Boris Johnson’s ‘double standards’ over Carrie wedding as PM attacked by priest

Carrie Johnson watches on ahead of Boris Johnson's resignation

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Boris Johnson is set to make his final appearance at Prime Minister’s Questions at noon in the House of Commons today. The outgoing Tory leader, who resigned a fortnight ago, is scheduled to face Sir Keir Starmer at the despatch box for their last weekly session together. The Labour leader is expected to criticise Mr Johnson’s decision to remain in office as interim leader until September 5 when MPs return from the summer recess.

The Prime Minister, who survived a confidence vote in the Government on Monday, has vowed to stay on until his successor is chosen in the ongoing Tory leadership contest.

The final two candidates will be chosen by Tory MPs today, either Rishi Sunak, Penny Mordaunt or Liz Truss.

In what is the last week of Parliament before the recess, some have doubted whether Mr Johnson will attend PMQs at all.

Sky News’ chief political correspondent, Jon Craig, claimed the Prime Minister may be absent from the Commons, following his “valedictory-like” speech during Monday’s no confidence debate.

As Mr Johnson prepares to step down, unearthed accounts show how he was once accused of “double standards” over his wedding.

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The Prime Minister and his fiancee Carrie Symonds tied the knot in a secret wedding last May.

But their nuptials at Westminster Cathedral sparked outrage among some figures in the Catholic Church.

There was backlash over the wedding due to Mr Johnson having been married twice before.

Father Mark Drew, assistant priest at St Joseph’s Church in Penketh, Warrington was among those to hit out at the Tory leader.

He claimed he had been forced to tell Catholic couples getting divorced they could not marry again in the Church.

He told the BBC: “It looks to them – rightly or wrongly – as if the Church is applying double standards.”

He continued: “I do fear that this decision does make the Church look bad.”

Christopher Lamb, Rome correspondent for Catholic magazine The Tablet, also hit out at Mr Johnson’s marriage.

Speaking to BBC Radio 5 Live, he said: “There will be a feeling that, why are some people who are divorced allowed to be married in the church and others not?

And I think that’s where the Church, I think, can look at its current rules and see how it can become more welcoming.

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“It has been welcoming to Boris Johnson, why not to others?”

In the Roman Catholic Church divorcees can marry again if their previous marriages were outside the Roman Catholic Church.

US priest, Jesuit Father James Martin, also offered his take on Mr Johnson’s marriage.

He said in a tweet: “Mr and Mrs Johnson were married within the rules of the Catholic Church.

“And I wish them well. I also wish that the same mercy and compassion that was offered to them, recognising their complex lives, could also be extended to same-sex couples who are lifelong Catholics.”

Mr Johnson and his second wife Marina Wheeler ended their 25-year marriage in 2018.

His marriage to his first wife Allegra Mostyn-Owen, who he met at Oxford University was annulled in 1993.

Prime Minister’s Questions will be shown live on Sky News from noon.

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