THE UNDERFIRE Harvey Weinstein formed part of the conversation at the inaugural outing of a star studded literary festival.

At the weekend Cliveden House in Taplow opened its doors to 40 speakers and a thousand guests.

Saturday was sold-out with a line-up of speakers, including Robert Harris, Sebastian Faulks, Tina Brown, Howard Jacobson, Lord Rothschild, Hannah Rothschild, Simon Schama, Ruth Rogers, Dambisa Moyo, Nick Cullinan, Yana Peel, Amanda Foreman, Simon Sebag Montefiore and Andrew Roberts.

Former Vanity Fair editor Tina Brown spoke about her own experiences of working with Harvey Weinstein, who is the subject of several sexual assault and rape allegations, in a packed-out panel event ‘Women in Power’.

Brown, who led a media company with the Weinstein brothers from 1998, said that working with the producer was "pretty much the stupidest decision of my life.

"People are very quick to jump on the women for not speaking out," she continued.

"Who is to blame are all the corporate folk around him that were involved in keeping it quiet?"

BBC News director James Harding joined the festival on Sunday when he appeared in conversation with Michael Gove to discuss politics, the media and trust.

Other Sunday speakers included Ian McEwan, Lady Antonia Fraser and Anne Applebaum who joined a panel of speakers talking about Russia. Chairman of the festival Natalie Livingstone talked to Amanda Foreman and Daisy Goodwin about how to put history on screen and actors Anton Lesser (Game of Thrones) and Tracy-Anne Oberman read war poetry from Allie Esiri’s latest anthology.

The final event of the weekend saw Sara Vine chairing a heated discussion about Brexit with Michael Gove, Kwasi Kwarteng, Anne McElvoy, Stephan Pollard and Benjamin Wegg-Prosser.

At the end of the weekend Natalie Livingstone, chairman of Cliveden Literary Festival, said: “I hope that in bringing this festival to Cliveden we have reignited an old flame in a new way. We’ve embraced a who’s who of writers, thinkers and influencers. And in the process, have reacquainted this wonderful place with its history and its raison d’etre.”

Next year, the Cliveden Literary Festival will take place over the weekend of Saturday 6 and Sunday 7 October.