Tue Apr 23, 2019 London

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There’s No Such Thing As A Free Lunch

Further revelations emerge about lunch-loving Councillor Robert Davis’ closeness to property developers


Yesterday, after we revealed details of councillor Robert Davis’ penchant for free lunches in London’s best restaurants, further details of him doing the rounds emerged. Aside from the 514 declared in the last three years, it can now be confirmed that this Conservative politician accepted a total of 893 outings and gifts over six years.


Social butterfly Davis was chairman of Westminster City Council’s planning committee from 2000 to 2017. He had dinner with the property developer Irvine Sellar on 16th April 2015 and lunch with him also on the 14th May 2015 and as these meetings were not held on council property, no record exists as to what was discussed. As reported in The Guardian yesterday evening, Davis also attended receptions organised by a planning consultancy representing Sellar’s interests on 11th March and 14th May 2015. At this time, Sellar was planning a “landmark project” in Paddington – an area within the realms of Davis’ domain.


Much later, of Sellar’s scheme, in September 2016, Davis told Architect’s Journal:


“I call it the ice cube because it’s going to make Paddington the coolest place in London.”


“There are some people who obviously hate it, and some people who absolutely love it, and some people who find it acceptable. I think it’s a clever design the way it sits there, the way it is transparent, it’s a slightly pure ice cube. I think it is something that is going to add to the area.”


Whilst no evidence of corruption has been uncovered or suggested even, one comes back to one simple quote: There’s no such thing as a free lunch.


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9 comments on “There’s No Such Thing As A Free Lunch”

  1. Come on!!!!!!!!!!!!!! He’s only got his snout in the trough because he’s allowed to!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Not his fault everyone wants lunch with him!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Hope he grabbed a doggy bag each time!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. This man is a disgrace. He dines better than royalty and he talks utter rubbish. I hope he is now sent to Social Siberia. The likes of Lilly Newell of Caprice Holdings should stop taking him out to lunch also.

  3. Am so not disagreeing with the sentiments of Matthew’s article or the accompanying comments. However, to put it in context, what are comparable data for a couple of other councillors, ideally whom Matthew respects so that we can use them as a good baseline of the acceptable norm?

    1. I am examining some others but my point, as argued yesterday, is that these councillors should hold their meetings in the freely available to them council chambers. There, at least, the meetings would be documented and minuted.

  4. He could apply to become a member of the Worshipful Company of Liggers. I guess he is short of a nibble now since his local KFC has probably not got their usual product available. The Duck is keeping its wings crossed in the hope that some bright spark isn’t going to come up with an alternative.

  5. “Throughout my 36 years at Westminster city council, I have had only one aim; to serve the people of Westminster. I have always been scrupulously open in my register of interests precisely to ensure transparency.”
    Oh pleeese give us a break, 893 outings and gifts over a 6 year period, that’s approx 3 per day, you are a busy boy. How the hell do you have time to do the job the taxpayer is paying for?

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