As a Westminster councillor’s penchant for meals at 5 Hertford Street and the home of the owner of the ‘Daily Mail’ is highlighted, we suggest it is high time elected officials’ extravagance be reigned in
The problem with too many elected officials is that they love the perks more than they love serving the people.
Today, whilst highlighting the fact that “there is no evidence to suggest [he’d] broken any rules,” the Daily Mail and The Guardian both published articles that suggested a Westminster City councillor named Robert Davis MBE, DL had accepted 514 freebies in just three years. Tellingly, though surprisingly not exactly chubby in his build, this Conservative politician enjoyed a staggering 20 meals at the expense of others at the M steakhouse restaurant in Victoria. Steaks there cost £100 each.
The Steeple Times decided to delve deeper and amongst the vast amount of hospitality accepted by Davis, we can now reveal, trips to West End theatres and breakfasts, lunches and dinners at London’s most expensive restaurants; amongst those places he lists as having visited are Annabel’s, Le Caprice, Mr Chow’s, The Dorchester, 5 Hertford Street and The Goring. He also enjoyed a dinner at the home of the Daily Mail owner’s wife, Lady Rothermere, at her home on Grosvenor Square, a trip to Mallorca with Lord and Lady Lloyd Webber, received gifts from Louis Vuitton and was bizarrely given a teddy bear whilst on an all-expenses paid nine-day trip to America.
Davis, a man plainly accustomed to the finer things in life and someone with enough time on his hands to be a member of 25 public bodies and charities, also received 8 hampers and 21 bottles of wine between January 2015 and January 2018 and on the publicly available register of interests declares he also found time to attend a party at the home of Lord Archer and a dinner at the home of the Crimewatch presenter Nick Ross.
Whilst completely within the boundaries of current rules, that Davis managed on 3rd July 2017 alone to attend a breakfast, a lunch and a dinner as a guest of others is indicative of how useful others view him to be. He also managed to attend what many consider to be “The President’s Club abroad,” the MIPIM property conference, in March 2015 and March 2017 in Cannes and was taken on a two-day trip to Gleneagles in June 2017 by someone named Matthew Farrell.
Morally, however, one is left questioning how such avaricious living could be allowed to go unquestioned. Davis and others elected to represent members of the public could just as easily hold their meetings without ostentatiousness in the very chambers provided at vast expense to the taxpayer. There is utterly no need for such individuals to be wined and dined (other than to the benefit of those inviting them) and though thankfully the actions of the councillors of the adjoining local authority, the Royal Borough Kensington, are often held to account by blogs such as From The Hornet’s Nest, it is jolly well time that elected officials were barred from accepting this kind of lavish hospitality.
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