British prime minister David Cameron held a £1,000-a-head campaign ($1,715) fundraising dinner with six billionaires, strip club owner Peter Stringfellow, and Vladimir Putin’s judo partner last year, according to The Bureau of Investigative Journalism.
The table plan, auction catalogue, and briefing notes for the event were leaked to the BIJ. Although expensive fundraising dinners are nothing new, this one raises eyebrows because of the sheer wealth gathered around Cameron’s table: His supporters at the dinner were worth a combined £11 billion ($18.8 billion), according to the BIJ. They later donated £5 million to the Conservative Party, the Mail says.
The dinner — held at the former fishmarket at Old Billingsgate — was also a complete secret. One attendee was given these instructions to keep his mouth shut: “You are absolutely forbidden from reporting any details of this event using any kind of social media. Sorry to be a bore but it is imperative no member of our team lets the side down,” the organiser wrote.
The Guardian also has an excellent breakdown of who sat next to whom at the shindig.
Among the bankers, financiers, and other notables who paid for access to the Conservative Party leader:
- Peter Stringfellow, owner of Stringfellows, a legendary — and legendarily cheesy — “gentleman’s club” in London’s West End.
- Vasily Shestakov, Putin’s judo partner, who is also member of the Russian parliament.
- Three other wealthy Russian businessmen and one former financier who was exiled from the country.
- Paul Staines, the writer who runs the Guido Fawkes political blog.
- London Mayor Boris Johnson and two other members of the Bullingdon Club, the exclusive Oxford University society to which Cameron and Johnson belonged — which Cameron has tried to distance himself from.
On the menu: smoked rainbow trout, pan-fried guinea fowl, rhubarb and elderflower tart. The food “wasn’t memorable,” the Guardian claims.
This year’s event takes place tonight at the Hurlingham Club in west London, the BIJ says.
NOW WATCH: Briefing videos
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.