus gamble

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

With the world shutting down and spreading out, U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson has — in the course of four days — shown what an alternative approach to the coronavirus pandemic might look like, and why it's nearly impossible to execute.

The big picture: Johnson, flanked by his scientific advisers, laid out a strategy premised on some crucial concessions: tens of millions of Britons could be infected, many would die, and the danger would loom for many months — with fresh waves expected in the autumn and beyond.

Go deeperArrowMar 16, 2020 - World