Labour MP accuses Boris Johnson of burying bad news with 'convenient' baby announcement

Boris Johnson and Carrie Symonds announced they are expecting a baby in the early summer and that they have got engaged. (PA)

A Labour MP has accused Boris Johnson of burying bad news stories about the Conservatives following the announcement that his girlfriend Carrie Symonds is pregnant.

On Saturday, Ms Symonds, 31, used her Instagram page to announce the pregnancy and also revealed that she had recently become engaged to the prime minister, 55.

Many MPs congratulated Mr Johnson and Ms Symonds on social media, but Labour’s Florence Eshalomi queried the timing of the announcement.

Ms Eshalomi appeared to reference Sir Philip Rutnam’s resignation from the Home Office some hours earlier as she tweeted: “Very convenient for this news to be announced today.”

Florence Eshalomi said the timing of the announcement was 'convenient'. (Wikimedia Commons)

While Leanne Wood, a Plaid Cymru member of the Welsh assembly, tweeted a link to Sir Philip Rutnam’s resignation announcement and captioned it: “What possible news could knock this staggering story off the top spot? #BorisBaby #GoodDayToBuryBadNews.”

Sir Philip, the Home Office’s most senior civil servant, quit on Saturday after accusing home secretary Priti Patel of orchestrating a “vicious” campaign against him.

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He also claimed she had lied about her involvement in it and of created a climate of fear among her officials.

Health secretary Matt Hancock defended Ms Patel on Sunday, saying she was “extremely courteous” in her dealings with colleagues.

Mr Hancock told the BBC’s Andrew Marr programme: “Priti is a very determined home secretary.

“She is probably closer to where the public are on the issues of law and order than any home secretary in recent history. I think she drives things forward.

“I also think she is extremely courteous, and in every dealing I’ve had with her she has been very courteous.

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“I can’t get into the details of the case, not least because it looks like it might be going to court, and I’m not close to it.”

Labour has looked to ramp up the pressure on the under-fire home secretary, with shadow chancellor John McDonnell suggesting she could be forced to resign.

Labour leadership candidate Sir Keir Starmer also called on Ms Patel to explain to MPs the explosive allegations levelled against her by Sir Philip.