Boris and Carrie Johnson will no longer host a delayed wedding party at the prime minister’s grace and favour Chequers residence during his final days in office.
It comes after reports the couple had been planning a celebration on 30 July with friends and family – despite the prime minister announcing on Thursday he will resign from No 10 when a new Tory leader is elected.
In an attempt to defend Mr Johnson, the newly installed education secretary suggested on Friday it is “churlish to be negative” about the soirée at the 16th century Buckingham country house.
But it is understood the pair, who married in a low-key, private ceremony at Westminster Cathedral last year with a handful of guest, are now planning to move the wedding to a different location.
The Evening Standard reported last month that this would take the form of a “champagne-soaked soiree” at the prime minister’s country residence to celebrate the couple’s first anniversary.
It had been suggested that Mr Johnson wanted to stay on as a caretaker prime minister in part to see this through – although this claim was denied by Downing Street.
The Mirror said it was told by two separate sources that the pair were keen to go ahead with the celebrations. “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,” a source told the newspaper.
“It’s a national asset not his personal home,” they added. “The Johnsons should do the decent thing and find a different venue. And Boris should do the decent thing and leave No 10 immediately”.
But Mr Cleverly had earlier told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme that a new prime minister should let the couple have their wedding party at Chequers even if Mr Johnson is gone by then.
Mr Cleverly said: “I think that if that is done by that point in time, I suspect that it would be a rather generous action of the new prime minister to allow that to go ahead.
“Private functions like that do not impose a burden on the public purse… I think it’s churlish to be negative about two people who want to celebrate their marriage and their love for each other.”