ANDREW PIERCE: Conservative champagne shindig in South-West London's exclusive Hurlingham Club 'will be a gift to Labour'

With the cost-of-living crisis still the No 1 issue for most voters, Rishi Sunak walked into a trap when he tried to convince voters about the hardships he endured as a child.

Once a day pupil at Winchester College — where annual fees are now £38,000 — he was widely mocked on social media after complaining in a TV interview that his family once had to forgo Sky TV.

The PR blunder is why two former Tory chairmen are warning the party is making a mistake by pressing ahead with its summer gala at the exclusive Hurlingham Club in South-West London on Thursday.

The club occupies a 42-acre estate next to the River Thames, with tennis courts and croquet lawns. Tables at the event cost up to £12,000. One ex-Tory chief whispers: 'Ministers seen quaffing champagne next to fabulously rich donors. A gift for Labour.'

Sunak has deftly withdrawn, citing prior commitments. So why is it going ahead? Donations have collapsed even faster than the Tories' poll ratings and they need the money.

Rishi Sunak (pictured at a Sky News election event in Grimsby) was widely mocked on social media after complaining in a TV interview that his family once had to forgo Sky TV

Rishi Sunak (pictured at a Sky News election event in Grimsby) was widely mocked on social media after complaining in a TV interview that his family once had to forgo Sky TV

Two former Tory chairmen are warning the party is making a mistake by pressing ahead with its summer gala at the exclusive Hurlingham Club (pictured) in South-West London on Thursday

Two former Tory chairmen are warning the party is making a mistake by pressing ahead with its summer gala at the exclusive Hurlingham Club (pictured) in South-West London on Thursday

The late Queen might have had a view on Sunak's apparent hardship. Channel 4 anchor Krishnan Guru-Murthy says: 'Even the Queen didn't have Sky TV for a while.

'I once discussed this with her at a media reception many years ago. She told me how difficult she found it trying to record one programme on her video recorder while watching another.'

 

 Lid Dem leader Ed gets the blues 

Sir Ed Davey's search for dignity-defying stunts reached the ITV This Morning sofa last week, with the Lib Dem leader having a fashion makeover.

He sashayed down the catwalk draped in lightweight linen from Marks & Spencer's summer collection.

'Are you not worried that it's too blue?' teased presenter Ben Shephard. 'No,' Davey replied, showing his true colours. 'The blue is fading!'

But not everyone is impressed by the antics of Sir Ed, who was the Post Office minister when the Horizon IT scandal was unfolding.

Broadcaster Michael Crick says: 'I wonder what the hundreds of wrongly convicted postmasters think of all this fooling around by Ed Davey.

'If I were still a TV reporter, I'd take a few appallingly treated postmasters to the next Davey stunt and see what they think.'

Sir Ed Davey's search for dignity-defying stunts reached the ITV This Morning sofa last week, with the Lib Dem leader (pictured) having a fashion makeover

Sir Ed Davey's search for dignity-defying stunts reached the ITV This Morning sofa last week, with the Lib Dem leader (pictured) having a fashion makeover

 

Former Tory minister Edwina Currie cuts to the quick about Reform UK. 'Reform will get millions of votes. But no MPs. Or maybe just one,' she says. 

'They're the dog in the manger. Can't eat the hay but will stop other creatures from eating . . . All you'll do is put more Labour MPs in the Commons. Why bother?' 

 

Curse of the gingerbread chucker 

Did Nigel Farage get off lightly when he was struck by a wad of wet cement on his battle bus last week? In Victorian times, candidates were routinely pelted by stones, mud, turnips and even dead cats and dogs.

When the Liberal statesman William Gladstone visited Chester in 1892, he was hit in the eye by a lump of gingerbread thrown at him by a 'middle-aged and bony woman'. Perhaps that's what comes of hob-nobbing with voters.

Nigel Farage speaking at his election rally in the Victory Bar at Great Yarmouth racecourse, flanked by a security guard to his right

Nigel Farage speaking at his election rally in the Victory Bar at Great Yarmouth racecourse, flanked by a security guard to his right

 

How the SNP fussed when ITV paid ex-Scottish Tory leader Ruth Davidson to be an election-night pundit in 2019.

Yet when it was revealed last week that a certain Nicola Sturgeon has been hired by ITV for its coverage on July 4, new SNP leader John Swinney was supportive.

That's the same Sturgeon who is being paid £300,000 for her memoirs. What hypocrisy!

Ex-Scottish Tory leader Ruth Davidson (pictured in December 2023) worked as an election-night pundit in 2019

Ex-Scottish Tory leader Ruth Davidson (pictured in December 2023) worked as an election-night pundit in 2019

 

Poet Pam Ayres gave her own inimitable take on the General Election:

Who's going to build the houses?

Who's going to tax the wealth?

Who's going to solve the little boats,

And save the National Health?

The eyes are glazing over,

At all that's being said,

You cope with the election,

I'm goin' back to bed.

OTHER NEWS

41 minutes ago

3 ASX dividend shares to buy next week

41 minutes ago

Calgary says decision on lifting outdoor water ban coming Monday

41 minutes ago

Top Paramount Shareholder Sets Lawsuit in Motion With Docs Request for Shari Redstone's Skydance Payday

41 minutes ago

Weakness in subscribers will be bad for Netflix's share price, says Needham's Laura Martin

41 minutes ago

CBS Studio Chief on 'Blue Bloods' Spinoff: 'We've Got to Get It Right'

41 minutes ago

The son of Asia's richest man marries in the year's most extravagant wedding

41 minutes ago

Duhan van der Merwe equals try-scoring record as Scotland beat the USA

41 minutes ago

Paris Hilton's new song is about toxic relationships

41 minutes ago

Lindsay Ellingson pregnant with third child

41 minutes ago

Captain America: Brave New World may finally give us some Eternals closure

41 minutes ago

Angel Reese Just Earned A New Nickname From Candace Parker

41 minutes ago

Rasmus Hojgaard tweaked his wrist but not his game at 2024 Genesis Scottish Open

41 minutes ago

Rorisang Thandekiso's tragic loss leads to event cancellations

41 minutes ago

'England's worst player' Jude Bellingham is the selfless leader who could inspire glory vs Spain

41 minutes ago

Sources: Nuggets' DaRon Holmes tears Achilles in summer debut

41 minutes ago

Canada treated like second-class citizens at Copa America, Marsch says

41 minutes ago

Yankees Remain ‘Steadfast’ as Juan Soto Likely to Demand $600M

41 minutes ago

Hawks sign wing Vit Krejci to 4-year deal after showing promise on 2-way contract

41 minutes ago

Josh Brolin Says He's Only Let Two People Read His Upcoming Memoir: 'Raked Me Over the Coals'

41 minutes ago

Clifton Suspension Bridge latest: Police name suspect after remains of two men found in suitcases in Bristol

41 minutes ago

We all bear a duty to be better neighbours, including the Orange Order - The Irish News view

41 minutes ago

Biden Buys Campaign More Time but Pays a Steep Price

41 minutes ago

Tendulkar hails 'inspirational' Anderson after England great's last Test

41 minutes ago

After Record-Setting Year, What is The Ceiling For Miami Receiver Xavier Restrepo?

41 minutes ago

'I'm As Good As Anybody' in NFL! Bengals' Joe Burrow's Boast

41 minutes ago

Gareth Southgate has proved that quiet competence can lift a nation – it’s a lesson that goes far beyond sport

41 minutes ago

There is no fundamental right to change one's sex in birth certificates, federal appeals court rules

41 minutes ago

Ex-NRL WAG and reality TV contestant Arabella Del Busso emerges after jail stint

41 minutes ago

Son of Asia's richest man in year's most lavish wedding

41 minutes ago

Samsung unfazed by Huawei's top spot in foldable phone segment

41 minutes ago

Sol Campbell and David James make England v Spain Euro 2024 final predictions

41 minutes ago

Keir Starmer's family find surprise left behind in Downing Street flat

41 minutes ago

US: Biden says 'I'm running' as his campaign struggles

41 minutes ago

How to Install a Ceiling Fan Mounting Bracket

41 minutes ago

New Orleans Chef Ashley Jonique Is Putting A Tasty Twist On The City’s Classic Dishes

41 minutes ago

Russian-born Australians charged with spying

41 minutes ago

Patrick Murphy: Welcome to New Labour and its New English vocabulary

41 minutes ago

‘Prisoners to serve even less time’ because Sunak rejected early release plan

45 minutes ago

Colds and flu can be kept at bay by nasal spray, new study finds

45 minutes ago

How to watch Wallaroos vs Black Ferns? TV channel and live stream for Australia women's rugby