When we first saw this jolly photo in the West End Extra, we assumed it showed Councillor Robert Davis celebrating the return to the U.K. of his close chum Shirley Porter.
Unbelievably, there was never an official ‘Welcome Home’ party for our Shirl and we want to know why!
Surely Bobby would have been thrilled to have the wrinkly rogue back in Westminster again?
After all, he and partner, the late Simon Milton, saw nothing wrong with Shirl’s gerrymandering at WC and remained best buddies through thick and thin.
In June 2001, at the height of the court case against Shirl, Bobby and Si even took a trip to Tel Aviv to comfort her in her hour of need. This was despite the fact that legal proceedings were continuing against her and culminated in the House of Lords’ judgement against her in December 2001, which upheld the £42 million District Auditor’s surcharge.
Si even said at the time he “would be happy to renew my friendship with Dame Shirley should circumstances permit”.
Luckily, circumstances did permit as this report from the Insider shows:
” The “homes for votes” scandal has returned to haunt Westminster Council, after it emerged that its disgraced former Tory leader, Dame Shirley Porter, had come back to live in central London.
After 12 years of self-imposed exile in Israel, Dame Shirley has quietly bought a £1.5m flat at Curzon Square, a new development on Park Lane in Mayfair. Her new home is close to the sumptuous Bayswater flat from which Dame Shirley, a multimillionaire Tesco heiress, masterminded the gerrymandering operation during the 1980s. The affair, arguably the most scandalous case of political corruption in recent British history, saw Dame Shirley, now 76, convicted of selling council homes in marginal wards to prospective Tory voters. “
How wonderful for the lads to have Shirl back on home turf though, no doubt directing them from behind the scenes on how best to ensure the poor and vulnerable are treated like dirt.
According to the Mail, the lads even invited Shirl to their Big Day along with Davie Cameron!
” Tea at the Ritz is one of those social traditions that has been with us for generations. But it will take on a thoroughly modern aspect when Westminster City Council leader Sir Simon Milton “marries” his long-term partner at the hotel on June 17.
He is Robert Davis, who just happens to be Sir Simon’s chief whip.
The two have been together for some years.
But their decision to go through a civil partnership throws up a ticklish question: will they continue to run the council together?
For Davis, a lawyer and former Lord Mayor, not only “whips” the Tories, but is Westminster’s cabinet member for planning and one of the council’s most powerful figures.
The 2pm ceremony at the Ritz is being followed by a three-hour tea party to which many of their fellow Conservative Councillors have been invited.
It is thought Tory leader David Cameron will be on the guest list and friends are wondering if the diminutive Sir Simon, 45, and the dapper Davis, 49, will also invite the council leader’s old friend Dame Shirley Porter, the Tesco heiress who herself once headed Westminster City Council.
“Simon was Shirley’s protege, so it will be interesting to see if she dare come to the party,” says a Tory source.”
How lovely for them.
With all this warmth towards Shirl swilling around Westminster, we were surprised at their response to our latest FOI request.
We’d asked about about any meetings between councillors and Shirl and received this feeble reply:
” Thank you for your recent request submitted to the council under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.
You asked for the following information:
“Please provide diary details of all meetings that any Westminster Councillor has had with Shirley Porter under any pretext, since 2006.”
Paper diaries are only retained for the current year and are not used by all councillors. In some cases councillors use electronic diaries which are held by Westminster City Council.
A search for the requested information has revealed that the council does not hold any records of any such meetings.”
Of course, it may well be that certain councillors are too embarrassed to admit that they’re still in contact with Shirl and are trying to cover their tracks, but they really shouldn’t be so coy.
The time is right to come out of the closet and be proud to tell the world:
” WE LOVE SHIRLEY PORTER”!!!!