Carrie Symonds (born 17 March 1988) is the fiancée of the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Boris Johnson. She is the first unmarried partner of a prime minister to reside in 10 Downing Street. Symonds first became prominent when her affair with Johnson became public. At the time, Johnson was married to his second wife, Marina Wheeler. On 29 February 2020, Symonds and Johnson announced that they are engaged and expecting a baby in mid-2020.
Early life and education
Symonds was born on 17 March 1988 to Matthew Symonds, co-founder of The Independent, and Josephine Mcaffee, a lawyer working for the paper. Her paternal grandfather was John Beavan, Baron Ardwick, a Labour Party MEP in the 1970s and a newspaper editor, and her paternal grandmother was Anne Symonds, a BBC World Service journalist.
Symonds grew up in South West London, and between 1999 and 2006 attended Godolphin and Latymer School, an independent day school for girls. She went on to the University of Warwick, where she studied art history and theatre studies and completed her degree in 2009.
In 2009, Symonds joined the Conservative Party as a press officer. She worked at Conservative Campaign Headquarters, and later campaigned for Boris Johnson in the 2010 London Conservative Party mayoral selection. She has also worked for Conservative MPs Sajid Javid (as a media special adviser) and John Whittingdale.
Symonds became the Conservative Party's head of communications in 2018, but left in August 2019 in order to work in public relations for the Oceana project.
In July 2019, Boris Johnson became prime minister and both he and Symonds officially moved into 10 Downing Street. The following month, she was barred from entering the United States as her visa application was rejected due to a previous visit to Somaliland, which the US considers to be part of immigration-restricted Somalia. On 16 August 2019, she made her first public appearance since entering 10 Downing Street, when she addressed what she called the "gigantic" climate crisis.
John Worboys case
In 2007, aged 19, Symonds was driven home from a King's Road nightclub by taxi-driver John Worboys, who in 2009 was convicted of multiple sexual assaults on his passengers. She later recalled Worboys offering her champagne and vodka, which she believed was spiked and, after returning home, "vomiting and laughing hysterically before passing out until 3pm the next day". Symonds was one of fourteen women who testified against Worboys at his trial. She subsequently told The Telegraph that he was "a sad, wicked man who is a danger to society. I feel so angry that he pleaded not guilty and made us go through the pain of giving evidence in court".