The death of Sir Simon Milton last week was a shock to everyone who knew and worked with him. It was well known that, having battled against leukaemia, Simon’s health wasn’t the best. He was often hit hard by the colds and flus that most of us shake of quite easily, but when I heard on Monday evening that Simon had passed away after a short illness I have to confess to feeling a little numb.
Once the initial shock and sadness subsided it became obvious that we would need to find someone to carry on the invaluable work that Simon undertook. He was expert in turning ideas into reality, negotiating with borough leaders and government ministers alike.
The simple truth is that it will not be possible to replace Simon but I am greatly reassured by the announcement today that the current leader of Wandsworth Council, Eddie Lister, will come on board as Boris’ Chief of Staff.
Like Simon, Eddie has many years of experience running a successful London borough, is well liked and respected by London politicians of all parties and is delivery focused.
Boris is right when he says that the greatest tribute that we can pay to Simon is to carry on delivering for Londoners, I believe that with Eddie working with the Mayoral team we will continue to do just that.