Senior Tories party with donors and supporters including TV’s Toff

PA

Reality TV star Georgia Toffolo brought a touch of style to the Conservative Party’s lavish Black and White Ball as she joined senior Tories and wealthy donors for the annual event.

Prime Minister Theresa May made it back from a high-stakes trip to Belfast in time, on what was a bruising day in her efforts to forge a path towards a Brexit agreement.

And Brexit Secretary Stephen Barclay, Environment Secretary Michael Gove and Attorney General Geoffrey Cox were among hundreds of guests chauffeured through a fairy-light lined drive to the Battersea Evolution venue in south London.

Environment Secretary Michael Gove arrives for the Conservative Party Black & White Ball (Dominic Lipinski/PA)
Environment Secretary Michael Gove arrives for the Conservative Party Black & White Ball (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

Andrea Leadsom, the Leader of the House of Commons, Health Secretary Matt Hancock and former Brexit secretary Dominic Raab were also spotted on their way into the venue.

I’m A Celebrity winner Toffolo arrived in the back of a cab, after she shared a photo of her £2,783.50 (3,600 US dollars) Sandra Mansour dress with her 1.9 million Instagram followers.

Scores of taxis and private cars, many with blacked-out back windows, dropped people off at the function on Wednesday evening amid a heavy police presence.

In the past, rich supporters have spent tens of thousands of pounds to win time with the great and the good of the party at the annual fundraising event.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock appears to take his work with him to the Conservative Party Black & White Ball (Dominic Lipinski/PA)
Health Secretary Matt Hancock appears to take his work with him to the Conservative Party Black & White Ball (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

Past prizes have included shoe shopping with Theresa May and tennis with Boris Johnson and David Cameron.

Last year, one donor reportedly spent £55,000 to spend a working day with Mrs May.

In the past, tickets on tables with Cabinet ministers have cost up to £1,500, while tickets on tables with a minister cost £1,000, and standard tables were £500 a place.

Tory grandee Ken Clarke has previously urged his party to break its reliance on millionaires and embrace the need for more state funding of politics.

Referring to the ball, Mr Clarke said in 2015: “I think the Conservative Party will be strengthened if it is less dependent on having to raise money from wealthy individuals.

“But there is no way any leader can avoid raising funds from large gatherings of that kind.”