New baby jubilation for Ripon politicians

Ripon Mayor Andrew Williams and Mayoress Pascar Moyo with baby Lilly-May. (130130M2a)
Ripon Mayor Andrew Williams and Mayoress Pascar Moyo with baby Lilly-May. (130130M2a)

It’s been a double celebration of baby joy for Ripon’s Mayor and MP after each welcomed the safe arrival of a newborn girl.

Mayor of Ripon Coun Andrew Williams and Ripon MP Julian Smith were both overjoyed at the birth of their first children after their two baby girls were born within five days of each other.

The Mayor said it was a “marvellous experience” to welcome a healthy baby girl into the world.

Mayoress Pascar Moyo gave birth to LillyMay, weighing 6lb 8oz, on Saturday, January 26, just after 3am.

Coun Williams broke the news on Twitter, saying: “Over the moon to announce the arrival of a gorgeous healthy baby girl.”

He told the Gazette: “We deliberately didn’t find out whether it was a boy or a girl until the day of the birth, so there was that element of surprise.”

Just days before, Mr Smith’s wife, Amanda, gave birth to Poppy at 1.51pm on Monday, January 21.

She weighed 7lb 6oz and the MP described her as “perfect”.

Mr Smith tweeted on Wednesday, January 23: “Poppy entered the world on Monday. She has a very proud mum and dad.

Speaking to the Gazette, Mr Smith: “We are really grateful for the kind messages and good wishes that we’ve received from across the constituency and from Parliamentary colleagues at Westminster.”

He added: “The sleepless nights have begun!”

Local residents have also expressed their joy after hearing the two politicians’ good news.

Former Ripon city Coun Jeremy Banyard tweeted: “Congratulations to 
@CllrAWilliams and @JulianSmithMP on their baby girls. Now you will know what hard work really means!”

It is a rare occurrence for the city’s Mayor and Mayoress to celebrate the birth of a child at the same time as the MP, and this is the first time in nearly 120 years a serving Mayor and Mayoress have brought a little bundle of joy into the world.

Serving in his third term as Mayor in 1898, John Banks Lee celebrated the birth of a son and had also become a grandfather soon after taking office.