Matthew Dancona

A swell party

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Last night, The Spectator celebrated its (modern) birthday, July 5, 1828, and its move to the heart of Westminster with the magazine's annual summer party. It isn't for me to speak for others but, as host, I had a fantastic time. Inclement weather meant the elevation of a marquee in the garden of 22 Old Queen Street - or, rather, a Big Tent, which was able to accommodate the Prime Minister and other members of the Cabinet, as well as an A-team of top Tories led by George Osborne. Gordon walked over from Number Ten and revealed that he is still finding rooms in the building he did not know existed. We talked - as you do - about the respective merits of Gertrude Himmelfarb and Linda Colley, as well as the success of Britain's Got Talent. David Miliband was probably our tallest guest, rivalled only by Geoff Hoon, and Alan Duncan always gives Mary Killen a run for her money at the other end of the spectrum. Nancy Del'Olio tipped me off to her next career move, and Emily Maitlis celebrated her debut as a Spec contributing editor in this week's Diary. Good to see John Hutton still in the Cabinet, and John Reid so obviously relishing his new backbench liberty. Everyone wanted to meet Jeremy Clarke, our very own Low Life columnist, who is regarded by one Oxford head of house of my acquaintance as the greatest living journalist. What, I wonder, would Elgar, former denizen of the house, have made of the scene? No matter. The evening ended with a dinner at Wiltons hosted by the sainted Taki - super-columnist and judo champion - at which there was much plotting about what more the Spec should do to help Boris assume his rightful role as Mayor. Any takers for the Deputy's job?