It has been a rough few days for David Cameron. First he was drubbed at the polls in last week’s by-elections. Then little Alan Titchmarsh said that the Tory party had lost its roots in the countryside (and we know what happens to trees which lose their roots). And now I must be the bearer of even more bad news for young Dave, bad news from a once ardent Tory supporter: Jilly Cooper.

As the cognac flowed at the 56th Hennessy Gold Cup on Saturday afternoon, Cooper told me that she is very disappointed with this government and declared that the Conservative Party is ‘full of terrible people now.’

The same event saw Elaine Page pass the classical singing torch on to rising star Natalie Coyle, who Page invited to join her as a special guest at a New York concert. Meanwhile, Liz Hurley looked cold. And we learned that Clare Balding is a chain smoker.

Downton fans had all bases covered. Not only was Lord Grantham (AKA Hugh Bonneville) present; but the Earl and Countess of Carnarvon, who own the show’s real star, Highclere Castle, also rocked up. It made for a slightly awkward encounter, as the imposter mingled with the blue bloods.

Mr Steerpike was up on the day; but, predictably, blew his winnings as the party moved on to Mayfair’s Scotch and continued late into the night. Dangerous stuff, that Hennessy.

Tags: Conservatives, David Cameron, Jilly Cooper, Politics, Racing