TORY apparatchiks and Government ministers gathered on Monday night for a party fundraiser where shooting weekends and dinners with grandees were auctioned off.

The Tory summer ball was held at the V&A museum in South Kensington, London on Monday night and featured a band playing ABBA songs as well as speeches from the Prime Minister, Michael Gove and party co-chairman Ben Elliot.

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Around 250 people – including ministers, party staffers and mega-rich donors – arrived at 7pm for a drinks reception before dinner. 

The National:

A dinner with former prime ministers Theresa May (above) and David Cameron, as well as Boris Johnson, sold for £120,000 as attendees dined on starters of salmon tartare, mains of beef with asparagus and passionfruit meringue desserts.

After their starters, guests were subjected to a speech from Gove, and then asked for cash donations to the party.

Former party treasurer Howard Less asked people to stand if they wanted to donate £500 to his efforts to raise cash to hold onto 80 marginal seats and gain a further 20 at the next General Election, reports Politico.

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Those on their feet were then asked to remain standing if they wanted to up that to £1000.

The National:

A band wearing “jazzy outfits” soundtracked the event and played ABBA hits. One source present told Politico: “It was like a school disco band. There were one or two people making slightly boogie-looking moves but no one was fully committed to dancing.

“If there’s one thing the country thinks the Tories do well it’s throwing parties — and ironically this wasn’t much of one. It felt almost cultish.”

The mood was dampened slightly by museum workers with the PCS union protesting outside, accompanied by former shadow chancellor John McDonnell.

Other prizes sold off were an African safari trip for £65,000, a shooting weekend for £37,000, wine tasting for £30,000 and tickets to a Chelsea vs Arsenal game for £5000.

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The website reports most of the action had wound up by 10.30pm, with ministers making an early exit to be fresh for Cabinet on Tuesday morning.

Paul McLennan, the SNP MSP for East Lothian, said: "The Scottish Government paper on independence launched last week highlights how the UK has the worst income inequality in comparison to our neighbouring countries – and this is a prime example of how it has been happening for generations.

“The Tories preach about wage restraint for ordinary workers at the bottom of the pile while giving tax breaks and incentives to the millionaires at the top.

“These millionaires then pour obscene amounts of money back into Tory party coffers – like £120,000 for a dinner that is almost certain to never happen because there is no love lost between the current PM and his two predecessors.

“That money is then used for the Tories to fight elections to keep them in power and, when they are re-elected, the cycle of Tories looking after their rich donors and rich donors looking after the Tories all begins again.

“As it stands, Scots are powerless to prevent this Westminster control because we keep getting Tory Governments we haven’t voted for since the 1950s. The only way we can escape is through independence.”