Bidding for dinner with Boris Johnson hits £120,000 at Tory Summer Party


Bidding for dinner with Boris Johnson reached £120,000 at the Tory’s summer party this week. It happened as the Prime Minister was hosting a frantic fundraiser for the Conservatives.

London’s V&A museum was where celebrities and the super rich rubbed shoulders with Cabinet ministers, party leaders and the Prime Minister, MirrorOnline reports. Prices ranged from £12,500 for a ‘standard’ table, up to £20,000 to sit next to a Cabinet Minister, and the auction for a cozy dinner with the Prime Minister, Theresa May and David Cameron brought in £120,000.

Cabinet members present at the party included Chancellor Rishi Sunak, Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries, Foreign Secretary Liz Truss, Health Secretary Sajid Javid, Social Affairs Secretary Therese Coffey and Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng. Millionaire property tycoon Nick Candy and his wife, former Neighbors star Holly Valance, were also in attendance.

And Lubov Chernukhin, the biggest political donor in British history, also attended the classy evening. At auctions at events the previous year, Ms Chernukhin won tennis matches with Mr Johnson and Mr Cameron, a ‘girls night’ with Ms May and Ms Truss and a private dinner with the Then-Defense Secretary Gavin Williamson in the Churchill War Rooms.

Labor Party leader Anneliese Dodds told the Mirror: ‘The culture of money for access created by Boris Johnson raises serious questions about who is really pulling the strings in the Conservative Party.’

The party’s fundraising event began with a drink in the courtyard of the museum for 250 government ministers, wealthy donors and Conservative advisers. Tory insiders at the event said Mr Johnson, who had undergone minor sinus surgery earlier in the day under general anaesthetic, gave a ‘short and fun’ speech to donors, followed by speeches from the Minister for Cabinet Michael Gove and party co-chairman Ben Elliott.

The Prime Minister’s spokesman said his operation did not require his doctors to sign off on his attendance at the event. He added: “I understand he was there for a relatively brief period.”

But then he was spotted, along with much of the Cabinet, at Rupert Murdoch’s summer party at the Serpentine Gallery.

Conservative Party donors run the gauntlet of booing protesters during a Conservative Party fundraiser

V&A guests were treated to an online auction as they were served a starter of salmon tartare followed by asparagus beef mash, with passion fruit meringues for dessert. Other auction items included a safari which sold for around £65,000, a shooting weekend in Market Harborough which brought in £37,000 and a wine tasting which fetched £30,000.

Tickets to see Chelsea play Arsenal sold for £5,000. Former Tory Treasurer Howard Lee, raising money for the Tory plan to retain 80 marginal seats and win 20 more in the next election, has asked people to ‘stand up and donate £500’.

Several sat down quickly when asked to ‘stay standing to donate £1,000’, according to reports. A band performed ABBA songs at the event.

Nick Candy and Holly Valance Arrive for Conservative Summer Party
Nick Candy and Holly Valance Arrive for Conservative Summer Party

A source told Politico: “It was like a school disco band. There were one or two people doing slightly boogie-like moves but no one was fully engaged in the dance.”

Another added: ‘If there’s one thing the country thinks Tories do well, it’s throwing parties – and ironically it wasn’t really one.

A third insider told the website, “I’ve had better Monday nights.”

Meanwhile, outside the hall, former Labor shadow chancellor John McDonnell joined a picket organized by the museum’s PCS branch union. Protesters shouted “shame on you” as donors, party figures and ministers arrived at the exclusive dinner. A donor arriving at the event told protesters to “get a job!”


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