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All the photos from the Evening Standard Columnists' lunch 2023

Sadiq Khan, Dylan Jones, Rachel Johnson (L-R) (James Peltekian)
Sadiq Khan, Dylan Jones, Rachel Johnson (L-R) (James Peltekian)

The Evening Standard rang in the festive season yesterday with a columnists’ Christmas lunch at LPM in Mayfair. Our roster of top writers mixed with Mayor Sadiq Khan and other special guests including Jade Jagger, Jack Guinness, aristocrat Emma Weymouth, the Marchioness of Bath, and actor Lucien Laviscount, hot favourite as the next James Bond. After a lavish lunch from the LPM chefs, our guests enjoyed a belting soul set from singer Mica Paris. At the top table, editor-in-chief Dylan Jones, contributing editor Rachel Johnson and Khan got on their feet to dance as Paris performed her 1988 hit My One Temptation.

Dylan Jones, Evening Standard Editor-In-Chief, and Mayor of London Sadiq Khan (Dave Benett)
Dylan Jones, Evening Standard Editor-In-Chief, and Mayor of London Sadiq Khan (Dave Benett)
Charles Aboah and Mica Paris (Dave Benett)
Charles Aboah and Mica Paris (Dave Benett)

The Mayor worked the room, congratulating restaurateur Jeremy King on the “great news” that he is opening three new London venues. “I expect a good write-up in Londoner’s Diary,” Khan wisecracked to yours truly. His Tory rival Susan Hall was invited to join us but forgot to RSVP. Perhaps she suffered another case of “pickpocketing”? Gary Kemp of Spandau Ballet enjoyed the serenade from Paris. “I never thought I would be up dancing in this restaurant — she was amazing! It was therapy. It was a festival atmosphere, but without the gummies,” he said. Kemp and his brother Martin are returning to TV screens soon with a new comedy mockumentary about their lives called The Kemps: All True. It’s a follow-up to their first BBC TV special All Gold.

(L to R) Serena Rees, Cora Corre, Emma Weymouth, Marchioness of Bath, and Jade Jagger (Dave Benett)
(L to R) Serena Rees, Cora Corre, Emma Weymouth, Marchioness of Bath, and Jade Jagger (Dave Benett)
Ben Cobb and Emma Weymouth (Dave Benett)
Ben Cobb and Emma Weymouth (Dave Benett)

Other guests at our lunch included the interior designer Nicky Haslam, dry-witted as ever, Boris Johnson’s former comms chief Guto Harri, who now writes for the Standard about politics and current affairs, our inimitable Wednesday columnist Fat Tony and the model Cora Corré, Vivienne Westwood’s granddaughter. ES Magazine editor Ben Cobb was also there. With special thanks to Niamh O’Keeffe, Alan Edwards, Michael Hennegan and the team at Purple PR for orchestrating the festivities.

Mica Paris (Dave Benett)
Mica Paris (Dave Benett)
Guto Harri, Rachel Johnson and Jack Kessler (DMB)
Guto Harri, Rachel Johnson and Jack Kessler (DMB)
Fat Tony, Jack Guinness, Michael Hennegan (James Peltekian)
Fat Tony, Jack Guinness, Michael Hennegan (James Peltekian)
Gary Kemp and Oliver Peyton (Dave Benett)
Gary Kemp and Oliver Peyton (Dave Benett)
Sadiq Khan (Dave Benett)
Sadiq Khan (Dave Benett)
Justine Simons, Caroline Rush, Harold Tillman and Jane Boardman (DMB)
Justine Simons, Caroline Rush, Harold Tillman and Jane Boardman (DMB)