MPs gather for glitzy Westminster awards bash as Rishi Sunak thanks ‘the UK bond markets’ as he scoops ‘comeback of the year’ gong – and Jeremy Hunt reveals Boris’s gold wallpaper is peeling off in the Downing Street flat
- MPs gather for Spectator magazine’s awards ceremony at posh London hotel
- PM Rishi Sunak jokingly thanks ‘the UK bond markets’ as he collects a gong
- Jeremy Hunt reveals the state of Boris Johnson’s gold wallpaper in Downing St
Rishi Sunak jokingly thanked ‘the UK bond markets’ as he scooped the ‘comeback of the year’ gong when MPs gathered for a glitzy awards bash last night.
The Prime Minister quipped about the circumstances of his success in reaching Number 10 – at the second attempt – during the Spectator magazine’s annual awards ceremony.
Labour’s Sir Keir Starmer was named ‘politician of the year’ after leading his party to a large poll lead over the Conservatives in recent months.
Mr Hunt used the event at London’s Rosewood Hotel, where rooms can cost up to £6,000 per night, to reveal he and his family would be moving into the flat above Number 11 this weekend.
And the Chancellor mocked the £200,000 refurbishment of the residence – including the reported hanging of gold wallpaper – undertaken by Boris Johnson and his wife Carrie when they previously lived there.
‘The massive disappointment was to discover that wallpaper – and this may be a world exclusive – had started to peel off of its own accord and had actually been painted over by Liz Truss,’ Mr Hunt said, as he accepted the ‘survivor of the year’ award.
‘So I will be saying to my children: “scratch over there, there’s gold in them walls!”.’
Rishi Sunak shares a laugh with former PM Theresa May at the Spectator magazine’s annual awards ceremony last night
The PM jokingly thanked ‘the UK bond markets’ as he scooped the ‘comeback of the year’ gong at the glitzy bash
After being named ‘survivor of the year’, Jeremy Hunt joked that it was ‘not that much of an honour to be Chancellor these days, because everyone gets a go’
Labour’s Sir Keir Starmer was named ‘politician of the year’ after leading his party to a large poll lead over the Conservatives in recent months
Kemi Badenoch, the International Trade Secretary, joked about her resignation as a Government minister in July as Boris Johnson’s premiership collapsed
Mr Hunt also joked that it was ‘not that much of an honour to be Chancellor these days, because everyone gets a go’ after he was installed as the fourth Treasury chief of the year last month.
In his own acceptance speech, Mr Sunak made light of how he was initially beaten by Ms Truss in this summer’s Tory leadership contest, before becoming her replacement as PM in October in the wake of the implosion of her mini-Budget amid financial turmoil.
As he collected the ‘comeback of the year’ gong, the PM said: ‘I need to dedicate this to my fantastic team, my friends, my family and, of course, the UK bond markets.’
Mr Sunak also mocked Ms Truss’s historically short spell as PM when he quipped there were plans to turn a new book about Ms Truss into a TV series.
But ‘the BBC said it was hard to work with just one episode’, he added.
Mrs May was awarded ‘speech of the year’ following her humorous tribute to the Queen in the House of Commons in September.
Mr Wallace was handed the ‘minister of the year’ gong, and Ms Badenoch was named as ‘minister to watch’.
The award winners from left to right: Liam Fox, Mr Sunak, Mrs May, Lord Harrington, Mr Hunt, Sir Keir, Ben Wallace, Robert Halfon, Ms Badenoch, Sajid Javid and Ukrainian ambassador Vadym Prystaiko (who collected an award on behalf of Volodomyr Zelensky)
Sir Keir chatted with fellow Labour MP Jess Phillips (left), while ex-Cabinet minister Jacob Rees-Mogg attended the event with his wife Helena
The top award of ‘parliamentarian of the year’ was given to Ukrainian President Volodomyr Zelensky, which was collected by Ukraine’s ambassador to the UK, Vadym Prystaiko.
During her acceptance speech, Ms Badenoch joked about her resignation as a Government minister in July as Mr Johnson’s premiership collapsed amid mass departures from his administration.
She said: ‘It really was like Avengers Assemble with Sajid (Javid) as Captain America to take down Thanos.’
Sir Keir noted the common description of the Spectator as the ‘in house magazine’ of the Conservative Party, telling the audience: ‘I often tell the story about how proud my parents were when I got a knighthood.
‘That story from humble beginnings to the gates of Buckingham Palace. So imagine how they would feel today as they learned the little boy they called “Keir” had just won a Spectator award!’.