May wields the stiletto at auction

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Published: Tuesday 10th February 2015 by The News Editor

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A shoe shopping expedition with Home Secretary Theresa May and a chicken supper at the home of chief whip Michael Gove were among the most eye-catching lots on offer in an auction to raise funds for the Conservative general election campaign.

The sale was held last night at the glittering Black and White Ball at the Grosvenor House Hotel on London’s Park Lane, in an annual event where Cabinet ministers and Prime Minister David Cameron rub shoulders with some of the Tories’ wealthiest backers.

Guests were reported to have paid up to £15,000 a table as party chiefs tried to raise £3 million to help fund the battle for the May 7 poll.

A lavish brochure listing auction lots, obtained by website Buzzfeed, showed that guests were invited to bid for “a hearty weeknight roast chicken dinner” for four with Mr Gove and his wife, the journalist Sarah Vine, or a shoe shopping trip to a Bond Street store with Mrs May.

Other lots included:

:: A cup of tea with Boris Johnson, during which the London mayor would “enlighten and delight” guests on the theme of his recent book about Winston Churchill.

:: An early-morning 5km run with Education Secretary Nicky Morgan, followed by a “hearty breakfast”.

:: A collection of Budgets signed by Chancellor George Osborne.

:: Entry into a 10km “Iron Man endeavour” event, featuring running over hills, woods, streams and hedges with Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith.

:: A “personalised” copy of the Conservative 2015 manifesto signed by Mr Cameron.

:: A signed photo of the last Whips’ Office dinner attended by Baroness Thatcher.

:: A signed cartoon of William Hague following his 1977 appearance as a teenager at the Conservative annual conference.

:: Dinner at the Carlton Club with Culture Secretary Sajid Javid and his wife Laura.

Conservative sources declined to confirm reports that a week-long trip for 24 to a fortress in Majorca had sold for £220,000 and a bronze statue of Lady Thatcher for £210,000.

Guests could also bid for luxury lots including a trip on a private jet to the Greek island of Santorini, a home-cooked dinner from Michelin-starred chef Albert Roux, pheasant shooting for eight people, a private night at Annabel’s nightclub, a guided tour of the gardens at the Prince of Wales’ Highgrove estate, a personalised composition by Wombles songwriter Mike Batt or a baking masterclass with the creator of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s wedding cake.

A Conservative spokesman said: “All donations will be declared in the right and proper manner to the Electoral Commission.”

Published: Tuesday 10th February 2015 by The News Editor

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