One giant leap for the young Prime Minister


Already, aged 16, David Cameron was clearly aiming high.

As a newly unearthed picture shows, the Eton schoolboy could even be competitive in so unimportant an activity as posing for a charity ball photo.

Clutching a wine glass and dressed in black tie, Cameron is pictured arm-in-arm with his first girlfriend, Lydia Craig. The couple met and started going out when Cameron was in Eton's sixth form, though they broke up when he set off on his gap year to Russia.

She went on to work as a layout designer for adult magazine Penthouse, and later became a model agent. Married twice with two children from each marriage, she is now Lydia Dickinson and lives in a £6m house in Richmond, south-west London. Like all Cameron's ex-girlfriends, she has always maintained a discreet silence.

The picture was taken at the 1983 Freedom Ball at the Café Royal in London, and appeared in Harpers and Queen. The society magazine described the event as "London's most influential youth charity ball", and reported how swarms of youths were so desperate to get in that they "spent five hours... attempting to sneak in through kitchen windows, up fire-escapes, down food lifts, along drainpipes".

The other two in the shot are Lucy Sangster, née Wigram, and her unidentified date. Also unexplained is what the young Cameron's wine glass contained, though Mrs Dickinson said yesterday that "It was probably Coca-cola." Maybe. But, as we now know the PM likes to knock back "three or four glasses of wine" with lunch, and sometimes forgets his daughter in the pub, can we be so sure?