Boris Johnson handed £23,000 by Tory donor for lavish wedding party

Boris Johnson was given GBP23,800 by a Tory donor to hire a food truck, an ice cream van and portaloos for his wedding party. The former prime minister also spent part of the cash gift from Lord and Lady Bamford on a company called Smoke and Braai, which specialises in South African-style barbecues. The details of the donation - which came to a total of GBP23,853 and also paid for flowers, catering, a marquee and waiting staff - were disclosed in the latest register of MPs' financial interests.

The declaration sheds light on some of the costs involved with Mr Johnson and his wife Carrie's wedding celebration, which took place on July 30 2022, a year after the couple married in a Catholic ceremony at Westminster Cathedral. They married last May in a low-key ceremony in front of a small group of close friends and family. At the time, up to 30 people were allowed to attend weddings under the Covid rules that were in place.

Lord and Lady Bamford gifted Boris Johnson GBP23,000 for his wedding party earlier this yearLord and Lady Bamford gifted Boris Johnson GBP23,000 for his wedding party earlier this yearCredit: David M.

Benett

Meanwhile, about 200 people were invited to the bash in July, which was supposed to have taken place at Chequers, the prime minister's weekend retreat in Buckinghamshire. It had been claimed that the long-awaited celebration was one of the reasons the prime minister was determined to cling on as caretaker Tory leader over the summer. Chequers, the grace-and-favour home of the prime minister, boasts a heated indoor swimming pool in the Orangery, a putting green and extensive 1,500-acre lawns.

It was built in 1565 and costs taxpayers almost GBP1 million a year to maintain. But following criticism of the plan, the party was switched at the last minute to the Daylesford House estate of Tory donor Lord Bamford, in Gloucestershire. A huge marquee was erected in a field on the 1,500-acre estate of Daylesford House, the country retreat of Lord Bamford.

In addition to this, a large gazebo was put up at the rear of the house, a Georgian grade I listed mansion in the Cotswolds.

An aerial view of the grounds of Daylesford House where the wedding party took placeAn aerial view of the grounds of Daylesford House where the wedding party took placeCredit: Steve Parsons

The countryside house and surrounding grounds are owned by Lord Bamford, the JCB chairman, who has, through his business interests, given over GBP10 million in cash and gifts to the Conservative Party since 2001. Lord Bamford, a keen Brexiteer, is close with Mr Johnson and backed his Conservative leadership bid in 2019. Mr Johnson was given GBP10,000 by JCB just three days before he delivered a major Brexit-themed speech in January 2019, which was widely seen as his pitch for leadership.

Mr Johnson's register of expenses also shows that he received a total of GBP8,400 during the month August 2022 in donations in kind from Heathrow Airport for use of the Windsor Suite at the airport.

Last month Mr Johnson and his wife Carrie went on a honeymoon trip to a Slovenian eco-resort, as well as a family trip with their children to a Greek island.