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Boris Johnson and wife Carrie to host huge Chequers wedding party as he clings on

Daily Record logo Daily Record 07/07/2022 Pippa Crerar & Peter Diamond
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Boris Johnson wants to stay on as caretaker Tory leader in part to throw a big wedding bash at Chequers later this month, according to Mirror Online. Tory sources have suggested that the Prime Minister and wife Carrie have already scheduled a lavish party at the prestigious country home to mark their marriage.

The couple tied the knot in a secret ceremony at Westminster Cathedral in front of just a handful of guests in May 2021. After the Catholic ceremony the pair celebrated in the Downing Street garden but were only allowed 30 guests because of covid restrictions in place at the time.

The Johnson's Chequers affair, planned for July 30, is anticipated to be a much bigger and more glamorous affair. Two separate sources told the Mirror that Mr and Mrs Johnson were keen to go ahead with the party, to which they have invited many of their family and friends.

But allies of the PM dismissed the suggestion, saying he wanted to stay on as caretaker out of a sense of duty to guide the country until a new leader is found. The PM, who has finally announced that he would resign, would have to cancel the lavish do if he leaves office immediately.

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”.

Carrie Johnson and baby Romny pictured today with supporters of her husband who has resigned © Leon Neal/Getty Images Carrie Johnson and baby Romny pictured today with supporters of her husband who has resigned

A second insider added: “It’s crass if it goes ahead.”

But a spokesman for Mr 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.”

Boris Johnson, his wife Carrie and baby Romy pictured at Chequers © REUTERS Boris Johnson, his wife Carrie and baby Romy pictured at Chequers

Video: Boris Johnson dodges question about Carrie Johnson during PMQs (Evening Standard)

Boris Johnson dodges question about Carrie Johnson during PMQs
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Mr Johnson intends to remain in No 10 until his successor is elected, but he faces resistance to that plan from within his own party and the Opposition. There is not yet any agreement on when he actually has to leave No 10 - and all its trappings - with the executive of the Tory backbench 1922 committee expected to draw up a timetable.

Just minutes before the PM delivered his statement, No 10 sources claimed there were tensions between him and key aides over whether he would commit to a departure date.

Speaking outside Downing Street earlier, he said: “I’ve agreed with Sir Graham Brady, the chairman of our backbench MPs, that the process of choosing that new leader should begin now.

“The timetable will be announced next week. And I’ve today appointed a Cabinet to serve, as I will, until a new leader is in place.”

Chequers, the country residence of the Prime Minister © Getty Images Chequers, the country residence of the Prime Minister

Chequers is a a 16th Century mansion with a heated indoor swimming pool, putting green and 1,500 acres of grounds.

It was donated to the nation in 1917 by Lord and Lady Lee of Fareham as a “place of rest and recreation for Prime Ministers” because some premiers did not even have their own country estates.

Built in 1565 and costing taxpayers almost £1million a year, the sumptuous red-brick is far from most Brits’ everyday experience. The Chequers Trust received a £916,000 “grant in aid” from the Cabinet Office in 2020/21 – up from £882,000 last year and £879,000 the year before.

The Grade I-listed manor has walled gardens, a vast art collection and a half-kilometre driveway through a valley, lined by beech trees donated by Winston Churchill.

David Cameron hosted an Ibiza-style 40th birthday rave for wife Samantha at the house in 2014, inviting 200 guests and even twerking like Miley Cyrus to a trendy DJ.

Margaret Thatcher, who made it “one of her first acts” to turn off the heating for the pool in the Orangery, entertained American President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev at Chequers.

Tony Blair welcomed US President Bill Clinton to the retreat, which is 40 miles from Westminster and ringed with tight security when the PM is in residence.

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