Cabinet ministers choose dinner over cheering on Theresa May
The culture secretary had a similar problem when he spoke in the main hall...
But the culture secretary was not the only senior cabinet figure struggling to get the numbers this week.
On Sunday evening, Theresa May was the star guest at the ConservativeHome/1922 Committee drinks reception where she was introduced by 1922 Committee chairman Graham Brady and Tory peer Lord Ashcroft.
The prime minister was accompanied by her communications chief Robbie Gibb and a few other Number 10 advisers. Also there were cabinet ministers Jeremy Hunt, Sajid Javid and Gavin Williamson. But other cabinet ministers had better plans. Michael Gove, James Brokenshire and Andrea Leadsom and others were spotted in the branch of Pizza Express near the conference centre.
One Tory insider in the room reckoned that the number of senior Tory politicians turning up to cheer on their leader was notably low compared to previous events.
“There are two ways of looking at it,” they said. “One is that it was Sunday night, most cabinet ministers were out for dinner and too busy to make it. The other way of looking at it is that not many senior people in the party want to be associated with the prime minister these days.”