LORD Taylor of Warwick, jailed last week after wrongly claiming parliamentary expenses to the tune of £11,000, is not all bad. After all, a few years back, the peer joined a good old community campaign to save St Mark’s Church in Mayfair from being turned into health spa. Developers were turned away by Westminster City Council’s planning chiefs following spirited opposition from hundreds of worried parishioners.
On the night the church was saved, the West End Extra, the gritty sister paper to the Camden New Journal, gathered the victorious campaigners for a picture of celebration outside City Hall. Lord Taylor, he’s at the front, managed a smile… but look carefully: he is the only protester in the photo without a red Save St Mark’s cap. Our man on the scene tells me he was offered one, but declined – exclaiming that it was too red. Too Labour red.
There was no such pettiness from Lady Sainsbury, wife of the former Conservative minister Sir Tim Sainsbury, who turned out to be a bit of a heroine for the campaign.