Boris Johnson 'ditches plans' for lavish wedding party at Chequers after backlash

·Breaking News Editor, Yahoo News UK
·3-min read
Boris and Carrie Johnson have reportedly ditched plans for a wedding party at Chequers (PA)
Boris and Carrie Johnson have reportedly ditched plans for a wedding party at Chequers (PA)

Boris and Carrie Johnson have reportedly ditched plans for a wedding party at Chequers, after a backlash over reports he wanted to remain as prime minister to host the event there.

The pair married in a low-key, private ceremony at Westminster Cathedral in May last year, attended by a small gathering in line with the COVID restrictions at the time.

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 held at the Prime Minister's country retreat in Buckinghamshire, the Mirror reported.

Johnson faced criticism after he resigned as prime minister on Friday amid reports wanted to remain as a caretaker prime minister in part to see this through.

Downing Street denied the claim.

No10 sources confirmed the venue has been changed amid the backlash.

Boris and Carrie Johnson are seen in the garden of 10 Downing Street, after their wedding, in London, Britain May 29, 2021. Picture taken May 29, 2021. Rebecca Fulton/Pool via REUTERS     TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Boris and Carrie Johnson married in a low-key, private ceremony at Westminster Cathedral last year in line with COVID restrictions. (PA)

The news came after newly appointed education secretary James Cleverly suggested if a new prime minister is in power by the time of the party, then it would be "generous" of them to allow it to go ahead.

Cleverly told the Today programme: "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."

He added: "Like so many people - many, many people across the country had their wedding plans and celebrations disrupted because of Covid.

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

"Other people are doing it in their own ways around the country."

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But others pointed out thousands of others had their weddings cancelled due to the pandemic.

SNP MP Peter Bone tweeted: "How nice.

"Now that we know you can have Chequers for free for a delayed wedding celebration I’m away to phone everyone I know whose weddings were delayed and / or severely restricted in numbers due to the pandemic to encourage them to make a booking."

The Evening Standard 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.

The Mirror said it was told by two separate sources that the pair were keen to go ahead with the celebrations.

One Tory source said: “It beggars belief that even after all the criticism Johnson has faced regarding integrity and probity, one of the reasons he is staying is to have his wedding party at Chequers.

“It’s a national asset not his personal home. The Johnsons should do the decent thing and find a different venue. And Boris should do the decent thing and leave No 10 immediately”.

A second insider told the paper: “It’s crass if it goes ahead.”

But a spokesman for Johnson said: “The PM has a strong sense of duty and will continue to serve his country until a new leader is in place solely to continue his obligation to the public.”