Guest pays £20,000 for tea with Blair at Stonewall dinner

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Last night’s Stonewall Equality Dinner raised £320,000 for the gay equality organisation.

Auctioned at the event were a range of items including art by Kobi Israel, the award-winning photographer, a civil partnership reception and dinner at Cliveden, one of the world’s finest hotels.

The opportunity to have tea with Tony Blair secured a bid of £20,000. All funds raised will go towards Stonewall campaigns such as Education for All, tackling homophobic bullying from Britain’s schools.

Last night’s event at the Dorchester hotel in London was the tenth annual Equality Dinner.

It was hosted by comedian Amy Lamé and among the guests were novelist Sarah Waters, radio personality Paul Gambaccini, Lib Dem candidate for Mayor of London Brian Paddick and artist Maggi Hambling.

The Dinner was sponsored by UBS for the third time.

Ben Summerskill, Stonewall chief executive, told

“Stonewall’s Equality Dinner is one of the most important events in our fundraising calendar because it raises so much vital core funding.

“I’d like to thank all our supporters for making this year’s event another success.”

Sir Ian McKellen, a co-founder of Stonewall, gave a rousing keynote speech at the Dinner.

“We were part of a historic initiative, that little group in which gay men and women took things into their own hands,” he told the 540 guests.

Stonewall’s next fundraising event is the Brighton Equality Walk, taking place on Bank Holiday Sunday 4th May. For more information click here.

The gay equality group is holding a hustings event with the leading candidates for Mayor of London on Saturday April 19th.

For more information click here.