After four days of speeches and panels at Tory conference, there is now at least a little consensus over what Brexit means Brexit means and much concern over the quality of Philip Hammond’s jokes. However, while a number of conference speeches proved dry, Mr S is glad to report that the after hours soirees were free-flowing.
At the Sun‘s conference party — where guests were offered teetotal May Day cocktails — tributes were paid to two men who were unable to make it to Birmingham this year. The paper’s editor Tony Gallagher recalled what David Cameron and George Osborne had said to him ahead of the paper backing Brexit. ‘David and George took us aside variously to say that we didn’t want to be on the losing side because the Sun was always on the winning side,’ he recalled to laughter from attendees. ‘And we know how that turned out.’
Meanwhile the annual Sky News bash — where party supremo Lucy Aitkens opted for cupcakes complete with Cabinet meeples — took a romantic turn when Mr S bumped into James Cleverly. After the MP for Braintree chose to ‘snog’ Theresa May in a hypothetical game of ‘snog, marry, avoid’ on the radio, the Prime Minister began conference by asking where her kiss was. Alas, it looks like May will have to wait some time. ‘It’s too much pressure,’ Cleverly confided to Steerpike. ‘If you’ve ever seen the television show Moonlighting you’ll know sometimes it’s about the anticipation’.
As for the Spectator party — Mr S’s personal favourite — the three Brexiteers, Boris Johnson, Liam Fox and David Davis, were among the Cabinet members who made sure to stop by for a glass of champagne to toast a catastrophe-free conference.
Those suitably hydrated then headed over for karaoke in News UK’s London Lounge for one final hoorah. Here guests were treated to an impromptu show from Therese Coffey as the minister for Defra took to the mic to sing a series of ballads to an impressed — if slightly bewildered — crowd.