London Tory leader announces civil partnership
The head of one of London’s leading local authorities has publicly come out and announced he is to enter into a civil partnership.
Sir Simon Milton is the leader of Westminster council and close to Conservative leader David Cameron.
He is expected to be offered a seat in the Lords and possibly a job in government if the Tories win the next election.
His partner is Robert Davis, 49, is a former mayor of Westminster and current cabinet member for planning.
They have been together ten years.
They will hold their partnership ceremony next month at The Ritz hotel in London. It is not known if Mr Cameron will attend.
Sir Simon, 45, chose to reveal his sexuality and his partnership plans to the Evening Standard newspaper.
The told the paper he wanted to tell people rather than have rumours and gossip circulate.
“We had been talking about it for a while. It just seemed – why not now?
“It’s a very sensible thing for people who are in a relationship to do,” he told the Standard.
“Any time we did it was always going to lead to some comment.
“I’m currently standing for election to the chair of the Local Government Association, which is the most senior position in the country.
“I don’t consider myself a very public figure but I recognise that in becoming better known, people will probably start to hear about these things.
“I think the public is fairly uninterested in people’s private lives, providing they’re not being hypocritical.”
Political opponents of Sir Simon and Mr Davis wanted to know why the relationship was not made public before now.
Labour group leader on the council Paul Dimoldenberg told the Standard:
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“I am sure they will be very happy together.
“But Westminster residents will want to know why the council leader never declared his relationship with Mr Davis when appointing him to all those powerful and well-paid jobs over the years.”
In October another Tory who is close to party leader David Cameron was revealed to be in a gay relationship.
Shadow Environment spokesman Greg Barker split from his wife of 14 years, Celeste, after having a year long gay affair,
The MP for Bexhill and Battle confirmed that he had separated from Celeste but says the rest is a private matter, a statement backed by the party.
Mr Barker recently appeared in 20th position on the Independent on Sunday Pink List of influential gay people in Britain.