Tories ditch their ban on champagne at party conference as police help deliver crates of alcohol

No sign of the ban on bubbly imposed by Eric Pickles when he was party chairman as Tories prepare to celebrate election victory and Labour chaos

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Indy Politics

The Tories have a lot to celebrate, or at least the pictures of champagne crates being delivered to their party conference venue suggest they do.

A week and a half before the four-day event even begins, lorries full of booze have dropped off wine, beer and champagne, clearly showing the Conservatives have no plans to reinstate their ban on bubbly, which was imposed by its former chairman Eric Pickles.

Pictures emerged on social media of police helping deliver the crates to the Midland Hotel in Manchester city centre, before they were security-checked and sent through X-ray machines before ministers pile into town a week on Sunday.

They defied all the odds and polls to win a surprise majority at the general election in May, with a result that sent their two main rivals - Labour and the Lib Dems - plummeting to their worst election defeats in more than three decades.

Then Labour went on to elect Jeremy Corbyn, its most left-wing leader since Michael Foot and a leader who the Tories, many in Labour and most commentators view as even less electable than Ed Miliband.

They clearly can't be held on the leash any longer - after previous bans on champagne were imposed to give the impression that we are really 'all in this together' - the bubbly will be flowing once again when the Tory conference kicks off on Sunday 4 October in Manchester.

And with four and a half years to go until the next General Election, there's no need to be worrying about what the public make of it all just yet.

The Tories declined a request to comment. All eyes will now turn to the choice of drink at the Labour party conference, which begins on Saturday. Surely Mr Corbyn will be avoiding any 'champagne socialist' headlines and ordering the cheapest Aldi can offer...