Who will foot the bill for Boris and Carrie’s Chequers wedding party? Tory fury as PM ‘plans to cling to power so he can belatedly celebrate marriage at his official residence with bash that would take the couple a YEAR to afford for themselves’
- Boris and Carrie Johnson are planning a belated bash at the end of July to commemorate their wedding
- They are planning to use Chequers – a grace-and-favour country home – despite Boris’ plan to leave No. 10
- The move has further angered already disgruntled Conservatives, according to some Tory sources
- The couple may also have some work to do on the guest list – many invitees may no longer be welcome
- Carrie Johnson carried daughter Romy yesterday as she watched her husband deliver his resignation speech
- Mrs Johnson, 34, smiled encouragingly as the Prime Minister announced he was ‘sad’ to be stepping down
- It marks the first time Romy’s face has been seen in public in an uncharacteristically open move
Questions about how Boris Johnson and Carrie would pay for a lavish wedding party at Chequers quickly circulated in Westminster yesterday after it emerged the Prime Minister ‘wants to cling onto power long enough to host a belated bash at his official residence’ later this month.
The Johnsons have reportedly planned a big party at the grace-and-favour country home to mark their marriage at the end of July.
Boris yesterday announced his decision to step down amid a sea of ministerial resignations off the back of several scandals, but said he intends to stay on as caretaker leader until a suitable replacement is found, meaning he will likely still be PM by the time the party rolls around.
Carrie, who entered No. 10 as Boris’ girlfriend and leaves as his wife and the mother of two of his children, smiled encouragingly as the Prime Minister announced he was stepping down, admitting: ‘No one is indispensable’.
During his speech, Boris acknowledged the sacrifices made by his wife and family, saying: ‘I want to thank Carrie and my children and all my family, who have put up with so much for so long.’
The couple tied the knot in a secret ceremony at Westminster Cathedral in front of just a handful of guests in May 2021.
But their plan to use a grace-and-favour country home to host their delayed wedding party even as Johnson prepares to depart Downing Street has further angered already disgruntled Conservatives.
One Tory source told The Mirror: ‘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.’
A second source said: ‘It’s crass if it goes ahead.’
The pair also have some work cut out for them when it comes to the guest list for their lavish do.
Their save-the-date cards went out last year, but given that a host of Boris’ Conservative MPs have called for his resignation in recent weeks and declared they do not have faith in his ability to lead the nation, several invitees may soon find out their presence at the wedding bash is no longer desired.
A Downing Street source said: ‘The party is still going ahead, but the guestlist will be a headache.
‘Boris and Carrie sent the ‘save the date’ cards last year but obviously recent developments mean a few of the people they sent them to would not now be as welcome as they once were.’
Carrie Johnson carried seven-month-old daughter Romy as she watched husband Boris Johnson deliver his resignation speech outside Downing Street yesterday. Pictured, Boris ally Nadine Dorries (right) cooed over his baby girl
At one point Carrie leaned down to give her seven-month-old daughter a kiss on the head as she gazed up at her mother
Mrs Johnson, a former Conservative Party communications chief, re-wore a £325 red L.K. Bennett for the occasion and held her daughter Romy in a baby carrier
The couple tied the knot in a secret ceremony at Westminster Cathedral in front of just a handful of guests in May 2021 but according to sources have planned a second event at Chequers at the end of July
No10 had appealed for Conservative MPs to come and watch the speech in the street, but there was only a small crowd of people present, pictured. Mrs Johnson, pictured in red, watched alongside Johnson ally Nadine Dorries (pictured in white)
In a statement in Downing Street, the PM tried to sound an upbeat tone as he confirmed that his time in office is coming to an end. Mr Johnson was watched by his wife Carrie (left) and their daughter Romy
Supportive Carrie was front and centre as Boris delivered his speech yesterday, admitting: ‘No one is indispensable’
How Boris and Carrie planned to build a £150,000 treehouse for Wilf and hoped to host summer BBQs at Chequers – which they ‘use more than recent PMs’ DESPITE ‘falling out with staff’
Chequers, bequeathed to the nation in 1917 by Lord and Lady Lee of Fareham, is part-funded with a grant from the Cabinet Office
Chequers, bequeathed to the nation in 1917 by Lord and Lady Lee of Fareham, is part-funded with a grant from the Cabinet Office.
Lord and Lady Lee wanted the 16th century, 1,000-acre estate to be a ‘place of rest and recreation for Prime Ministers’ to help them cope with the pressures of government.
The grant was around £690,000 a year under Mr Cameron, but has now risen to £916,000 under Mr Johnson.
One source previously acknowledged that the Johnsons ‘use Chequers more’ than recent PMs, and the costs are higher as a result.
In May, it was claimed the head housekeeper at the PM’s Chequers residence quit after clashing with Carrie.
Charlotte Vine MBE reportedly left with a payoff in 2020 after signing a non-disclosure agreement.
According to the Times, the departure came after tensions with the premier’s wife. However, a spokeswoman for Mrs Johnson insisted that there was no dispute.
Ms Vine is said to have first worked at the 16th-century Buckinghamshire manor house in 2004.
She left to join the household at another ministerial residence, Dorneywood, before returning to the top job at Chequers.
The Times said Ms Vine faced disciplinary action over ‘inappropriate handling of a personal item’ belonging to Mr Johnson, but this was later dropped and she left with a pay-off in January 2020.
A source told the newspaper that the friction with Mrs Johnson began soon after they began using the residence.
‘Carrie took something Charlotte said completely the wrong way. It started over a catering matter. It led to Carrie refusing to go to Chequers when Charlotte was there.’
A spokeswoman for the PM’s wife told MailOnline: ‘It is untrue to suggest there was a personal dispute between Mrs Johnson and the head housekeeper.
‘Nor was there any request from Mrs Johnson for staffing changes.’
There are also claims that there has been a reduction in the number of staff introduced by David Cameron during the coalition’s austerity drive.
Four more workers are said to have been added since Mr Johnson became PM.
Meanwhile it also emerged last month that emerged Mr Johnson planned a £150,000 treehouse in the grounds of Chequers for his two-year-old son Wilf but abandoned the idea after police raised security concerns.
The Prime Minister and his wife Carrie Johnson wanted to build the structure, which included bulletproof glass, in 2020. According to The Times, there were discussions about having Tory donor Lord Brownlow pay for the project.
Asked if a penny of taxpayer or donor money was spent on plans to build a Chequers treehouse, the PM said: ‘I’m not going to comment on non-existent objects or non-existent jobs to do with my family.’
Meanwhile insiders told only last month how Mr Johnson planned to host a series of ‘barbecues and drinks’ at Chequers for party loyalists to shore up support this summer.
Several barbecues were lined up at the Prime Minister’s grace-and-favour residence as a reward for loyal supporters.
Insiders said the invitation list has been drawn up specifically to include MPs who publicly said they would vote for the Prime Minister in a confidence vote.
Mr Johnson’s ‘summer sausage offensive’ was planned as several events in the second half of July, insiders said.
Mrs Johnson, a former Conservative Party communications chief, re-wore a £325 red L.K. Bennett dress for the occasion today and held her daughter Romy in a £95 BabyBjörn baby carrier. She finished her outfit with £90 red slingbacks from Dune.
It marks the first time Romy’s face has been seen. The couple have previously only shared photos of their daughter, who was born in December, taken from behind, and Boris is known to be private with his family.
Yesterday, Romy was wearing a a pair of bright bird-printed trousers and had a bright yellow bow pinned to her brown curly hair.
At one point Carrie leaned down to plant a kiss on her daughter’s head and smiled as the little girl took in the sights and sounds of the busy scene.
The hands-on mother, who last month brought her daughter along to the G7 summit, looked relaxed despite the gravity of the situation. The couple also share a son Wilfred, two, but he was not present.
Boris Johnson finally announced his resignation yesterday admitting ‘no-one is indispensable’ – but is lining up a ‘unity Cabinet’ as he battles to stay in Downing Street for months longer.
The Prime Minister tried to sound an upbeat tone as he confirmed that his time in office is coming to an end.
Standing in front of the traditional podium and watched by wife Carrie, baby Romy and close aides, Mr Johnson pointed to his achievements since winning the huge landslide – such as the vaccine rollout, Brexit and coming to the aid of Ukraine.
Wife Carrie joined Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries (pictured in white) in leading the applause as Mr Johnson arrived
Seven-month-old Romy, pictured, was on her best behaviour throughout the speech but Carrie clutched a dummy just in case
Mrs Johnson, 34, who entered No. 10 as Boris’ girlfriend and leaves as his wife and the mother of two of his children, smiled encouragingly as the Prime Minister announced he was stepping down, admitting: ‘No one is indispensable’
Smiling Carrie Johnson, 34, gazed at little Romy as she held her daughter in a grey baby carrier outside No. 10
Romy was wearing a a pair of bright bird-printed trousers and had a bright yellow bow pinned to her brown curly hair
British Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries held Romy’s hand and gazed at the baby as the crowd waited for Mr Johnson
Hands-on mother Carrie covered baby Romy’s ears as she made her way through the crowd outside No. 10 on Thursday
Mrs Johnson smiled as she took her place at the front of the crowd that had gathered to watch the Prime Minister resign
The Prime Minister’s wife stood out from the crowd in a vibrant red dress as Johnson loyalists turned out for the speech
Mother-of-two Carrie, who also has son Wilfred, placed a protective hand over her daughter’s head during the event
The politician’s wife brought a splash of colour to proceedings in her bright red L.K. Bennett frock, which she wore last year
He said his message to voters who delivered his 2019 landslide was ‘thank you for that incredible mandate’, adding the ‘reason I have fought so hard’ was because he felt it was his ‘job’ to deliver what he promised.
‘I want you to know how sad I am to be giving up the best job in the world, but them’s the breaks,’ he said.
Mr Johnson blamed ‘powerful herd instinct’ for his ousting, saying: ‘At Westminster the herd instinct is powerful, when the herd moves, it moves.
‘And my friends in politics, no one is remotely indispensable and our brilliant and Darwinian system will produce another leader, equally committed to taking this country forward through tough times.’
Mr Johnson paid tribute to his family for ‘all they have put up with’, in a nod to the succession of scandals that have blighted his premiership.
‘Our future is golden,’ he finished.
Mrs Johnson smiled at her baby daughter as she joined the Johnson loyalist watching the resignation speech outside No. 10
Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries cooed over the youngest member of the Johnson brood before the Prime Minister arrived
Mrs Johnson kept any concern from her face and smiled as she watched her husband step down in a dramatic move
The concerned mother kept her hands placed firmly over baby Romy’s ears as she made her way through the crowd
Mr Johnson was joined by loyalists as he delivered his resignation speech at Downing Street. Carrie was front and centre
Can the PM REALLY hang on in No10 until October?
The UK famously does not have a written constitution.
But the process for changing Prime Ministers has been well established for centuries.
Both David Cameron and Theresa May followed the standard route of resigning as Tory leader, but staying on as PM until a replacement is chosen.
That can take months, as the party’s MPs first whittle down the field to two candidates in a series of votes.
They are then meant to be put to the wider Conservative membership in a run-off – although in the case of Mrs May her opponent Andrea Leadsom pulled out avoiding the need for the last stage.
As soon as a new Tory leader is in place they will be the person who commands a majority in the Commons, and then the Queen can make them PM.
In contrast, if Mr Johnson decided to quit as PM immediately, the hierarchy within government would kick in. Dominic Raab would be the next in line to take the helm in No10, again until the Tory leadership contest is complete.
However, the mechanism for preventing a determined Mr Johnson from hanging on as PM during a Tory contest is less obvious.
Senior Tories serving on the 1922 committee executive say there are no provisions in the rules for imposing a temporary leader while a permanent one is chosen.
They believe that anyone who did serve as a caretaker PM would have to stay out of the leadership race, to avoid having an ‘unfair advantage’.
However, the 1922 executive is meeting again this afternoon and rules can be changed.
After the events of recent days, there is deep anxiety about leaving Mr Johnson in place for another two months – especially with rumours swirling that he still wants to pursue radical new policies.
No10 had appealed for Conservative MPs to come and watch the speech in the street, but there only seemed to be a small crowd present.
Mr Johnson admitted defeat in the wake of a shattering intervention from Nadhim Zahawi, who was only appointed on Tuesday night following Rishi Sunak’s departure. He told Mr Johnson that his situation is ‘not sustainable’.
A No10 source said Mr Johnson has spoken to Tory 1922 Committee chairman Sir Graham Brady and agreed to stand down, with a new Tory leader set to be in place by the party conference in October.
A spokeswoman said the PM will ‘make a statement to the country’, which is due around 1pm.
However, at the same time Mr Johnson has set about rebuilding his Cabinet, making Greg Clark the new Levelling Up Secretary and James Cleverly the Education Secretary. Robert Buckland is returning as Welsh Secretary, and Shailesh Vara takes over as Northern Ireland Secretary.
Kit Malthouse becomes Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster.
Mr Clark was in the Cabinet under Theresa May but stepped down when Mr Johnson took over, and Mr Buckland was axed as Justice Secretary in a reshuffle last year. Mr Vara was previously a Northern Ireland minister but has been out of government.
The others are long-standing allies promoted from other jobs.
The PM’s resignation announcement will effectively fire the starting gun on what looks set to be a chaotic leadership battle. Foreign Secretary Liz Truss – expected to be a candidate – is cutting short a visit to Indonesia to return to the UK.
However, it is far from clear that Mr Johnson staying on until October – more than two months – will be acceptable to Tory MPs. More than 50 government members have resigned, and there will be questions over whether they can simply be reappointed, or would even agree to that. There are rumours that Mr Johnson still wants to push key policies such as tax cuts.
Keir Starmer threatened to call a Parliamentary confidence vote and try to force a general election if Mr Johnson does not leave immediately.
‘He needs to go completely. None of this nonsense about clinging on for a few months,’ he said.
George Freeman, who announced he was resigning as science minister this morning, said Mr Johnson must apologise to the Queen and advise her to call for a caretaker PM.
‘Boris Johnson needs to hand in the seals of office, apologise to Her Majesty and advise her to call for a caretaker prime minister,’ he said. ‘To take over today so that ministers can get back to work and we can choose a new Conservative leader to try and repair the damage and rebuild trust.’
A former minister told MailOnline: ‘We need to be rid of the Johnson poison as quickly as possible.’
Mr Johnson said his message to voters who delivered his 2019 landslide was ‘thank you for that incredible mandate’, adding the ‘reason I have fought so hard’ was because he felt it was his ‘job’ to deliver what he promised
Mr Johnson emerged from Downing Street at 12.30pm to deliver his momentous statement to the country
Carrie Johnson was just feet away as her husband announced he was stepping down following a dramatic 48 hours in politics
Mother-of-two Carrie shielded Romy as she made her way back inside No. 10 following the resignation speech yesterday
Mr Johnson, who says he intends to serve until a new Prime Minister is chosen this autumn, leaves the podium after resigning
What next for Carrie Johnson? As Boris quits, how his third wife has gone from the first Downing Street girlfriend to a mother-of-two with serious influence and style credentials – so, could a political career be on the cards?
Boris Johnson has announced that he will finally quit after a slew of high profile resignations and damning statements from even his most loyal allies brought his premiership to its knees.
The resignation will impact not only his life but the life of his family, most notably his third wife Carrie Johnson, 34, who made history when she became the first girlfriend of a Prime Minister to officially live in Downing Street.
Carrie, a former Conservative Party communications chief, was simply ‘Miss Symonds’ when she and Boris first shacked up together in 2019.
What’s next for Carrie Johnson? Boris Johnson has announced that he will finally quit yesterday. The resignation will impact not only his life but the life of his family, most notably his wife Carrie Johnson, 34, who made history when she became the first girlfriend of a Prime Minister to officially live in Downing Street. Pictured, the couple at the G7 last month
Early days: Carrie, then Miss Symonds, was pictured alongside Boris Johnson’s family as he arrived at Downing Street following the leadership election in July 2019. The couple have since welcomed two children together, Wilfred, now two, and seven-month- daughter Romy
Fashionista: The conservationist, who has been accused of being at the centre of drama at No. 10, has also made headlines with her sustainable wardrobe, often choosing to rent dresses for even the most high profile engagements. Pictured, in a rented dress in Rwanda last month
The couple have since welcomed two children together, Wilfred, now two, and daughter Romy, who was born in December last year.
The Johnson children have been raised in No. 11 Downing Street, traditionally the Chancellor’s grace-and-favour flat but one that was commandeered by the Prime Minister because it offered his young family more space.
Mrs Johnson – she and Boris wed in a low-key wedding in May 2020 – has embraced the role of ‘first lady’, joining Mr Johnson at international summits and campaigning for causes close to her heart.
The conservationist, who has been accused of being at the centre of drama at No. 10, has also made headlines with her sustainable wardrobe, often choosing to rent dresses for even the most high profile engagements.
But what next for Carrie Johnson? Here, a look back at her time at No. 10 – and what the future might hold…
A CAREER IN POLITICS
Time for her own political career: Mrs Johnson has put herself front and centre in many of Mr Johnson’s most high profile engagements, including the recent G7 summit where she rubbed shoulders with President Biden. It is possible she might pursue her own political career
From by his side… to centre stage? The public relations expert had been in the Westminster Bubble for most of her remarkably ascendant career, a high-point being when she was made head of party PR aged just 29. Pictured, Boris and Carrie at the Tory party conference in 2019
Speaking out: Carrie delivered a speech at the Tory Party Conference in Manchester last year
Mrs Johnson, a former Conservative Party communications chief, found herself making headlines when she was romantically linked to Mr Johnson in 2019, just months after the announcement of his separation from second wife Marina Wheeler.
The public relations expert had been in the so-called Westminster Bubble for most of her remarkably ascendant career, a high-point being when she was made head of party PR aged just 29.
Carrie joined the Tory party media machine in 2009, first as a press adviser, then head of broadcast at Conservative campaign headquarters ahead of the 2015 general election.
Her association with Mr Johnson dates back to the early years, having worked on his successful re-election bid at City Hall in 2012.
During her husband’s years in office she remained an influential figure.
Carrie, once described as the ‘most powerful woman in Britain’, and was at one point branded Boris’ de facto chief of staff.
Miss Symonds’s ‘unelected and unaccountable’ role in Government is ‘damaging to democracy,’ Nic Conner, who worked with Miss Symonds on the Brexit campaign, said in February 2021.
He told the Daily Mail that he has no grudge against the former director of Tory communications and was not being sexist, but is concerned she is acting unconstitutionally as friends are hired and rivals fired inside No 10.
Mr Conner said: ‘In light of my experience working with Carrie Symonds, I am deeply concerned that she should have any role in governing the country without authority or accountability.
‘Anyone holding so much unelected power, and who cannot be removed, is not only unconstitutional but is damaging to British democracy.’
Mr Conner’s comments came after the conservative think tank, the Bow Group – of which he is a research fellow – called for an independent inquiry into the role of Mrs Johnson within government.
Bow Group chairman Ben Harris-Quinney added: ‘No romantic partner of the PM has ever involved themselves to this degree. It’s completely unjustifiable in a modern democracy, and calling me or the Bow Group sexist doesn’t change that.’
The most prominent casualty of Miss Symond’s alleged influence was Mr Johnson’s right-hand man Dominic Cummings, who left in November 2020 after clashing with her.
Mr Cummings’s ally, communications chief Lee Cain, soon followed him out of the door amid claims that Mirs Johnson was calling the PM 20 times a day, and had been nicknamed ‘Princess Nut Nut’ by her detractors.
A spokesman for Mrs Johnson declined to comment on the allegations against her at the time they were originally published in the Daily Mail.
Carrie was also reportedly behind Sajid Javid’s appointment as Health Secretary. Cummings spoke out to claim Mrs Johnson, who was once a special adviser to Mr Javid during his tenure as Communities Secretary, engineered the move.
The PM’s wife is even said to have had a hand in policy. Boris has championed the UK becoming Net Zero in terms of emissions by 2050, under a swing to green advocacy said to have been driven by his wife.
Carrie, who has put on chummy displays with everyone from Joe Biden to Brigitte Macron, might well want to put her experience at the very heart of British politics to use by pursuing a career in her own right.
It is difficult to imagining this happening any time soon, but Mrs Johnson has proved herself a force to be reckoned with and should definitely not be counted out.
A FORAY INTO FASHION
Fashion maven: Dressed in pink from head-to-toe, Carrie Johnson, 34, steps off a plane in Rwanda with her husband, Boris Johnson. Her double-breasted blazer (£79.99), and matching trousers (£49.99) are from high-street store Zara
Sustainable dressing: Carrie Johnson has showcased her style prowess once again when stepping out at day four of Royal Ascot today in a rented Emilia Wickstead dress
Re-wearing favourite pieces: Mrs Johnson, 34, sported a recycled £85 fuschia dress from & Other Stories, a John Lewis hat and Michael Kors shoes for Trooping the Colour over the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee weekend. She first wore the outfit in 2019
Sustainable wedding day: Carrie favours online rental service My Wardrobe HQ. It was through the website that she hired her wedding dress, a creation by Greek designer Christos Costarellos which bought new would cost £2,830, but she borrowed for £45 a day
Carrie Johnson has championed a more ‘sustainable’ approach to fashion during her years in Downing Street, stepping out in rented dresses and pieces from independent British labels.
The 34-year-old, who is a fan of printed midi dresses and chic power suits, even remained true to this low impact approach to fashion at major global events like the G7 summit where she has worn rented pieces from the likes of The Vampire’s Wife and Amanda Wakeley.
On other occasions she has re-worn pieces from her wardrobe, like the £85 fuschia dress from & Other Stories which she teamed with a John Lewis hat and Michael Kors shoes for the Platinum Jubilee.
Carrie favours online rental service My Wardrobe HQ. It was through the website that she hired her wedding dress, a creation by Greek designer Christos Costarellos which bought new would cost £2,830, but she borrowed for £45 a day.
Given her evident love of fashion, it is possible Carrie might consider exploring it as a post-Downing Street career.
She could turn to fellow former PM’s wife Samantha Cameron for advice.
Sam Cam, who served as Creative Director at British accessories brand Smythson of Bond Street, from 1997 until May 2010, launched her own clothing label, Cefinn, after she and husband David left No. 10.
RAISING TWO CHILDREN
Mummy’s little girl! Proud mother Carrie Johnson shared a behind-the-scenes snap of her six-month-old daughter Romy at the G7 summit, a week after the family joined the Prime Minister in Rwanda
Looking out on the world: Carrie posted a second snap showing little Romy playing on a swing set in the countryside
Romy’s world tour! It came after Mrs Johnson shared a photograph of Romy in Rwanda, where they joined Mr Johnson on a three-day visit to the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM)
On the world stage: Boris and Carrie’s son Wilfred, now two, played an important role in last year’s G7 summit – helping to break the ice as his parents welcomed the Bidens to Cornwall
Charming the First Lady: Mr and Mrs Johnson invited the President and the First Lady to meet their boy on the beach and later released a number of carefully selected photographs from the encounter
Fortunately for Carrie and Boris, the move out of No. 11 is unlikely to cause any major disruption for their two young children, who are too young to attend nursery.
It remains to be seen where the couple will set up home as a family once they move out of Downing Street but Boris and Carrie own a £1.3million house in Camberwell.
Or it is possible they could choose to leave London for more space in the country.
Wilf – or Wilfred Lawrie Nicholas Johnson in full – was named after Mr and Mrs Johnson’s grandfathers and partly in tribute to two doctors, Nick Hart and Nick Price, who helped save Mr Johnson’s life when he was in hospital with Covid in 2020.
The two-year-old, who has inherited his father’s mop of blonde hair, is said to loves cars and animals, especially the family’s Jack Russell-cross Dilyn.
He has already enjoyed a glittering life as the son of the Prime Minister, meeting Joe and Jill Biden on a Cornwall beach at last year’s G7.
Meanwhile Romy Iris Charlotte Johnson, who was born at University College London hospital on December 9, was also named after close family members.
Mrs Johnson explained the choice of name: ‘Romy after my aunt, Rosemary. Iris from the Greek, meaning rainbow. Charlotte [after] Boris’s late mum whom we miss so much.’
In 2021, Mrs Johnson had a miscarriage, which she said left her heartbroken, before becoming pregnant with Romy. When she announced the pregnancy last year, she said she and her husband were ‘hoping for our rainbow baby this Christmas’.
A ‘rainbow baby’ is the term given to a child born after a miscarriage, stillbirth or neonatal death.
Last month, Romy joined her parents on a Commonwealth visit to Rwanda before making the trip to Germany for the G7 summit.
Boris and Carrie have chosen to keep their children out of the spotlight and have only shared photos taken from behind.
SAYING GOODBYE TO THEIR DESIGNER HOME
Redesign: Mr and Mrs Johnson will be closing the door on a rather pricey – and controversial – interior design project helmed by Lulu Lytle, pictured
Carrie’s inspiration: Carrie Symonds interiors overhaul after moving into Number 11 Downing Street is said to have been inspired by Lulu Lytle – with an example of her work pictured above
Perhaps one of the biggest difficulties for any outgoing PM’s wife is saying goodbye to the place they have called home.
In the case of Mr and Mrs Johnson, it also means closing the door on a rather pricey – and controversial – interior design project.
The couple, who share one-year-old son Wilfred and are expecting a second child together, spent £90,000 refitting the grace and favour apartment at No.11, which reportedly looked like a ‘John Lewis nightmare’ after Theresa May’s residency.
They turned to society interiors guru Lulu Lytle for help, thrusting her into the centre of a debate over the eye-watering cost of the makeover, and who paid for it.
Lytle is the founder of Soane Britain, a company offering clients wall-to-wall luxe with a promise of bringing ‘joie de vivre’ into the home – for a hefty price. A single rattan light can cost £7,200, while a desk can be more than £10,000.
Money was at the centre of the backlash following the news Lytle had been brought in to redesign Downing Street, with critics questioning why the Johnsons needed such an expensive makeover, as well as, more importantly, how it had been funded.
At one point it was thought the works cost as much as £200,000, but official documents later revealed the figure to be less than £90,000, with £30,000 from his publicly funded allowance and an additional £58,000 settled privately.
The refurbishments to the flat in No 11 sparked sustained scrutiny of Mr Johnson’s finances, with the works vastly exceeding the £30,000 annual limit afforded to the Prime Minister.
Conservative Party accounts published in August revealed its central office provided a ‘bridging loan’ of £52,802 to cover the works after being invoiced by the Cabinet Office in June last year.
The party was ‘reimbursed in full’ in October by Lord Brownlow, a former vice-chairman of the party who has made more than £3million in donations over the years.
Mr Johnson then ‘settled the costs’ incurred by the Conservative peer in March.
Three different reviews and reports were launched into the funding, one each by the Electoral Commission and parliamentary commissioner for standards, while the Prime Minister announced his new independent adviser on ministerial interests Lord Geidt would also investigate.
Lord Geidt found Mr Johnson acted ‘unwisely’ in allowing the refurbishment to go ahead without ‘more rigorous regard for how this would be funded’, but did not breach the ministerial code.
No 10 said: ‘Lord Geidt’s independent report shows the Prime Minister acted in accordance with the ministerial code at all times. The Prime Minister has made a declaration in his List of Ministerial Interests, as advised by Lord Geidt.’
From a rocky start to political power couple: A timeline of Boris and Carrie Johnson’s relationship
2009: Carrie Symonds, then 21, joins the Conservative Party as press officer. Her association with Mr Johnson dates back to the early years, having worked on his successful re-election bid at City Hall in 2012.
February 2018: Boris, then still married to wife Maria Wheeler, is spotted with Carrie outside the Conservative party Black and White Ball at the Natural History Museum. It is thought to be the first time the pair were photographed together.
September 2018: News breaks that Boris has been kicked out of the marital home by his wife of 25 years amid reports he was seeing another woman.
First photo: Boris, then still married to wife Maria Wheeler, is spotted with Carrie outside the Conservative party Black and White Ball at the Natural History Museum. It is thought to be the first time the pair were photographed together
June 2019: By now Boris and Carrie are living together in her flat in Camberwell, South East London. Reports emerge that police were called to the property after neighbours heard a loud altercation involving screaming, shouting and banging. Symonds could allegedly be heard telling Johnson to ‘get off me’ and ‘get out of my flat’.
Police initially said they had no record of a domestic incident at the address, but later issued a statement saying: ‘At 00:24hrs on Friday, 21 June, police responded to a call from a local resident in [south London]. The caller was concerned for the welfare of a female neighbour.
‘Police attended and spoke to all occupants of the address, who were all safe and well. There were no offences or concerns apparent to the officers and there was no cause for police action.’
Neither Boris nor Carrie have spoken publicly about the incident.
Front and centre: Boris Johnson is elected as the leader of the Conservative party. Carrie is pictured alongside his family as he arrives at Downing Street
June 2019: A few days later the couple were pictured holding hands in the countryside.
July 2019: The couple buy a £1.3million house in Camberwell after Boris sells the £3.7million mansion he shared with wife Marina.
23 July 2019: Boris Johnson is elected as the leader of the Conservative party and Prime Minister. Carrie is pictured alongside his family as he arrives at Downing Street.
29 July 2019: Spokesperson confirms Carrie Symonds will move into Downing Street. They are the first unmarried couple to officially live at the address.
September 2019: Couple adopt a rescue dog, Dilyn.
December 2019: Boris Johnson wins the general election and the couple flies to St Lucia and Mustique to celebrate
February 2020: Boris Johnson’s divorce from Marina Wheeler is approved to proceed
29 February 2020: Boris and Carrie announce they are engaged and expecting a baby. A spokesperson for the couple said: ‘The prime minister and Miss Symonds are very pleased to announce their engagement and that they are expecting a baby in the early summer.’
27 March 2020: Boris Johnson tests positive for Covid-19 and is subsequently hospitalised.
29 April 2020: Couple welcome their son Wilfred. Wilfred Lawrie Nicholas Johnson in full – was named after Mr and Mrs Johnson’s grandfathers and partly in tribute to two doctors, Nick Hart and Nick Price, who helped save Mr Johnson’s life when he was in hospital with Covid in 2020.
Family life: Couple welcome their son Wilfred. Wilfred Lawrie Nicholas Johnson in full – was named after Mr and Mrs Johnson’s grandfathers and partly in tribute to two doctors, Nick Hart and Nick Price, who helped save Mr Johnson’s life when he was in hospital with Covid in 2020. Pictured, the family in the study of No 10
26 May 2020: Boris and Carrie Johnson wed at Westminster Cathedral with a small garden party the following day. News was made public a few days later.
31 July 2020: Couple announce they are expecting a second child and reveal they suffered a miscarriage earlier in the year.
June 2021: Carrie joins Boris at the G7 summit and introduces son Wilfred to President Biden and his wife Jill
9 December 2021: Carrie and Boris announce birth of a baby girl
16 December 2021: The couple announced they have named their daughter Romy Iris Charlotte Johnson.
Baby girl: Carrie and Boris announce birth of a baby girl. The couple later revealed they had named their daughter Romy Iris Charlotte Johnson (pictured with brother Wilf)
Mrs Johnson explained the choice of name: ‘Romy after my aunt, Rosemary. Iris from the Greek, meaning rainbow. Charlotte [after] Boris’s late mum whom we miss so much.’
June 2022: Carrie joins Boris at a series of high profile events including the Platinum Jubilee, a Commonwealth visit to Rwanda and the G7 summit. Daughter Romy joins her parents on the latter two.
7 July 2022: Boris Johnson announces he will resign following a slew of resignations