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The BBC's Daniel Boettcher
"The significance of the moment passed baby Leo by"
 real 28k

Saturday, 27 May, 2000, 20:23 GMT 21:23 UK
Baby Blair appears in public
Cherie, Tony and Leo Blair step through the door of No. 10
Leo makes his appearance cradled in his father's arms
Downing Street's newest arrival, one-week-old Leo Blair, has made his first public appearance.

On Saturday, Leo was glimpsed briefly as he left Number 10 for Chequers in the arms of his father, Prime Minister Tony Blair.

Asked how Leo was, Mr Blair told the waiting media: "He is great."

The appearance followed a week of intense media interest in the Blair baby after his birth the previous Saturday.

The Blairs
Proud parents with Leo
Until now, the only images of Leo have been official pictures taken by Mary McCartney, the daughter of musician Paul McCartney.

The pictures, which were released on official Downing Street internet pages, proved so popular that many people were unable to access the website carrying them.

The Blairs are expected to take a week's holiday at Chequers in Buckinghamshire.

They had waited until rain stopped at 1300 BST on Saturday before departing Downing Street.

First to leave were two of the older Blair children, Nicky aged 14 and Kathryn, 12.

The eldest son Euan, 16, was not with the rest of the family but is expected to join them on holiday.

Leo Blair
Leo is blissfully unaware of all the attention he attracts
Mr Blair is expected to keep up with some of his government commitments, with red boxes being delivered to Chequers.

But he has cancelled all of his other engagements, even calling off a planned visit to Berlin on 3 June for a "third way" summit.

On Friday Downing Street confirmed that the prime minister had registered the birth of his new son as Leo George Blair at Kensington & Chelsea Register Office.

Later a Downing Street spokesman asked the media to respect the Blairs' wish for their family to be allowed privacy.

Call for privacy

He said Mr and Mrs Blair wanted coverage of their family to "return to normal".

"The Blairs have appreciated the fact that the papers have up until now always respected their strong wish to respect the privacy of their children, and that their children would be photographed only on specific and prearranged occasions," the spokesman said.

"There have already been reports of photographers staking out Chequers and local churches. The Blairs would ask that media respect their privacy.

"Today will be the last occasion when Leo will be photographed for some time."

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See also:

21 May 00 | UK
Cherie's joy at baby Leo
22 May 00 | UK Politics
All hail the lovely Leo
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