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The BBC's Lucy Atherton
"Juggling nappies and politics could prove to be a difficult balancing act"
 real 28k

Monday, 22 May, 2000, 07:34 GMT 08:34 UK
Blair devotes time to baby Leo
Blair exhausted
A tired-looking Tony Blair faces the world's media
Tony Blair is scaling down his workload so he can spend as much time as possible with his wife Cherie and their new-born son Leo.

But the prime minister is not cutting out work altogether, describing himself as being in "holiday mode", and is being kept fully informed of government business.

There is only one more Prime Minister's Question Time for Mr Blair to negotiate on Wednesday and a Cabinet meeting to chair on Thursday before parliament breaks up for a two-week Whitsun holiday.


Peter Mandelson
Peter Mandelson: Hot tip for godfather
Although he is not taking any formal paternity leave, the break will give him plenty of opportunity to deal with the rigours of dirty nappies and sleepless nights.

Downing Street officials had already scaled down the prime minister's engagements ahead of Leo's expected arrival on Wednesday.

'Family resemblances'

Flowers, gifts, cards and messages continue to pour into Downing Street from all over the world.

Among the visitors to the Blair household was Lord Falconer, Millennium Dome minister and a close friend of the Blairs, who dropped by for 70 minutes on Sunday evening.

"The baby is doing very well indeed," he said as he left.

Asked whether Leo resembled Mr or Mrs Blair, Lord Falconer said there were very close family resemblances.



A steady stream of flowers has arrived at Downing Street

The media is still waiting for its first glimpse of Leo, with an official photograph expected to be released on Monday.

Mrs Blair has yet to make an appearance since the birth but, in her first public statement on Sunday, she admitted about the difficulties of labour.

"It is so long since we had our other three children that I had forgotten quite what an ordeal those last few hours of labour can be," she said.

The attention is now turning to the identity of Leo's godparents.

Among the front runners are Chancellor Gordon Brown and Northern Ireland minister Peter Mandelson.

Leo, who was named after Mr Blair's father, is expected to be christened at a Roman Catholic church in Mr Blair's Sedgefield, County Durham, constituency.

Mrs Blair, 45, gave birth to Leo, her fourth child at 0025 BST on Saturday after a 12-hour natural labour.

The 6lb 12oz boy was the first child born to a serving prime minister for 150 years.

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