DIARY: Labour's party proves thirsty work for some

The unseasonable warm weather in Blackpool provoked a greater than expected thirst among delegates and lobbyists at this year's Labour Party Conference in Blackpool.

Among those slaking the thirst at the traditional conference curtain raiser on Sunday, the New Statesman party, were Bell Pottinger's Peter Bingle, Citigate Public Affairs' Warwick Smith and Simon Nayyar as well as Terrence Collis, Lloyds TSB corporate affairs director.

Also present were such media land figures as News International communications director Alison Clark, Daily Mirror editor Piers Morgan and PRWeek's own Charlie Whelan, who all quaffed former treasury minister and New Statesman owner Geoffrey Robinson's rather decent wine.

The New Statesman's own staff were also out in force including editor Peter Wilby and columnist Darcus Howe.

Even the sporting world had a presence, of sorts, as all 22 players of the lobby versus MPs football match, played earlier in the day, attended.

Despite the lobby winning 4-3, one expert at the party, Philip French of the FA Premier League recently linked to the vacant special adviser slot at the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, said the best players on display were losing side MPs Andy Burnham and Jim Murphy.

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