In January 1983 (I cannot BELIEVE it is 25 years ago!) I was invited to a reception at 10 Downing Street by Margaret Thatcher, along with other chairman of univesity Conservative Associations. In those days I didn't even own a suit. That soon had to be rectified. I can remember walking up the famous staircase, past the pictures of all previous PMs. At the top of the stairs was Mrs T, greeting her guests. I shook hand, making a mental note of how small she appeared. As she shook my hand she almost guided me on into the reception room. Most of the Cabinet was there - Tebbit, Lawson, Parkinson. I remember having a conversation with Cecil Parkinson about running and he told me about how, after having done an interview about his early morning runs, he would be sent dozens of running shoes by the likes of Adidas etc. He then proceeded to offer me a pair, which sadly I had to decline as my feet were two sizes bigger than his.
The waiters plied the guests with wine throughout the evening. Not being a big drinker I decided to stop after two glasses. However, when you're at a party you feel a bit of a spare part without a glass in your hand, so I took another. As I raised the glass to my lips Margaret Thatcher walked right by me. As she moved past I found my stomach heaving and it was all I could do not to throw up at her feet. It wasn't wine in the glass, it was her favourite tipple: whisky and water.
And so ended what nearly became my most embarrassing moment in politics. Tell us about yours.