Boris and Carrie Johnson host a wedding party at Tory’s sponsor’s estate in the Cotswolds.

Guests arrive at Boris and Carrie Johnson’s wedding party at the stately Cotswolds estate, owned by a major Tory donor.

The outgoing prime minister and his wife are hosting family and friends at the 18th-century Daylesford House to celebrate their wedding in a wider circle, after the pandemic forced them to cut back on festivities last year.

81-year-old father of the groom Stanley Johnson was seen entering the estate by car on Saturday afternoon.


Stanley Johnson arriving at Daylesford House in Gloucestershire for his son and daughter-in-law’s wedding party (Beresford Hodge/PA)

Perhaps less welcome was Brexit protester Steve Bray, who stopped on the road near the wedding venue with a giant banner reading “Corrupt Conservative Government.”

All eyes will be on the event’s guest list and whether the defectors from Mr. Johnson’s government will receive an invitation.

His former chancellor Rishi Sunak and current foreign secretary Liz Truss are likely to miss the party as they campaign to replace the prime minister.

Ms. Truss, on a campaign visit to Bromley, defended Mr. Johnson for hosting lavish celebrations at a time when millions are struggling with rising bills.


Protester Steve Bray demonstrates outside Daylesford House in Gloucestershire. (Steve Parsons/PA)

Asked if the prime minister should focus on the kind of crises the country is facing instead of partying, she told reporters: “I think he deserves to enjoy his wedding day and I wish the best for him, Carrie and all family.”

The event is held in a huge white tent on the vast landscaped grounds of Daylesford House in Gloucestershire.

The mansion is owned by Lord Bamford, chairman of construction equipment manufacturer JCB, who has donated millions to the Conservatives.


Aerial view of the grounds of Daylesford House, Gloucestershire (Steve Parsons/PA)

This week, employees were seen walking in and out of the oatmeal tent in what appeared to be preparations for a party.

Guests can relax on hay bales and benches outside the tent, and eat and drink from kegs and at small tables overlooking vast meadows and orchards.

Mr and Mrs Johnson had originally planned to have their wedding party at the Prime Minister’s official country residence, Checkers, in Buckinghamshire.

These plans have led to speculation that Mr Johnson wanted to remain acting prime minister in part to see things through, though Downing Street denied this.


Tent erected at Daylesford House, Gloucestershire (Steve Parsons/PA)

They are said to have sent out postcards with dates for the July 30th celebration before deciding to change location.

The couple wed in a modest private ceremony at Westminster Cathedral last year, arranged in secret in front of a small group of relatives and friends.

This was followed by a reception at 10 Downing Street Gardens with limited guests due to coronavirus restrictions.

Mr and Mrs Johnson were known to be planning a bigger celebration this year after restrictions were eased.


Boris Johnson with Lord Bamford (Ben Stansall/PA)

According to the Mirror, citing unnamed sources, billionaire Lord Bamford is covering at least some of the cost of the party.

This is not the first time that Mr. Johnson, who has been married twice, has the backing of a JCB chairman.

A fellow Tory backed his 2019 leadership bid when Johnson knocked down a wall with a JCB excavator at a Staffordshire factory to demonstrate he could “implement Brexit”.

Lord Bamford’s wife, Lady Carol Bamford, founded the elite Daylesford Organic Farm, with a chain of shops selling her products throughout London.

During the pandemic, Johnson was reported to have received around £12,500 worth of groceries from a farm shop in Daylesford, although Downing Street said he paid for the cost of all food for “personal consumption”.

When asked about wedding celebrations, No. 10 declined to comment on a “private matter.”