Valance and Wintour host rival Trump-Biden London events

Valance and Wintour host rival Trump-Biden London events

4 hours agoBy James FitzGerald and Nick Johnson, BBC News, LondonReuters/PA MediaActress Holly Valance (left) is set to host the Republican event – with fashion icon Anna Wintour said to be hosting the rival Democratic fundraiser

The US election campaign came to London on Wednesday evening, with an Aussie pop star and the editor of Vogue hosting rival fundraising events to reel in thousands of dollars in donations.

Holly Valance, the former Neighbours actress who topped the pop charts in the early 2000s, is expected to host a pro-Donald Trump event in West London at which ticket prices start at $10,000 (£7,800), one guest told the BBC.

Vogue’s editor-in-chief Anna Wintour meanwhile is reported to be hosting a fundraiser in support of Joe Biden’s campaign. Tickets are said to cost $1,000 each.

Only US citizens and permanent residents will be able to make donations.

Donald Trump’s son, Donald Jr, is among the reported guests at the Republican fundraiser, and Trump’s ally Nigel Farage, the Reform UK party leader, was seen arriving.

He gave a warm smile and said “good evening” to waiting journalists as he arrived.

Greg Swenson, the chairman of Republicans Overseas, said he, too, would be attending and confirmed that tickets cost from $10,000-$100,000. It’s $10,000 for a ticket, but for dinner, it is $50,000 per couple.

Mr Swenson acknowledged it was a “big-ticket” event, but insisted the Republicans were the “party of the people” and highlighted the entry fees for rival Democratic events.

The most expensive tickets for one of Mr Biden’s events in New York in March cost half a million dollars each.

Mr Swenson said he would be “surprised” if Trump Sr did not make a virtual appearance on Wednesday, having been at other events at which the ex-president “chimes in”.

The London location is near the Chelsea Embankment in an exclusive area. At the door, a man in a suit and umbrella welcomed guests dropped off in front of polished black gates on Wednesday.

The property’s website describes the venues as a “hub for entertainment and relaxation”, including wine cellar, swimming pool, spa and IMAX cinema.

Not everyone at the site felt warmly toward Trump, however – a woman with an American accent shouted “Vote Biden” from a building nearby.

PA MediaReform UK leader Nigel Farage arrives at a fundraiser for Donald Trump in London on Wednesday.

Trump has lagged behind his rival in fundraising efforts during the race so far, but his recent conviction in a New York hush-money trial prompted donations of tens of millions of dollars, according to his campaign team.

The party was “killing it with small donations”, Mr Swenson said, after Americans were left “shocked at the justice system”.

Valance, 41, is perhaps better known to millions in Britain and Australia for her 2002 song Kiss Kiss, and its racy video that took the pop world by storm.

She been linked to Mr Farage and Trump since being pictured alongside the two politicians in 2022, along with her entrepreneur husband Nick Candy.

A fundraiser for the US presidential campaign of Donald Trump will be held at an exclusive venue near the Chelsea Embankment that includes an IMAX cinema and a pool.

There was no immediate response to a BBC request for comment that was sent to the Candy Foundation, the couple’s charity.

Few details were available about the rival Democratic event, which was due to be hosted by Anna Wintour according to a Financial Times report. The BBC has approached the Biden campaign for comment.

The timing of the rival London events was pure coincidence, insisted Sharon Manitta, global press secretary for Democrats Abroad.

Ms Manitta said her organisation – which operates separately to the Biden campaign – had organised a further event, a comedy night in Greenwich, for which tickets were selling for the more modest sum of $60.

“We figure we need a bit of comedy now in this craziness,” she told the BBC.

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