Petronella Wyatt

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Petronella Wyatt
Petronella Aspasia Wyatt

(1968-05-06) 6 May 1968 (age 53)
London, England
EducationSt Paul's Girls' School
Alma materUniversity College London
OccupationJournalist, author
Parent(s)Woodrow Wyatt
Veronica Banszky von Ambroz (née Racz)
RelativesPericles Wyatt (half-brother)

Petronella "Petsy" Aspasia Wyatt[1] (born 6 May 1968) is a British journalist and author.

Life and career[edit]

Wyatt was born on 6 May 1968 in London, England.[2] Her parents were journalist and Labour politician Woodrow Wyatt and his fourth wife, Hungarian-born Veronica "Verushka" Banszky von Ambroz (née Racz).[3][4][5][6]

Wyatt attended St Paul's Girls' School.[7] She then studied history at Worcester College, Oxford. Wyatt left the university within weeks of her first term, later claiming she had suffered persistent bullying and harassment, which she alleges were because of her conservative political views.[8] She went on to study history at University College London.[8]

After graduating, Wyatt became a trainee journalist and later weekly columnist for the Sunday Telegraph in the early 1990s. She then worked for magazine The Spectator, where she was promoted to deputy editor.[5]

Wyatt is known for her direct and playful interview style. In 1996, when interviewing the proposed Labour Minister for Women Janet Anderson, Anderson joked that "under Labour, women will become more promiscuous", which Wyatt reported as policy.[9] Denis Healey regretted at the close of an interview with Wyatt that there was no time left for "rumpy pumpy".[3]

Between 2000 and 2004, Wyatt had an affair with the then editor of The Spectator and Conservative MP Boris Johnson.[10] Johnson had promised to leave his wife, and the affair had resulted in a terminated pregnancy and a miscarriage.[11] When her mother found out about the affair, she discussed it with the press.[5][10] Johnson was fired from his shadow cabinet post by party leader Michael Howard for lying about the affair, as he had initially categorically denied it.[10][12]


  • Father, dear Father: Life with Woodrow Wyatt, Hutchinson, London, 1999. ISBN 0-09-929760-4
  • Secrets of The Press, edited by Stephen Glover.
  • The Third Plantagenet: George Duke of Clarence, John Ashdown Hill. The History Press, 2014. Contribution.


  1. ^ The Third Plantagenet: Duke of Clarence, Richard III's Brother
  2. ^ Wyatt, Petronella (31 May 2012). Father Dear Father. Random House. p. 6. ISBN 978-1-4481-3693-3.
  3. ^ a b Popham, Peter (17 March 1997). "Media families 5. The Wyatts". The Independent. Retrieved 28 October 2019.
  4. ^ Watling, Lindsay (10 September 2012). "'All cyclists should have a licence', says Petronella Wyatt as her mother is injured twice in a month". London Evening Standard. Retrieved 28 October 2019.
  5. ^ a b c "Woodrow, Verushka, Pericles and Petronella: welcome to the world of the Wyatts". The Independent. 20 November 2004. Retrieved 28 October 2019.
  6. ^ "Obituary: Lord Wyatt of Weeford". The Independent. 9 December 1997. Retrieved 20 November 2020.
  7. ^ Wyatt, Petronella (10 August 2012). "My daddy Woodrow Wyatt, Robin Day and a sporting disaster". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 28 October 2019.
  8. ^ a b Wyatt, Petronella (30 November 2012). "Petronella Wyatt: I was bullied out of Oxford for being a Tory". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 28 October 2019.
  9. ^ Picardie, Ruth (3 October 1996). "Promiscuity. A new war cry for Labour?". The Independent. Retrieved 1 March 2010.
  10. ^ a b c Porter, Andrew; Hellen, Nicholas (14 November 2004). "Boris Johnson sacked for lying over affair". The Times. Archived from the original on 24 July 2008.
  11. ^ Carey, Alexis (24 July 2019). "How Boris Johnson's affair with Petronella Wyatt nearly ended his career".
  12. ^ Hinsliff, Gaby (14 November 2004). "Boris Johnson sacked by Tories over private life". The Guardian. Retrieved 5 August 2017.