BBC's Nick Robinson brings political gags to WPA lunch to the Grosvenor Hotel on Park Lane

Gabriella Griffith
BBC political editor Nick Robinson and WPA’s chairman Daniel Van Gelder at lunch
It was a tight squeeze in the Grosvenor Hotel on Park Lane yesterday as the Westminster Property Association (WPA) held its annual lunch, with more than 1,000 attendees from the likes of Land Securities, Grosvenor Estate and the Crown Estate.

“We’re really selective about our membership, as you can see from the room today,” laughed WPA chairman Daniel Van Gelder.

British Property Federation chief Liz Peace was there, fresh from the James Andrew International party the night before. “What is it about this time of year, events just pile up?” she told The Capitalist.

The speaker for the lunch was BBC’s political editor Nick Robinson, who managed to pack in the event before jumping on a train to Rochester. “We’re glad he could make it before going off to cover the racist by-election, sorry! The Rochester by-election,” said Van Gelder.

“I’m glad he made that joke rather than me,” said Robinson as he joined the stage.

Robinson went on to regale the crowd with some of his all-time favourite political quotes. The one which raised the most laughs was from one Nicolas Sarkozy. “When talking about David Cameron’s getting involved in Eurozone crisis talks, the French President said, ‘it’s like he’s gone to a swingers party without bringing his wife’.”

Cue uproarious laughing from the crowd.

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