Boris Johnson and wife Carrie scrap Chequers wedding party

Public outcry over outgoing leader's plans for summer 'soiree'

Boris and Carrie Johnson will no longer be hosting a wedding party at Chequers, the UK prime minister's official country residence. Photo: Downing Street.
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Boris Johnson and his wife Carrie Johnson are no longer planning to host a wedding party at Chequers, the UK prime minister's official country residence.

After his resignation on Thursday, newspaper reports suggested that the outgoing leader was trying to hold on to his position so he could use the exclusive venue later this year for the party.

The claim caused consternation among MPs and the general public who had already turned against Mr Johnson over allegations of lying and a lack of integrity while in office.

Mr Johnson and his wife married in a low-key private ceremony at Westminster Cathedral last year.

A small group of family and friends attended the wedding, organised in strict secrecy, which was followed by a reception in the gardens of 10 Downing Street.

It was known Mr and Mrs Johnson planned to have a larger celebration in 2022, when coronavirus restrictions were likely to be relaxed.

They were said to have sent save-the-date cards to family and friends for the celebration on July 30.

A newspaper reported last month that this would take the form of a “champagne-soaked soiree” at the PM’s country residence to celebrate the couple’s first anniversary.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson announces his resignation outside 10 Downing Street watched by his wife Carrie, holding daughter Romy. PA

It had been suggested that Mr Johnson wanted to stay on as a caretaker prime minister in part to see this through ― although this claim was denied by Downing Street.

Reports later emerged that the pair were keen to go ahead with the celebrations.

The PA news agency understands that the pair are now planning to move the wedding to a different location.

The Sun newspaper, which first reported on the change of plans, quotes sources who label as “frankly absurd” the suggestion that the wedding event had an influence on Mr Johnson’s desire to stay on as caretaker.

Newl Education Secretary James Cleverly had earlier told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme that a new prime minister should let the couple have their wedding party at Chequers even if Mr Johnson is gone by then.

Mr Cleverly said: “I think that if that is done by that point in time, I suspect that it would be a rather generous action of the new prime minister to allow that to go ahead.

“Private functions like that do not impose a burden on the public purse.

“I think it’s churlish to be negative about two people who want to celebrate their marriage and their love for each other.”

Boris Johnson's time as British Prime Minister - in pictures

Updated: July 08, 2022, 11:58 AM