Steerpike Steerpike

Rishi hails Tories’ ‘good progress’ at Reform club bash


The Tories might be trailing in the polls but there was no sign of glum faces in Westminster last night. The crème de la crème of the Conservative establishment was out in force to hail the fifth birthday of the Onward think tank. Star of the show was a beaming Rishi Sunak, displaying no indication of any pre-election nerves in his speech.

The PM remarked on his shock at the SNP paying him a compliment and Nick Cave’s coronation plans before praising the quality of attendees, remarking that ‘looking around this room tonight, I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many prospective Tory parliamentary candidates in one place since my own selection.’ The craven careerists duly tittered appreciatively.

Sunak joked that ‘I have two young daughters so I have been to a fair few fifth birthday parties in recent years but I’ve got to say this is the first one I’ve been to at the Reform Club’ before giving his thoughts on his tenure thus far.

‘I have only been Prime Minister for six months,’ he told the crowd of wonks, hacks and assorted politicos ‘but I do believe we’re making good progress; to think about where we were then and where we are now: our economy is in much better shape; our politics doesn’t feel like a box set drama any more and our friends and our allies know that we are back.’ Box set drama? Who could he be thinking of…

He did add though that the Tories face a ‘tough night’ in today’s local elections. Will that one be pinned on Boris too?

Already a subscriber? Log in

Keep reading with a free trial

Subscribe and get your first month of online and app access for free. After that it’s just £1 a week.

There’s no commitment, you can cancel any time.


Unlock more articles


Written by

Steerpike is The Spectator's gossip columnist, serving up the latest tittle tattle from Westminster and beyond. Email tips to or message @MrSteerpike

Topics in this article


Don't miss out

Join the conversation with other Spectator readers. Subscribe to leave a comment.

Already a subscriber? Log in