TORY leader David Cameron opted for traditional Conservative blue rather than the requested "cricket whites" when he attended a 50th birthday party thrown by Lord Marland on Saturday at his Odstock home.

Lord Marland of Odstock, the Conservative Party treasurer who became a life peer earlier this year, asked male guests to wear cricket whites and the women "dazzling dresses".

While Mr Cameron chose to wear a casual open-necked blue shirt, former Tory leader Michael Howard followed the dress code even down to a cricket sweater.

The pair were among dozens of well-known faces who attended the bash in a marquee in the grounds of Odstock Manor. Others there included Oscar-winning screen writer Julian Fellowes.

With a background in business, Lord Marland is chairman of Janspeed Ltd, chairman of the Harnham Water Meadows Trust and also of the Grainfarmers' Pension Fund.

He is a founding board member of Jardine Lloyd Thompson and founded Herriott Ltd, Odstock Properties and Jubilee (Insurance) Ltd. He is also chairman and founder of the Sport Nexus and is a director of C Change - the think-tank Conservatives for Change.

He is married to Penny, a probation officer, and they have four children.