Clinton presses the flesh for £1,000 a shake

Evening Standard

Easy money for some. How much would you pay to be photographed shaking Bill Clinton’s hand? £1,000 per person is the going rate when the Clinton Foundation holds its first event in London, in collaboration with The Reuben Foundation, on May 22.

Bill’s daughter Chelsea, plus actors Gwyneth Paltrow and Damian Lewis, all of whom are ambassadors of the Clinton Foundation, will be there, too. There will also be a special performance by The Voice judge Will.i.am.

While chairing Have I Got News For You last weekend, Homeland star Lewis boasted that he had been hobnobbing with schoolchum David Cameron and Barack Obama at the White House.

Although the Clinton fundraiser, at the Old Vic Tunnels near Waterloo, may seem expensive, it’s an invitation-only affair. For £1,000 you are entitled to a handshake and a photo at a private reception but for £125 you can get a drink at the bar but not go anywhere near the man himself. Where is Monica Lewinsky when she is needed?

The Reuben Foundation contributes to healthcare and education in the UK and worldwide. It initiated the Team London volunteering project in partnership with the Mayor of London and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, creating more than 100,000 new volunteers in the capital. The Reuben Scholarship Programme was recently launched in association with Oxford University, University College London and ARK Schools to help bright students from disadvantaged backgrounds.