James Forsyth

Lead by example: take paternity leave

Lead by example: take paternity leave
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The birth of the Cameron’s baby daughter is, obviously, wonderful news for the Cameron family. All the political chatter around it is, frankly, irrelevant compared to the happiness that they must be feeling.  

But I do hope that David Cameron does take paternity leave. The Tories have talked a lot about making Britain the ‘most family friendly country in Europe’ and the PM taking paternity leave would be a good ‘nudge’ to employers and prospective fathers alike.

One other timing issue worth noting is whether Cameron now goes to the UN summit in New York on the millennium development goals. The summit overlaps with Lib Dem conference but Clegg was scheduled to go — giving his speech early in the week and then leaving conference early—because the Camerons might have still been waiting for the baby to arrive. Given the concerns some Lib Dems have about the coalition, it would make sense for Clegg to stay for the whole conference if possible.

UPDATE: Downing Street has announced that Cameron will take two weeks paternity leave. The culture has just been given a welcome nudge.