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Monday, 16 December, 2002, 09:44 GMT
Livingstone 'delighted' to be a father
Ken Livingstone and Emma Beal
Ken Livingstone met Emma Beal in 1996
Ken Livingstone has become a father for the first time at the age of 57.

London's mayor said he was "delighted" after his partner Emma Beal gave birth to their 6lb 8oz son Thomas on Saturday morning.

"Both mother and baby are well. We are delighted," Mr Livingstone said in a statement.

He also thanked the nurses, midwife and hospital staff whom he said were "fantastic".

Paternity leave

Mr Livingstone's two-weeks' paternity leave will involve working from home, his spokesman said.

It is believed Miss Beal, who is also Mr Livingstone's office manager, became pregnant during a trip across Australia.

The couple met in 1996 when she was working at the London Evening Standard's ES magazine, for whom he was a restaurant critic.

He appointed Miss Beal to run his private office after his election victory two years ago.

The couple began seeing each other after Mr Livingstone ended his 20-year relationship with Kate Allen, the UK director of Amnesty International.

They split in November 2001 after spending several months apart, saying they aimed to remain good friends.

In 1973 Mr Livingstone married teacher Christine Chapman but they divorced in 1982.

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 ON THIS STORY
BBC London's Jon Craig
"Ken Livingstone's about to learn what it's like having a baby when you're middle-aged and a busy politician."

Click here to go to BBC London Online
See also:

26 Jun 02 | Politics
30 May 02 | Politics
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