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PM’s partner Carrie Symonds makes first speech since No 10 move

Carrie Symonds speaks at Birdfair

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Reuters

Boris Johnson’s partner Carrie Symonds has made her first public speech since moving into Downing Street last month.

She gave a short address to the Birdfair environmental event at Rutland Water Nature Reserve.

Ms Symonds is also due to join a question and answer session with Chris Packham, presenter of BBC Springwatch.

She quit as director of communications for the Conservatives last year and is now a senior adviser for US environmental campaign group Oceana.

The 31-year-old works with the charity’s marketing operation in London and a profile on its website describes her as being “passionate about protecting the oceans and marine life”.

‘Glastonbury of bird-watching’

In a brief speech, Ms Symonds said she was a newcomer to bird-watching, having become interested after visiting a puffin colony at Bempton in East Yorkshire.

She said she had been alarmed at seeing a picture of a slaughtered bird in a newspaper shortly afterwards, and condemned the trophy hunting of puffins.

Ms Symonds also referred to the “catastrophic levels” of plastic pollution in the oceans and said politicians and industry had a gigantic responsibility to care for the environment.

But she was “profoundly optimistic”, saying those who cared for the environment, particularly the younger generation, were in a majority.

She also referred to people’s description of Birdfair as being the “Glastonbury of the bird-watching world”.

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PA Media

More than 24,000 people attended Birdfair last year over three days.

Tim Appleton, founder of the annual event for birdwatchers, said it has raised £40m for global conservation projects in the 31 years that it has been running.

He said: “We’re absolutely over the moon that Carrie is supporting us and we hope she will continue supporting us and conservation for many years to come.”

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