Guido was pleased to kick off Westminster’s party season last night at the Aussie High Commissioner’s residence over in Kensington, although guests weren’t actually invited inside and had to use portaloos in the neighbour’s driveway. The guest of honour was Defence Secretary Ben Wallace, who took a night off battling for Ukraine to get dressed up and pose next to the BBQ’s head chef.
While Ben may have been guest of honour, the star of the show was undoubtedly the food itself – Guido can confidently predict the next fortnight’s worth of canapés will struggle to compete. A speech prior to the feast saw Meat & Livestock Australia’s spokesman extolling the virtues of the new UK-AUS free trade deal, which will allow their fantastic beef and lamb to once again flood UK supermarket shelves.
Also spotted enjoying the catering and speeches was, ironically, none other than the SNP’s Angus Brendan MacNeil, whose role as chairman of the Commons’ Trade Committee saw him bemoan said trade agreement last year as “something which brings significant harms as well as benefits”:
“The views of the entire farming sector especially are no secret now, including those in the devolved nations, who are particularly concerned about being undercut by cheaper meat and dairy produce from ‘down under’.”
MacNeil managed to park his concerns while tucking into mounds of 12-hour slow-cooked beef brisket. Hard-left MP Lloyd Russell-Moyle also showed up, having decided his rail picketing was secondary to a posh drinks do at the High Commissioner’s Knightsbridge residence…