Birmingham - (Bottoms Up News): "Personally, I blame this newfangled LibDem austerity malarkey for seeping into the Party spirit," one disgruntled Conference delegate grumbled today.
And complain he might.
The cancellation of the annual 'Gatecrashers Only' drinks party has dismayed delegates, 95% of whom admit to only ever attending the Tory shindig for My Noble Lord's peerless hospitality.
"Normally the bathtub is brimming with jeroboams of pink fizz," another delegate complained, "but this year we're feeling frozen out."
Something distinctly non-stylish may still replace the fabled 'do' - although fears of a Harold Wilson-style 'beer and butties' downmarket bash have been dismissed as beyond the pale ale.
"Don't blame the barman," a 1922 backebencher source commented this afternoon, "he's much too good a poker player to cava (sic) in over this one."
Eric Pickles is surely a misnomer.