ANDREW PIERCE: Chancellor Philip Hammond invites rich potential donors to free BBQ at Dorneywood 

As the Tory Party faces a financial crisis because donations to its coffers have dried up following the Brexit debacle, Chancellor Philip Hammond is donning an apron to help raise funds.

He has invited rich, potential donors to a barbecue at the 200-acre grace-and-favour Dorneywood estate which he uses as a perk of the job.

Guests — all members of the Leader’s Group who pay a minimum £50,000 a year for ‘access’ to Cabinet ministers and the Prime Minister — will attend the beano in June.

As the Tory Party faces a financial crisis because donations to its coffers have dried up following the Brexit debacle, Chancellor Philip Hammond is donning an apron to help raise funds

As the Tory Party faces a financial crisis because donations to its coffers have dried up following the Brexit debacle, Chancellor Philip Hammond is donning an apron to help raise funds

As the Tory Party faces a financial crisis because donations to its coffers have dried up following the Brexit debacle, Chancellor Philip Hammond is donning an apron to help raise funds

However, there are concerns that using the Buckinghamshire mansion as a venue might be an abuse of the perk because the event is party, rather than Government, business.

The Ministerial Code states that such jollies must be at the minister’s or their party’s expense ‘with no cost falling to the public purse’. 

But the Conservatives are desperate for money and it’s hoped that Hammond’s kebabs-for-cash summer party will winkle out enough cheques that they can compete with Labour’s war-chest.

Labour raised £16 million from its 540,000 members last year.

He has invited rich, potential donors to a barbecue at the 200-acre grace-and-favour Dorneywood estate which he uses as a perk of the job

He has invited rich, potential donors to a barbecue at the 200-acre grace-and-favour Dorneywood estate which he uses as a perk of the job

He has invited rich, potential donors to a barbecue at the 200-acre grace-and-favour Dorneywood estate which he uses as a perk of the job

By comparison, the Tories received just £835,000 from their 124,000 increasingly demotivated activists.

Beleaguered Tory treasurer Dominic Johnson — a super-wealthy chum of David Cameron and founder of an investment management firm — has his work cut out as he goes cap in hand to party supporters.

If Barbecue Boy Hammond doesn’t deliver, the Tories will find themselves in hot water when financing their campaign for the next General Election.

 Bad taste joke of the week:

‘Will Christopher Davies the Tory MP (for now) for Brecon and Radnorshire, convicted in court of submitting false Parliamentary invoices, put his £1,500 fine on his expenses?’

 Matt talks a good game

Health Secretary Matt Hancock, a dark horse to be next Tory leader, says: ‘I run regularly, I enjoy playing cricket, and at weekends I’m normally outdoors with my children, either cycling, walking or playing sports.’

In other words: ‘Look at me! I’m a super-fit, devoted family man, who, at the age of 40, would engage with young voters.’

Health Secretary Matt Hancock, a dark horse to be next Tory leader, says: ‘I run regularly, I enjoy playing cricket, and at weekends I’m normally outdoors with my children, either cycling, walking or playing sports'

Health Secretary Matt Hancock, a dark horse to be next Tory leader, says: ‘I run regularly, I enjoy playing cricket, and at weekends I’m normally outdoors with my children, either cycling, walking or playing sports'

Health Secretary Matt Hancock, a dark horse to be next Tory leader, says: ‘I run regularly, I enjoy playing cricket, and at weekends I’m normally outdoors with my children, either cycling, walking or playing sports’

 After I revealed in this column last Monday that Ann Widdecombe was ready to join Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party, her Tory bosses behaved appallingly. 

Not only couldn’t they be bothered trying to persuade her to stay, but when she made the announcement, they ‘expelled’ her by letter, with no one in Tory high command calling her after 55 loyal years as a member. What a shabby way to run a party.

The BBC seems to have inserted a political message into this year’s Last Night Of The Proms. 

The flag-waving audience at London’s Royal Albert Hall will be treated to Percy Grainger’s Marching Song Of Democracy. 

‘It is a piece all sung to nonsense words,’ says Proms director David Pickard. 

Change UK’s Euro elections candidates include Crispin Hunt, a member of the rock group The Longpigs which briefly enjoyed fame in the Britpop era. 

His stepfather is Mark Fisher, an Eton-educated former Labour minister and son of a Tory knight.   

Proof that Labour defector Chuka Umunna’s Brussels-toadying Change party is just another branch of the Establishment. 

 While discussing his own new biography of Winston Churchill, the historian Andrew Roberts was asked his views of Boris Johnson’s 2014 take on the great war-time leader, The Churchill Factor: How One Man Made History. 

Roberts acidly described the tome as ‘brilliantly entertaining’, especially the 23 new anecdotes — ‘at least three of which were true’.

While discussing his own new biography of Winston Churchill, the historian Andrew Roberts acidly described Boris Johnson’s 2014 take on the great war-time leader, The Churchill Factor: How One Man Made History as ‘brilliantly entertaining’, especially the 23 new anecdotes — ‘at least three of which were true

While discussing his own new biography of Winston Churchill, the historian Andrew Roberts acidly described Boris Johnson’s 2014 take on the great war-time leader, The Churchill Factor: How One Man Made History as ‘brilliantly entertaining’, especially the 23 new anecdotes — ‘at least three of which were true

While discussing his own new biography of Winston Churchill, the historian Andrew Roberts acidly described Boris Johnson’s 2014 take on the great war-time leader, The Churchill Factor: How One Man Made History as ‘brilliantly entertaining’, especially the 23 new anecdotes — ‘at least three of which were true

 WE DON’T MEET AGAIN, MR BOND

Speaking ahead of the publicity launch for the next James Bond film, Antonia Romeo, the high-flying Permanent Secretary at the Department for International Trade, said she hoped it would be held at an ‘iconic 007 location’, such as the roof of her Whitehall department which was used for scenes in Skyfall. 

Much to her chagrin, Daniel Craig and his ‘Bond Women’ were instead paraded on a beach in Jamaica. 

Link hienalouca.com

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