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Monday, 22 May, 2000, 14:05 GMT 15:05 UK
McCartney's daughter takes Leo's picture
Cherie Blair
Cherie Blair: "Her personal choice"
The choice of Sir Paul McCartney's daughter to take the first published picture of her new son, Leo, was a personal one taken by Cherie Blair.

The prime minister's spokesman said Mrs Blair met Mary McCartney, a professional photographer, last year when they worked together on a campaign to raise money for breast cancer charities.

Miss McCartney said: "The Blairs thought it would be nice to use a female photographer for these pictures, and I was very complimented to be asked to take them,"

"I was flattered to be asked to do this. Leo was only 38 hours old when I took the pictures. He's a lovely baby and a gentle little soul."

Former Beatle Sir Paul said he was "proud" that his daughter had been chosen to take the Blair baby photos.

Mary McCartney
McCartney: Took first picture

"I'm really proud of Mary," he said. "It's a great tribute to her talent. "Her mother would, to say the least, have been incredibly proud of her - and she probably is."

Miss McCartney was inspired to go into photography by her mother, Linda, who became famous for her pictures of some of the biggest bands of the Sixties.

She worked with her mother as her personal photographic assistant, studying her technique and supervising her library.

Her work has been featured in the magazines Red, Frank, German Vogue and Australian Elle, and used in campaigns by the British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection and the anti-fur group Respect.

Benefit charities

Her photographs have also been hung in the National Portrait Gallery.

Downing Street said a further 14 photographs would be available to the media on payment of a fee which would be shared by two cancer charities of which Mrs Blair is patron - Breast Cancer Care and the Sargent Cancer Care for Children charity.

Mr Blair's spokesman said of Ms McCartney: "She was Cherie's personal choice. She got to know her through her work for Breast Cancer Care."

The spokesman added that Mrs Blair "hopes these pictures will benefit both charities who will share the proceeds".

Diane Yeo, chief executive of Sargent Cancer Care for Children, said: "I am absolutely delighted that Cherie has chosen Sargent to benefit from the proceeds of Mary McCartney's photographs.

"The birth of Leo, already a happy event for the entire nation, will also benefit some very sick children that we look after. On their behalf I would like to thank our patron Cherie for this very thoughtful gesture."

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