Petronella Wyatt

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Petronella Wyatt
BornMay 1968 (age 51)
EducationSt Paul's Girls' School
Alma materUniversity College, London
Home townLondon
Parent(s)Woodrow Wyatt
Verushka Banszky von Ambroz

Petronella "Petsy" Wyatt (born May 1968) is a British journalist and author.


Wyatt is the daughter of Woodrow Wyatt, journalist and Labour politician, and his fourth wife, the Hungarian Veronica (Verushka) Banszky von Ambroz. Wyatt was born in St. John's Wood, north London, and attended St Paul's Girls' School; she was then offered a place to read History at Worcester College, Oxford. She left Oxford after two weeks, later claiming she had suffered persistent bullying and harassment, which she alleges were linked to her conservative political views.

She went on to graduate from University College London.[1]

In 2004, British newspapers reported that she had had a four-year affair with the married Conservative MP Boris Johnson.[2] Johnson had promised to leave his wife;[3] Wyatt became pregnant and had an abortion, after which her mother discovered the affair and reported it to the press.[2] Johnson was sacked from his shadow cabinet post by Michael Howard for lying about the affair.[2][4]

Writing and media work[edit]

Wyatt has been a weekly columnist for the Sunday Telegraph and The Spectator, of which she was deputy editor. She currently writes political interviews and main feature articles for the Daily Mail. Her interviewees have included John Major,[5] David Blunkett[6] and Piers Morgan.[7]

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.[8] Denis Healey regretted at the close of an interview with Wyatt that there was no time left for "rumpy pumpy".[9]

Her television appearances have included Question Time and Newsnight.

Views on Wikipedia[edit]

Wyatt has written about her attention to her Wikipedia entry.[10] In May 2007, Private Eye reported that Wyatt had been instructed by Paul Dacre, the editor of the Daily Mail, to pen an attack on Wikipedia over the content of her entry on the site.[11] This was published on 22 April 2007, when Wyatt admitted to writing her initial entry and then threatening to sue over vandalism to the page.[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, Dr John Ashdown Hill. The History Press, 2014. Contribution.


  1. ^ Wyatt, Petronella (30 November 2012). "I was bullied out of Oxford for being a Tory". The Daily Telegraph.
  2. ^ 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.
  3. ^ "Woodrow, Verushka, Pericles and Petronella: welcome to the world of the Wyatts". The Independent. 20 November 2004. Retrieved 30 May 2007.
  4. ^ Hinsliff, Gaby (14 November 2004). "Boris Johnson sacked by Tories over private life". The Guardian. Retrieved 5 August 2017.
  5. ^ "I've been vindicated", The Spectator, 20–27 December 1997
  6. ^ "The Home Secretary's home truths", The Daily Telegraph, 20 December 2004
  7. ^ "Main in the mirror", The Spectator, 20 July 2002
  8. ^ Picardie, Ruth (3 October 1996). "Promiscuity. A new war cry for Labour?". The Independent. Retrieved 1 March 2010.
  9. ^ Popham, Peter (17 April 1997). "Media families 5. The Wyatts". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 28 May 2007.
  10. ^ Wyatt, Petronella (4 April 2009). "PETRONELLA WYATT: I'm marrying a gloriously unsuitable man!". Daily Mail.
  11. ^ "Street of Shame". Private Eye (1185). 25 May 2007. p. 4.
  12. ^ Wyatt, Petronella (22 April 2007). "Wicked-pedia: 'Why the online encyclopedia makes me want to scream'". Daily Mail.