Boris Johnson swept into No 10 with his girlfriend Carrie Symonds by his side today as the Prime Minister made it clear she will be his First Lady after posing with her at the world-famous black door.
The victorious Tory leader grabbed her hand and then put his arm around his partner in Downing Street after winning the biggest majority for the Conservatives for a generation.
His decision to re-enter the PM’s residence with his girlfriend cements her place on his arm as his official plus one and makes it increasingly likely he will propose when his divorce from second wife Marina Wheeler goes through.
Miss Symonds, 31, has largely kept out of the public eye since Mr Johnson, 55, became prime minister in July – standing out of sight during the Tory campaign launch and not accompanying him on his tour of the UK.
Instead she made several solo appearances during the election campaign, often with the couple’s rescue dog Dilyn.
But this morning Carrie, wearing a £69 M&S herringbone coat and a £98 velvet peacock print skirt from Anthropologie, was front and centre as her boyfriend regained his Uxbridge seat and at the Tory victory rally at the QEII centre in Westminster.
Boris hinted this week he could propose and declared how happy Carrie has made him – despite a rocky start to their relationship amid claims of an affair and a row at her flat that led to neighbours calling the police.
Boris Johnson made Carrie front and centre with him as he arrived in No 10 after his sensational election win
Miss Symonds had largely not been seen with Boris until his big election win was assured
Mr Johnson appeared to grab her hand and then put his arm around his partner in a public show of affection
Carrie had largely campaigned away from Boris, focussing on marginal seats, but will have a more formal role going forward
Celebration: Carrie Symonds holds her dog Dilyn at the prime minister’s Uxbridge and South Ruislip constituency last night as Boris Johnson surged to victory
Winners: Prime minister Boris Johnson and his girlfriend Carrie Symonds arrive for the Tory leader’s count in Uxbridge and South Ruislip last night
Triumph: Ms Symonds and Mr Johnson arrive at the Uxbridge count, where Mr Johnson fended off a Labour challenge in his own seat and won a majority in the country
En route: An admiring Ms Symonds holds Dilyn as a triumphant Boris Johnson arrives at his constituency count in the early hours of Friday morning
Carrie and Boris could be set to marry after a rocky start – but PM needs a divorce first
Carrie Symonds has quietly been backing Boris’ election campaign but will become more central after his big win.
Boris separated from his second wife Marina a year ago after he was thrown out of the family home and he is widely expected to propose to Carrie once his divorce is finalised later this year.
They have chosen the larger four-bedroom flat at No 11 Downing Street instead of the smaller two-bedroom official residence at No 10, which was being taken by Chancellor Sajid Javid.
Mr Johnson and Miss Symonds had been living together at her flat in Camberwell, south London, until a well-publicised plate-smashing row recorded by neighbours who claimed she yelled ‘get off me’ and ‘get out of my flat’.
But they made up and former Tory PR executive Carrie was also seen moving furniture into the four-bedroom home with her mother Josephine Mcaffee.
The four-bedroom apartment above the finance minister’s office has been home to PMs and their families since 1997, when Tony and Cherie Blair chose it over the two-bedroom flat above the more famous black door.
Mr Johnson and his partner bought a £1.3million Victorian semi-detached home in Camberwell, south London, not far from her previous flat.
The PM says that their dog Dilyn has helped him reduce his stress levels by taking regular walks in his pants with his new dog.
His morning routine involves taking the Jack Russell cross around down to the Downing Street garden.
‘I get up at six o’clock in the morning and stagger around, walk around the garden with the dog. It’s a keep-fit regime in my boxers,’ he said.
And at the end of the day, Mr Johnson said he reads poetry before going to bed at night to help him sleep.
‘I was reading Antony Beevor’s book on Arnhem and the Oxford Book of English Verse – that puts me out like a light,’ he added.
On election night she tweeted to congratulate winning Tory candidate Dehenna Davison, who defeated Labour in their former stronghold of Bishop Auckland. She also said she was ‘gutted’ at Zac Goldsmith’s defeat in London.
Former Tory staffer Ms Symonds, who is the first unmarried partner of a sitting PM to live in Downing Street, can now plan ahead for a five-year term.
Without the constraints of an election campaign, she could now seek to expand her public role – especially if she marries the PM, which Mr Johnson has hinted she could do.
Ms Symonds, a keen conservationist, works at at environmental group Oceana but took six weeks off to help with the campaign.
She was expected to return as the group’s communications chief after the election, which would limit her public appearances if she stays on.
In August, she stayed at home in the UK while other high-profile spouses such as Melania Trump and Brigitte Macron joined their partners for a photo opportunity.
In addition, when Mr Johnson took office, Downing Street announced that she would not have her own taxpayer-funded office to organise her public schedule.
Samantha Cameron, Cherie Blair and Gordon Brown’s wife Sarah all had their own full-time No 10 staff.
Mrs Blair employed Fiona Millar, partner of Tony Blair’s press secretary Alastair Campbell, to run her Downing Street office.
However, Norma Major kept a low public profile and had no such staff, preferring to live at the couple’s country home.
Similarly, Theresa May’s husband Philip largely kept out of the public eye and had no official Downing Street support.
Ms Symonds’ status is a delicate subject as the PM is still technically married to his estranged wife Marina Wheeler.
It has been suggested in the past that Ms Symonds could not become a fully-fledged ‘first lady’ until the couple were married.
Mr Johnson was coy when asked about the subject earlier this year, telling The Sun that marriage speculation was ‘a tiny bit premature’.
Boris Johnson and his girlfriend Carrie Symonds leave the Conservative Party’s headquarters with their dog Dilyn following the general election win
Companion: Dilyn the dog, who frequently appeared with Ms Symonds during the campaign, with the PM’s girlfriend on election night
Leading the way: Carrie Symonds takes Dilyn on a lead as she and Boris Johnson leave the Tory party headquarters in London in the early hours of Friday morning
Together: Boris Johnson and Carrie Symonds arrive for the count in Uxbridge, where Labour had dreamed of unseating the PM but their challenge fell well short
Five more years: Carrie Symonds and Boris Johnson – pictured visiting a Hindu temple in the last week of campaign – can now prepare for another term in Downing Street
On the campaign trail: Ms Symonds made several appearances during the election campaign, often flanked by the couple’s dog Dilyn, after taking time off work
Friends of Ms Symonds have affectionately dubbed her ‘FLOTUS’ – an acronym sometimes used for the First Lady of the United States.
First Ladies such as Melania Trump and Michelle Obama have a far more extensive staff and public schedule.
During the election, Ms Symonds was seen numerous times at Tory campaign events and phone banks.
Ms Symonds rarely appeared alongside Mr Johnson, although they did visit a Hindu temple together last week with the 31-year-old wearing a sari.
Helping out: Carrie Symonds at a Conservative call centre during Boris Johnson’s successful election campaign
Support: Carrie Symonds and Stanley Johnson, the PM’s father, watch Boris Johnson deliver his speech during the Conservative conference earlier this year
She also sat next to Mr Johnson’s father Stanley and applauded the PM at the Tory party conference, which was overshadowed by claims about Mr Johnson’s private life.
Their relationship also came under the spotlight during the Tory leadership campaign when police were called to their London home amid reports of a domestic row.
Ms Symonds was reported to have told Mr Johnson to ‘get off me’ and ‘get out of my flat’ during the furious row.
Scotland Yard said it was were alerted to the situation by a caller who ‘was concerned for the welfare of a female neighbour’, but officers found no cause for concern.
Mr Johnson was then engulfed in a further row over a picture of the couple apparently sitting happily together.
The photograph appeared to be taken from nearby bushes, but speculation grew that Mr Johnson’s campaign had put out the picture themselves.
As a Tory aide, Ms Symonds co-ordinated Brexiteer Zac Goldsmith’s unexpected victory in the Remain-heavy seat of Richmond Park in the South-West London.
Boris Johnson’s sister Rachel admits she has ‘never met’ his girlfriend Carrie Symonds as the PM’s proud family reveal they’ve congratulated him on the group WhatsApp
Prime Minister Boris Johnson‘s sister Rachel has admitted she has never actually met his girlfriend Carrie Symonds.
It comes after the Conservative leader won a majority in the election, with the party being on track to rack up 362 seats.
Speaking on Good Morning Britain the Prime Minister’s father Stanley Johnson, said he had congratulated his son, while his sister Rachel said it had been an ‘historic victory’.
Despite the Prime Minister being victorious, host Piers Morgan claimed one of the biggest stars of the election had been Ms Symonds.
Piers said: ‘Can we talk about one other person in all of this who has been a bit of a star, Carrie.’
He then gestured his pen towards Rachel, to which she responded: ‘I’ve never met Carrie’.
Rachel Johnson claimed she had never met Carrie Symonds (pictured above with Boris last night)
Piers was shocked that she had never met her and said ‘really’.
Rachel responded: ‘Well not yet. It’s not something I came to talk about’.
Sensing she was clearly uncomfortable with the line of conversation, Piers turned to Stanley and asked him if he had met his son’s girlfriend.
Stanley said: ‘I share and interest in environmental matters, I share an interest in animal welfare matters. I’ve had the privilege of talking about Japanese whaling after Carrie and before Carrie.
Rachel (above) had been on the programme to discuss the election result with other political pundits
‘I’ve talked about elephants I have talked about rats. Of course I have met her. We are united in this.’
Piers joked that the family ‘are united’ even if all the family hadn’t met her.
Earlier on in the programme Stanley was asked if he had spoken to his son since he had won.
Stanley said: ‘No but I have spoken to him on WhatsApp. I said ‘things seem to be going all right don’t they’.
He admitted his son had not yet replied and asked Rachel what she thought. She said she doesn’t call his Boris but ‘Al’.
She added: ‘It’s historic, he has made history.
‘He was lucky because he got the opposition to grant his an election in his honeymoon period.
It was a high risk gamble but it has proved high reward.’