DAY Two of the Tory conference ended with a musical love-in between Priti Patel and Nigel Farage, who led singalongs to Angels by Robbie Williams and Frankie Valli’s Can’t Take My Eyes Off You late last night at a GB News party.
In a speech, editorial director Mick Booker admitted GBN had seen “some challenges” recently, but they would “learn their lessons” and that the setbacks had “reminded us of what the responsibility is to be a news channel”. Political editor Chris Hope called it a “rebel alliance” as presenters such as Darren Grimes watched on.
Dan Wootton and Laurence Fox were suspended last week for a lewd conversation in which Fox said men “who’d want to sh*g that” of a female journalist. GB currently has several ongoing investigations by Ofcom.
Also singing to Angels was Liz Truss. We asked if she might be the next Tory MP to join GB as a presenter, following figures like Jacob Rees-Mogg, but she said it was “not my ambition”. The band, Bell & Spurling, played her a rendition of My Girl, “This one’s for Liz,” they said.
While some caroused, others had less fun. HS2 minister Huw Merriman is already having a tough week, with confusion over the rail line. Waiting to watch Rishi Sunak speak on Sunday, Merriman was seen being pushed in the face by academic Matthew Goodwin in the queue. Goodwin later shook Merriman’s hand, but it’s not clear if they truly made up.
Cabinet all ears
CabinetMinisters got mixed up at a noisy Conservative Friends of Israel reception last night, as they couldn’t hear very well. Home Secretary Suella Braverman said she has become “a great fan of Friday night dinners at my mother-in-law’s”. Her husband Rael is Jewish. Foreign Secretary James Cleverly confused her reference to Shabat dinners with C4 sitcom Friday Night Dinner. “I heard Suella talking about how addicted we are, I am, to watching episodes of Friday Night Dinner,” he said, before adding a catchphrase from the show, “Shalom, Jackie!”. A Government in sync.
Rishi’s TV win
THE backroom gurus hold the real political power. Last night in the bar of the Midland hotel, we spotted the PM’s special adviser Cass Horowitz brandishing a silver trophy from YouTube. The trophy is a belated gift from the company after the PM’s channel got 100,000 subscribers. Horowitz, known as the man behind “brand Rishi” and his video content, told us it’s now nearer 500,000, and could reach a million by the end of next year, earning him a gold trophy in time for an election. It will be displayed prominently in No 10, he said. If they’re still there.
Also in Manchester is Ross Kempsell, Boris Johnson’s spokesman, who recently joined the House of Lords. We asked if Boris would be coming this time. He’s probably not even watching, we were told, as he’s “writing his book” and looking after ducks that he recently bought.
Idris: my champers is for experts
Actor Idris Elba launched his brand Porte Noire’s new rosé champagne at Tramp nightclub in Mayfair last night. Elba, who is a DJ too, said this week he’s a ‘workaholic’.
How would Idris compare his wine to Kylie Minogue’s, who also has a line, we asked? “My wine is older than Kylie’s wine,” he said. “Kylie’s wine is going to have a worldwide appeal, whereas mine is a little bit skewed towards champagne lovers, someone that really understands the subtleties of the taste palate.”
Elba also sang the praises of George Clooney’s Casamigos tequila, which he said is his top celebrity booze brand, but added: “I don’t really see myself as a celebrity. Mine stands alone because if you didn’t know it was mine you wouldn’t know it was mine.” We’ll drink to that.