UK’s Boris Johnson moves wedding party planned for official residence

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FILE PHOTO: Boris and Carrie Johnson are seen in the garden of 10 Downing Street, after their wedding, in London

LONDON – Britain’s Boris Johnson and his wife, Carrie, are changing the location of a planned wedding party, an ally of the prime minister said on Friday, denying allegations that he was staying on in a caretaker role because of it.

The Mirror newspaper reported on Thursday that Johnson, who has said he will resign, wanted to stay on for a few months in part because he planned to throw a party at his official Chequers country residence later this month to celebrate his marriage.

An ally of the prime minister said on condition of anonymity that “it’s utterly ridiculous to suggest” the party plan was a reason for Johnson to stay on in a caretaker role. The party would no longer take place at Chequers.

Asked about the report on Thursday, a Downing Street spokesperson said: “The Prime Minister 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.”

In addition to their official 10 Downing Street residence in London, British prime ministers have traditionally used Chequers, a 16th century English country house north of the capital, as a personal country retreat, a place to host world leaders and occasionally, to throw parties.

Johnson married Carrie, 34, last year in a low-key, secret ceremony at Westminster Cathedral in central London in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic.

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The couple’s Chequers wedding party was planned for July 30.

(Reporting by Elizabeth Piper; Editing by Kate Holton and Peter Graff)