Diary: Tories and ducks grace Bell's gaff

The Tory 'beauty' parade was on show at Kevin Bell's annual summer soiree last week. Leadership frontrunner David Davis, Neil and Christine Hamilton and a rabble of backbenchers strutted their stuff at the Fleishman-Hillard boss's riverside apartment.

Spotted were Julie Kirkbride MP and freshly redundant comms directors Nicole Lander and Neil Lovell, no doubt in contact-bolstering mood.

But Diary learns this illustrious gathering was very nearly scuppered by a young mother. A duck had been nesting on Bell's balcony with six eggs - blue ones, of course - which it would have been an offence to move.

They were due to hatch during the week of the party but arrived prematurely and were duly taken away by Duck Rescue.

Interesting metaphor as a riveted nation waits for the next Tory leader to hatch.

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