Ruddy hell! Was bill auctioned?
10 February, 2017
RUMOURS flew this week that a copy of an Article 50 document – signed by Prime Minister Theresa May herself – was auctioned off at a fundraising dinner for the Cities and Westminster Conservative Association.
At a swanky event on Wednesday night, where tickets sold for a minimum of £85, going up to £500 for VIPs, many local Tories gathered for a night with home secretary Amber Rudd.
Following the “strict dress code” for the Regent’s Dinner, gentlemen donned “a conventional jacket” with a “collared or button-down long-sleeve shirt” to enjoy three courses of culinary delights.
The suspense was kept till the last minute, with the location of the “prestigious London venue” not revealed until 24 hours before the event, for “security reasons”.
The raffle was one of the highlights, but Cllr Paul Church, credited by some with securing a copy of the Brexit bill, remained tight-lipped to Diary about whether it was his.
On the night he tweeted a photo of himself and “the lovely” Ms Rudd, saying he had enjoyed “a wonderful evening”, welcoming her to the West End ward, adding he was “totally impressed” by her and that “Hastings and Rye is very lucky to have her”.
Members of the local Labour group, meanwhile, have called on the Tories to donate money raised from the event to ailing youth services in the borough.
Pancho Lewis of the West End Labour Action Team said: “Only recently, Westminster Conservatives have chosen to gut Stowe Youth Club, a centre that provides vital support to vulnerable young people in need of help. This comes on top of many years of cuts to youth services.
“That’s why we’re calling on Westminster Tories to donate all funds raised at the event to youth services in the City of Westminster.”
Cllr Church fired back: “The Labour Party’s comments are completely disingenuous, as the same Labour councillors criticising CLWCA’s dinner with the home secretary were only too happy to attend Westminster North MP, Karen Buck’s, Labour Party fundraising dinner with then foreign secretary, David Miliband, when they were last in government.”
The Cities and Westminster Conservative Association would not say how much the signed bill raised or give any details of the auction.