David Blunkett

It’s a bummer when you have to go to a black tie do straight from work.

Should I wear my ball gown to City Hall all day, go home and change or take it to work and change? Happily, I don’t have a ball gown and have got this down to a fine art. I wear a black (reasonably nice) suit to work with normal t-shirt – and then change the t-shirt for a frilly evening top and in a twinkling – I can go to the ball.

Actually, it’s not a ball, but the Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust dinner at the Dorchester, and yes I have declared it (or asked my PA to) in the declarations of hospitality accepted. It was a fantastic evening and I hope it raised lots of money for the trust which is doing incredible work.

They had there the students who are in receipt of bursaries to study architecture and it was incredibly moving to see that out of the appalling murder of Stephen has come some real good.

It was quite a line-up of speakers and guests. Outside of the trustees, there was a bevy of cabinet ministers including Blunkett and even Cherie Blair put in an appearance. Of course, everyone was staring at Blunkett.

I can’t imagine what it is like to have to go to such a high profile do in the middle of all the furore going on about his love life and visa doings. To his credit, as he went up to speak, his first line was ‘I am seeking popularity‚Ķ’ It raised a laugh – but his problems won’t go away.

Paul Boateng gave one of the weirdest speeches I have ever heard. I don’t know if that is his usual style of delivery but I have never heard such a bizarre delivery. Jack Straw was Jack Straw. The real star was Doreen Lawrence. She is just a fantastic woman.

The invite said ‘carriages at 2.00 am’. Well – I don’t have a carriage and 2 is way past my bedtime – so I left at midnight. Telling my children about the evening later when I got home – I mentioned that the Fame Academy star Lemar was there. Forget Blunkett and Cherie – I was in the doghouse for not getting his autograph.