Lord Ashcroft’s Lunch Offensive continues, mercilessly. When he’s not entertaining Tom Watson and other animals, the former Tory donor can be spotted plotting with naughtier Cabinet ministers and loose-lipped journalists. Today’s luncheon companions would have had the PM choking into his packed lunch at the Tory away day: his lordship was clocked wooing Hugh Grant in Gran Paradiso, in Victoria. Grant was accompanied by Dr Evan Harris, with whom he fronts the anti-media lobbying group Hacked Off.
As it happens, Lord Ashcroft has had more than a few run-ins with the press over the years, most notably with the Times. He recorded the details of that spat in his punchy tome Dirty Politics, Dirty Times. The billionaire denies that he has funded Hacked Off. Given that the group refuse to declare their donors (despite calling for transparency from others), we must accept his word. And so it seems that any enemy of the Prime Minister is a friend of the good lord.