Westminster councillor and West End Live founder stands down amid hospitality investigation
Robert Davis, the deputy leader of Westminster Council who oversaw the borough’s culture strategy and founded West End Live, has resigned.
Davis’ departure comes after the Guardian published a list of more than 500 gifts and hospitality experiences Davis had declared since 2015, amid criticism that he accepted gifts from property developers while chairing Westminster’s planning committee.
Any gifts or hospitality packages must be declared if they are of a value higher than £25.
Davis stepped down from the planning committee early last year, taking over the position of cabinet member for culture, business and heritage. He also founded and produced the annual theatre event West End Live.
Davis has strong links to the theatre industry and among the 514 items on his official register were around 50 attendances to London theatre productions, including the press night of Hamilton and shows at the Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre, where he is chair of the board.
There is no implication of any wrongdoing in relation to accepting theatre tickets.
Davis referred himself to the council’s monitoring officer in February, which has appointed an independent QC to investigate.
Davis told the Guardian that despite stepping aside from his council roles he had done nothing wrong.
“Any suggestion or implication that I have done anything other than to further the interests of the city and its residents are baseless and strenuously denied,” he said.