The National:

THE Prime Minister treated guests at his Downing Street Burns Supper on Wednesday evening to a traditional Scottish dinner of a Cockney haggis toastie.

Instead of the more plebian haggis, neeps and tatties that millions enjoy around the world, Rishi Sunak invited guests to enjoy our national dish ensconced in two slices of bread with melted cheese, made by Deeney’s, a firm based in East London.

The firm’s website tells us that founder Carol Dwyer (née Deeney) was “born and bred in a Scottish café” and set up Deeney’s with her partner Paddy after the pair met at a market in Hackney.

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They operate from a permanent café in Leyton, with sites in Walthamstow, Hackney and Tokyo (which sounds like a tagline for an alternative-universe Trotters Independent Traders).  

The National:

In a press release, No 10 said: “Deeney’s famous haggis toasties and [Glasgow-based] Rapscallion’s fresh fruit sodas are going to be on offer, and there will be a range of other businesses showcased as part of the event.

“Deeney's was set up by Carol and Paddy at a market in East London in the summer of 2012.

"Inspired by Carol’s Scottish roots, it has been a mainstay of London’s street food scene ever since, partly thanks to their famous ‘Macbeth’ haggis toastie, and they now have restaurants in both London and Tokyo.”

An employee at Deeney’s Leyton site told The Jouker no members of the management team were available to speak but said they used Macsween haggis, from Edinburgh, for their toasties.

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The event will also feature a reading from Scots poet Hugh McMillan, who will recite Robert Burns’s famous song A Man’s a Man For A That – one of the Ploughman Poet’s works featuring excoriating criticisms of the trappings of wealth and power:

Ye see yon birkie ca’d a lord,

Wha struts, an’ stares, an’ a’ that,

Tho’ hundreds worship at his word,

He’s but a coof for a’ that.

For a’ that, an’ a’ that,

His ribband, star, an’ a’ that,

The man o’ independent mind,

He looks an’ laughs at a’ that.

The Jouker can’t help but wonder whether Sunak has actually read Burns’ poetry – or understands it, if he has.

The founder of the charity Wheels to Heal, Khalid Raza, will be presented with a Points of Light award by the PM at the ceremony, which will also see guests treated to a dram of the Isle of Raasay Distillery’s finest.

The statement said: “It will be the UK’s 1974th Points of Light award, recognising the outstanding contribution Mr Raza has made to both his own community and countless others across the world.

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“After discovering 150 wheelchairs by chance in a landfill, Raza created Wheels to Heal – a volunteering network which gives people access to wheelchairs and mobility aids. Since its inception in 2015, the charity has funded and rescued 6,500 wheelchairs from landfill and 5,500 mobility aids from care homes, delivering them across the globe.”

The Scottish fashion designer Siobhan Mackenzie can also look forward to a brief chat with the Prime Minister “about her innovative work reinventing tartan classics such as kilts, tailoring and accessories into contemporary styles”, according to the press release.

We’re sure she will be thrilled.