On 29 May, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson secretly exchanged vows with his girlfriend, Carrie Symonds. The couple first started their relationship in 2018, soon after Johnson announced his divorce with ex-wife Maria Wheeler. In the beginning of 2020, the two got engaged and welcomed their first child, Johnson's sixth, in April of the same year.
Their relationship has been in the spotlight numerous times from the get-go, but there’s a lot more to Johnson’s new life partner than meets the eye. So, let’s find out who she is and how she got here.
About Carrie Symonds
Carrie Symonds was born in March 1988 to Matthew Symonds, co-founder of TheIndependent, and Josephine Mcaffee, a lawyer.
She was no stranger to the world of politics and given that her grandfather, John Beaven, was a Labour Party MEP, she was bound to follow in his footsteps.
She studied theatre and art history at the University of Warwick, but decided to give politics a shot after graduation and started working for the Conservative Party as a press officer. During her time at the Conservative Campaign Headquarters, she worked for many MPs including Sajid Javid and John Whittingdale. She even campaigned for Boris Johnson, way before their romance began, in the 2010 London Conservative Party mayoral selection.
Despite her flourishing career in politics, she decided to call it quits with the Conservative Party and left her job as the head of communications to pursue a career in conservation. She began working for an ocean conservation charity called Oceana, and she has been using her platform to fight against issues like plastic pollution and female genital mutilation.
Centre of controversy
Much like her husband, Carrie Symonds has also been surrounded by her fair share of controversy ever since the couple went public with their relationship in 2019.
She was first labelled as the ‘other woman’ in Johnson’s marriage with Maria Wheeler. She has also been accused of having considerable influence over the controversial refurbishing of their Downing Street apartment and more so on the hiring of employees inside Number 10. In fact, the PM’s former top aide Dominic Cummings confirmed that Symonds played a major role in his decision to step down from the position. He said:
My resignation was definitely connected to the fact that the prime minister's girlfriend was trying to change a whole bunch of different appointments at Number 10 and appoint her friends to particular jobs.