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Scandalous ‘bonkbuster’ book by ex-Boris advisor causes a fuss in Westminster

Cleo Watson and Theresa May (PA / Jeff Moore)
Cleo Watson and Theresa May (PA / Jeff Moore)

The launch of Westminster bonkbuster Whips drew much of SW1A to a rooftop on Victoria Embankment last night. The author Cleo Watson is a former special adviser to Boris Johnson who has likened her role in Number 10 to “being Boris’s nanny”. Westminster has been rapt with speculation about how true-to-life her fictional romp might be. In a speech, she joked that her husband “prefers being married to a sex-addled lady author than a special adviser.”

Whips (PA / Jeff Moore)
Whips (PA / Jeff Moore)

An early arrival last night was former PM Theresa May, in a pair of red high heels strikingly similar to those on the cover of the book. She wouldn’t be drawn on her interest in this particular volume. We also heard the craic of the Chief Whip, Simon Hart. And half of Rishi Sunak’s team seemed to be there. Today the PM confessed he’s a fan of Jilly Cooper, the author who inspired Watson.

Tate wakes up to the sound of critics’ ire

Tony Cragg in the Tate rehang (Daniel Hambury/Stella Pictures Ltd)
Tony Cragg in the Tate rehang (Daniel Hambury/Stella Pictures Ltd)

London’s major museums and galleries seem under more scrutiny than ever these days, with each side in the culture war ready to condemn them as cringingly woke or fatally un-woke. Tate Britain’s rehang has had mixed reviews. The Telegraph panned it, the Standard gave it four stars and The Guardian’s Jonathan Jones was scathing, branding Tate Britain “the museum where art goes to sleep”. We had a mooch around and asked gallery staff for their opinions. “It’s certainly a change,” cooed one, “but I suppose we’ll just have to get used to it.” Another was scandalised by the negative press: “Well, we expected this sort of thing from the Telegraph, but from the Guardian? That was a surprise.”

Bono and David Cameron unite

Bono (Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP)
Bono (Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP)

Kindred spirits Bono and former PM David Cameron were spotted in hushed communion at Soho House last night. The unlikely duo, who have previously cosied up at the Davos conference, had been at a dinner held by the ONE Campaign, a global humanitarian charity which they are both involved with. They apparently swung by the private members’ club for a nightcap.

Coldplay confused by silent crowds

Coldplay frontman Chris Martin performs to sold-out venues around the world but, he says, “it took a while for me to understand why the audience was quiet.” Then it dawned on him: “It was because they were on their phones, taking photos and videos, and when that happens, they can’t applaud!” Hmm. “It was great to tell the crowd to put their phones away,” he says. Did that fix them, Chris?

Last night in town

Dazed editor Ib Kamara hosted a dinner at 180 Strand last night to celebrate photographer Campbell Addy’s humbly titled exhibition I Love Campbell. The event was hosted by Johnnie Walker Blue Label. Model Leomie Anderson was there. At The Audley, Mulberry threw a party to mark 20 years of their Bayswater bag. Model Charli Howard, singer Izzy Bizu, Dylan Weller and Kelis, whose milkshake brought the boys to the yard, all turned out. Tom Hiddleston posed up in full kit before his Soccer Aid debut in June.