According to the Prime Minister’s sister, Rachel Johnson, the evening did liven up after that. She described in an article for The Spectator magazine how “we all busted our best moves” – including the slut-drop, in which women “collapse to the floor like a broken deckchair”. While Ms Johnson, 56, said she struggled to get up off the floor, it was “not a challenge shared by my sister-in-law”.
Ms Johnson added: “She could win a Commonwealth gold hands-down in this particular high-risk dance move.”
Later, a barefooted Ms Johnson joined in with a conga and “ripped off a big toenail” for her troubles.
The event officially ended at 11.30pm, although many guests, with long journeys home, had already left by then.
Ms Johnson said the party was held in “a magical flower-filled field”, but other guests whispered that the party had the vibe of a failed pop festival, complete with portable lavatories.
Instead of tables and chairs, which were absent from the marquee, guests had to make do with sitting on hay bales, or standing up to eat their street food, which was served from trailers.
Grass-fed British beef boerewors rolls, masa corn tortilla tacos and smoked barbacoa lamb were cooked by Smoke and Braai, which specialises in South African-style barbecues. There was ice cream supplied by Dalton’s Dairy, a family-run firm from the Peak District.
Before the dancing, the guests were treated to a succession of speeches, starting with Ms Johnson, followed by Carrie Johnson – whose words were “full of affection” for her husband – and finishing with the Prime Minister himself, who stood with one hand in his trouser pocket and the other clutching A4 sheets of notes.
In a defiant and typically joke-filled speech, Mr Johnson told his guests that he had received “masses of letters to resign, mostly from my closest family”, according to The Times.
He went on: “There are many opportunities, which lead to disasters, and disasters can lead to new opportunities, including to opportunities for fresh disasters.”
He also described the mass ministerial resignations that forced him to resign as: “The greatest stitch-up since the Bayeux Tapestry.”
The guest list was light on parliamentarians, partly because so many of them had turned on the Prime Minister only days before. Only the most ultra-loyal Johnsonites received an invitation.