UK

Conservative auction: Shoe shopping, Boris lunch and 'iron man'

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Media captionPolitical, financial and entertainment figures arrive at the Conservative Party Black and White fundraising dinner

Shoe shopping with Home Secretary Theresa May and tea with London Mayor Boris Johnson have been auctioned at a Conservative Party fundraiser.

Lots also included a 10k "iron man" race with Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith and a 2015 election manifesto signed by PM David Cameron.

A statue of Margaret Thatcher sold for £210,000, Buzzfeed reported.

A Tory spokesman said all donations to the party were declared and "comply fully with Electoral Commission rules".

The party's Black and White election fundraiser was held at the Grosvenor House hotel in London.

Image copyright Buzzfeed
Image caption The auction lots included the chance to socialise with senior government ministers

The full list of auction lots, obtained by Buzzfeed, included:

  • a "unique bound collection" of George Osborne's Budget speeches, signed by the chancellor
  • a "roast chicken dinner" at the home of Chief Whip Michael Gove
  • the chance to "merge fashion and politics" on a shoe shopping trip with Home Secretary Theresa May
  • an early morning 5k run with Education Secretary Nicky Morgan, followed by a "hearty breakfast"
  • a private plane trip to the Greek island of Santorini, then five nights in a "luxury hotel suite"
  • a JCB digger
  • outdoor activities including pheasant shooting, skiing, sailing, deer stalking and fishing

However, Mayor of London Boris Johnson suggested that he had been auctioned off by the Tories without his knowledge.

His lot was described as a "tea and book review", during which he would "enlighten and delight" the buyer on the topic of Winston Churchill, which is the subject of his latest book.

"When Conservative central office are kind enough to enlighten me about this offer, I'm sure I will be delighted to accept, mayoral commitments permitting, which they may not," he said.

Among the guests at the event was nightclub owner Peter Stringfellow, who said he estimated the auction raised over £3m overall.

"I said to my wife, look, I'll go up to £10,000. Let's hope there's a teddy bear or something, because they usually start with something pretty low," he told the BBC's Daily Politics programme,

"But the first one that went up was a week in Greece, and that went up for £75,000. End of story for me."

Image copyright Buzzfeed
Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Those at the fundraiser included Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt, Chief Whip Michael Gove, West Ham co-chairman David Gold, Ann Summers boss Jacqueline Gold and strip club owner Peter Stringfellow

A Tory spokesman said: "All donations to the Conservative Party are properly and transparently declared to the Electoral Commission, published by them, and comply fully with Electoral Commission rules.

"Any suggestion of impropriety by the party is malicious and defamatory and will be treated as such."

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