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Whip round saves the music at Lib Dem conference karaoke

As everyone knows, the Lib Dems know how to have fun. The party has decamped to the south coast for its conference, and held a raucous party in the basement of Bournemouth’s seafront Marriott Hotel last night.

But there was almost a disaster, as the DJ insisted he’d only been booked until midnight and tried to leave.

Quick-thinking activists had a whip-round and managed to raise the £100 needed for him to stay another hour.

It meant Twickenham MP Munira Wilson could belt out a karaoke rendition of the Human League’s Don’t You Want Me, joined by the deputy leader of Richmond council, Jim Millard.

Munira Wilson and Jim Millard (Rachael Burford/ Evening Standard)
Munira Wilson and Jim Millard (Rachael Burford/ Evening Standard)

Earlier in the day, leader Sir Ed Davey tried to do a stunt against sewage in a kayak. He was capsized as a prank by Eastbourne candidate Josh Babarinde.

Don’t expect a promotion for Josh any time soon. Meanwhile, we noticed that the areas surrounding the conference had run out of vegan sausage rolls, which upset some loyal activists.

Despite that shortage, the Lib Dems have attracted some celebrity backers, including Steve Coogan and Carol Vorderman, who both want voting reform. Will Labour or the Tories woo better star power for their conferences next month?

Sir Keir caught at crossroads over HS2

Keir Starmer and Tulip Siddiq (Keir Starmer / Twitter)
Keir Starmer and Tulip Siddiq (Keir Starmer / Twitter)

TO HS2, or not to HS2? The Government isn’t sure, and neither is Sir Keir Starmer. This week, there has been talk that Rishi Sunak could cancel the second leg of the costly high-speed rail line between Birmingham and Manchester, meaning yet another public row on the project.

Labour has criticised the flip-flopping, and previously said it would build the full line. It is now keeping its powder dry. But their leader was once a staunch opponent of HS2. A picture Sir Keir posted on Twitter in 2015 has resurfaced online. It shows him handing out petitions against the project in Parliament, alongside fellow north London MP Tulip Siddiq.

Starmer also spoke on the subject in the Commons, saying the project would mean “20 years of devastation”. To be fair to Sir Keir, his constituents in Holborn and St Pancras have been affected by disruptions around the Euston section. But which track will he stay on this time?

Stars flock to Milan Fashion Week

Fashion Week has left London and flown to Milan, with all the stars in tow. Actors Paul Mescal and Daisy Edgar-Jones turned up for Gucci, and went dancing after. In a red carpet interview, Mescal was asked how much he thinks about the Roman Empire, following the latest TikTok trend where women ask the men in their lives this very question.

“In the last six months I’ve been thinking about the Roman Empire quite a bit,” the actor said. “My Dad thinks about the Roman Empire daily.” Mescal is in the Gladiator sequel, so he has a good excuse.

Supermodel Gigi Hadid walked the BOSS show with British boxer Anthony Joshua, who swapped pre-match robes for a winter coat, while Naomi Campbell and Burna Boy watched on. Meanwhile, actor Cate Blanchett got suited and booted for the Giorgio Armani show.