UnPlanned: The Snakes and Ladders of a Life in the City of Westminster - Robert Davis MA MBE DL

UnPlanned: The Snakes and Ladders of a Life in the City of Westminster - Robert Davis MA MBE DL

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Memories of Robert Davis’s fascinating life as a member of the leadership team at Westminster Council for nearly twenty years and a councillor for over thirty-six years.

From dining at Buckingham Palace with Nelson Mandela to an A-list private dinner with Boris Johnson and the Mayor of New York, from an appearance in an Oscar-winning film to a private drink with Robert De Niro in New York, Robert Davis has led an amazing, eclectic, and exciting life.

Robert became not only the longest-serving councillor in the city’s history but the youngest Lord Mayor of Westminster and the longest-serving Deputy Leader. He also accumulated nearly two decades leading the planning team of the most significant planning department in the country.

With behind-the-scenes anecdotes of numerous leadership and other battles at the most important local authority in the country, this book also includes numerous amusing stories of incidents that have, until now, remained untold.

His year as Lord Mayor of Westminster is told with fascinating insights into life in the Establishment. Added to this are the stories of how he met his husband, Sir Simon Milton, and how they were outed by a full front page of the Evening Standard. The book also deals with Simon’s battle with leukaemia and his rise to become the senior Deputy Mayor of London in Boris Johnson’s mayoralty and describes anecdotes of Simon’s close relationship with Boris Johnson.

Amusing, interesting, revealing and absorbing, this book gives a colourful insight into the way central London is governed as well as Robert’s life in the fast lane.

Robert Davis MA MBE DL was an elected councillor on Westminster City Council for over thirty-six years. During this period, he served as Deputy Leader of the Council for ten years, chaired the council’s Planning Committee for seventeen years and was Cabinet Member for the Built Environment for fifteen years.

In 1996, Robert was elected the, then youngest, Lord Mayor of Westminster in the city’s history and subsequently acted as one of several Lord Mayor Locum Tenens (Deputy Lord Mayor) until 2018.

Robert served as chairman of the London Mayors’ Association (which represents the mayors and past mayors of all the thirty-three London boroughs) for 18 years.

Robert is a solicitor but after 32 years in practice retired in April 2015.

Robert is one of Her Majesty’s Deputy Lieutenants of Greater London and was awarded an MBE for service to local government and planning.

He was educated at Christ’s College Finchley, Gonville & Caius College, Cambridge, and at Wolfson College, Cambridge.

Robert was chairman of the board of directors of the Open Air Theatre in Regent’s Park from 2009 to 2019. He is a trustee of both the Savoy Educational Trust and of Mousetrap Theatre Projects.

Widowed in May 2007, Robert entered a civil partnership with the late Sir Simon Milton, former Deputy Mayor of London and Chief of Staff to the then Mayor, Boris Johnson.

Robert is deputy chairman of the Sir Simon Milton Foundation, set up in Sir Simon’s memory to further his work as Leader of Westminster Council with particular emphasis on addressing loneliness among the elderly and on training the young.