While David Cameron, assisted by a trio of pyjama-clad children and the Chancellor, was entertaining the ladies and gentleman of Her Majesty’s Loyal Press Corps in No. 10, right-wing elements of the Conservative Party were carousing by the river in Chelsea. IDS, Welsh Secretary David Jones and venerable right-wingers Sir Gerald Howarth and Graham Brady joined former Tory head of press Nick Wood and his cohort from Media Intelligence Partners for a rabble-rouse.
Unlike the Downing Street soiree in the Rose Garden, this was not a champagne free-zone. Ûber-wonk Philip Blond was overheard discussing his plans to run for Mayor of London. And as the evening wore on, Blond began to try to recruit campaign staff. He was not the only Tory at the bash whose eyes are fixed on City Hall, but Mr Steerpike will save that tale for another day.
Meanwhile, down the road, the Guardian was hosting a party to celebrate an ‘exciting time’ for the company. Indeed, the dear old Graun’s losing only £30 million at present. There was a barbecue and everything.
Steerpike’s favourite part of the week was our own Spectator Life party held aboard the Johnnie Walker Voyager, which is moored up by Tower Bridge. Bryan Ferry clearly runs a tight ship. His 26 year old son Isaac, who works for his dad, was DJ-ing on the 1920s yacht. Isaac was belting out Roxy Music hits and barely bothered to remix them. Not that anyone was complaining.
More Spectator for less. Subscribe and receive 12 issues delivered for just £12, with full web and app access. Join us.