Guests arrive for the wedding of Boris and Carrie Johnson at the grand Cotswolds estate of a major Tory donor.
The outgoing Prime Minister and his wife welcome family and friends to 18th century Daylesford House to celebrate their nuptials with a wider circle, after the pandemic forced them to scale down the festivities last year.
The groom’s father, Stanley Johnson, 81, was seen driving into the estate on Saturday afternoon.
A likely less welcome guest was anti-Brexit protester Steve Bray, who stood in a road near the wedding venue with a giant banner reading ‘corrupt Tory government’.
All eyes will be on the guest list for the event, and whether defectors from Johnson’s government will still get an invite.
His former Chancellor Rishi Sunak and current Foreign Secretary Liz Truss are sure to miss the party as they are on the campaign trail to try to replace the prime minister.
Truss, on a campaign visit to Bromley, defended Johnson for hosting the lavish celebrations at a time when millions are saddled with ballooning bills.
Asked if the Prime Minister should focus on such crises facing the country instead of celebrating, she told reporters: “I think he has the right to enjoy his day off. wedding, and I wish him, Carrie and the whole family the best.”
The event takes place under a huge white marquee on the extensive landscaped grounds of Daylesford House in Gloucestershire.
The Grade I listed mansion is owned by Lord Bamford, chairman of construction equipment manufacturer JCB, who has donated millions to the Tories.
This week, staff were seen moving in and out of the bunting-topped tent amid apparent preparations for the party.
Guests will be able to relax on hay bales and benches placed outside the marquee and eat and drink from barrels and small tables while enjoying the view of vast meadows and orchards.
Boris and Carrie Johnson originally planned to hold their wedding party at the Prime Minister’s official country residence, Checkers, in Buckinghamshire.
These plans have led to suggestions that Johnson wanted to stay on as caretaker prime minister in part to see this through, although this has been denied by Downing Street.
They reportedly sent reservation cards for a celebration on July 30, before deciding to change venue.
The couple tied the knot in a low-key private ceremony at Westminster Cathedral last year, held in secret, in front of a small group of family and friends.
This was followed by a reception in the gardens of 10 Downing Street with a limited number of guests due to coronavirus restrictions.
It was known that they were planning to hold a bigger celebration this year after the restrictions were relaxed.
Billionaire Lord Bamford is covering at least part of the cost of the party, the Mirror reported, citing unnamed sources.
This is not the first time Johnson, who has been married twice before, has had the backing of the JCB chairman.
The Tory peer backed his 2019 leadership bid, with Johnson tearing down a wall with a JCB excavator at the Staffordshire factory in a stunt to demonstrate he could ‘get Brexit done’.
Lord Bamford’s wife, Lady Carole Bamford, set up the upmarket organic farm Daylesford, with a chain of shops selling her produce across London.
Johnson is said to have received food from the Daylesford Farm Shop worth an estimated £12,500 during the pandemic, although Downing Street said he paid the cost of all the food for ‘own consumption’.
Asked about the wedding celebrations, No 10 declined to comment on the ‘private matter’.