HANDOUT - 30.05.2021, Großbritannien, London: Der Ausschnitt des Handout-Fotos, das am 30.05.2021 von Downing Street herausgegeben wurde, zeigt Premierminister Boris Johnson und Carrie Johnson im Garten von Downing Street Nr. 10 nach ihrer Hochzeit am Samstag, 29. Mai 2021. (zu dpa Boris Johnson hat geheiratet) Foto: Rebecca Fulton/Downing Street/PA Media/dpa +++ dpa-Bildfunk +++

After stepping down as Tory leader, Boris Johnson announced that he would remain in office until a successor was found.

Shortly after his resignation on Thursday, critics and party friends called on the 58-year-old to also resign from this office as soon as possible. In an open letter, former British Prime Minister John Major appealed for Johnson not to remain in office “for the general good of the country” until a new prime minister had been found.

In the social networks and on the political stage, the discussions about Johnson’s retention of his post are now being fueled by a piquant side detail: On July 30, the (still) incumbent head of government wants to celebrate his wedding with his partner Carrie, which was already concluded in 2021, on a grand scale – at Checkers, the official country home of the British Prime Minister.

British media such as the Guardian and the Daily Mirror concluded that Johnson’s plans to resign were directly linked to the wedding celebrations at Checkers. After all, the invitations for the festivities are said to have already been sent out.

As the German Press Agency (dpa) has now reported, a government spokesman has already denied such assumptions. The spokesman said that the prime minister has a strong sense of duty and will continue to serve his country until a new head of government is found.

British Education Minister James Cleverly also spoke out in favor of sticking to the previous wedding plans. Even after a replacement as Prime Minister, Johnson should still be able to host the wedding party at the mansion near Ellesborough. The 52-year-old Minister of State told the BBC on Friday: “I think it would be a generous gesture by a new Prime Minister to allow it to take place.”

Boris Johnson and his wife Carrie had already married in a small circle in May last year due to the ongoing corona pandemic. About 30 guests are said to have been invited to the garden party in Downing Street.

The 1,500-acre country estate on Checkers is likely to accommodate more wedding guests. The 16th-century Gothic Revival mansion is located around 50 km north-west of London. According to the Encyclopaedia Britannica, it was decreed as early as 1917 that the manor house should be used as a weekend retreat for the Prime Minister – including “to entertain guests.”

It was speculated early on on social networks that Johnson did not want to give up his position as prime minister in order to save money on the planned wedding celebration. As the British Telegraph reports, a Tory insider even surmised that Johnson would have to save for over a year to be able to afford such a large wedding reception at the estate itself.

Education Minister James Cleverly, on the other hand, assured in a BBC interview that the British taxpayer would not be expected to bear any financial burden in the event of a Johnson marriage at Checkers. According to Cleverly, “the public purse would not be burdened”.

The question of whether and to what extent the wedding of a high-ranking politician can be financed with the help of taxpayers’ money is currently the subject of heated debate in Germany as well. The wedding celebrations of Finance Minister Christian Lindner on Sylt have been criticized here because the high level of protective measures are said to have been financed by taxpayers’ money. Chancellor Olaf Scholz should also be among the wedding guests.

In an interview with the radio station “LBC Radio” on Thursday, London Mayor Sadiq Khan practically ruled out that there should be a stately funded wedding celebration in Checkers: “Even if we would all like to have a lavish wedding celebration in Checkers at the expense of the taxpayer , he will not be able to do so because the British public will find it abhorrent.”

As the “BBC” reported on Friday afternoon, the planned wedding celebration should no longer take place in the Prime Minister’s country house due to widespread criticism at this point in time.