Downton Dave Dines With Donors at Tory Spring Lunch

The Tories held their Spring lunch fundraiser last week, the PM joking on arrival that he misheard when his staff told him it was time to go: “I thought they said swing lunch, which would be a rather different kind of party all together.”

Among the usual auction items of weekends at Scottish Tory lairds’ Castles for hunting ‘n fishing and tickets to boxes at the opera there were a few more unusual items that caught Guido’s eye. The bidding topped £600 for Wimbledon MP Stephen Hammond to come and cook for a dinner party. He tells Guido that he is “a reasonably talented amateur chef. I normally cook for people three times a year for charity and I’ve never had any complaints. I’d do a prawn mousse to start followed by chicken breast stuffed with bacon.”

In a departure from raffling off membership to old, white, stuffy male institutions the only private club to auction membership this year was Grace, the women-only club in Belgravia where they could wear an Amanda Wakeley designer dress which went for over £3,000.

All of this will not help the Tories shed their Downton Abbey reputation – not least because Lord Fellowes donated a goody bag of box set videos and books from the upper class TV show he created.




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Jo Swinson on Chris Rennard…

“Vince — and Tim before him — have repeatedly, publicly said Rennard is not welcome anywhere near their frontbench team, even as an adviser. I remain deeply frustrated that he was not expelled from the party through its disciplinary process. It just feels wrong, and I do not want Lord Rennard to continue as a member of the party. As far as I am concerned, he is not welcome.”

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