New party on the calendar as glitterati flock to No 10

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In thedistant days of Conservative rule, the season consisted of a few high-profile events like Henley and Ascot, but this year, under the auspices of the Labour government, a new party was added to the social calendar.

The summer's hot ticket belonged to Tony's party at No 10 Downing Street, where last night stars from stage and screen mingled with rock bands and - to make the evening more respectable - a few business types.

The Prime Minister and his wife were hosting a thank you party as a reward to all those famous people who supported the Labour Party through its election campaign.

Noel Gallagher came because his mum told him to, and then couldn't find the door. The Oasis songwriter's brown Rolls-Royce was stopped at the Downing Street gates as he asked police: "Where's No 10?"

Then he and his wife Meg, wearing a floating paisley outfit which revealed her pierced navel, walked up the wrong side of the road before realising their mistake.

The second baddest boy of pop said he had been in two minds about attending the reception for movers and shakers of the entertainment industry.

"I wasn't going to go at first because I thought we would get slagged off but I rang my mum and she said it was a great honour for her to say one of her sons was going to see the Prime Minister and she told me to go," he said.

For once the trade mark anorak was left at home and he arrived in a dark- blue suit.

The comedian Eddie Izzard had also decided in favour of more conventional attire, abandoning the customary skirt for a pair of trousers, although he had finished off the outfit with high-heeled boots and nail varnish.

The guest list included those from the world of high theatre, Sirs Ian McKellen and David Puttnam as well as those from the soapier end of the entertainment industry with EastEnders actor Ross Kemp, better known as the thuggish Grant Mitchell.

The actor Michael Cashman, a gay rights campaigner who used to star in the soap, posed pointedly with his male companion on the steps before going in.

Afterwards Noel said he had had a "top" evening but lamented the fact that he had not been offered any beer.

Climbing into his car he said that he and the Prime Minister had congratulated each other on their success before discussing married life.