Matters monetary have taken a sour turn these last few days for two
public relations chiefs. First Graham England, Westminster Council’s
head of external relations is asked to stump up a few million for his
role in Dame Shirley Porter’s homes for votes wheeze, then I hear that
that other high-powered dame, new PRCA chairman Jackie Elliot, has been
compelled to recompense for her misdeeds.
It seems she was assailed by Her Majesty’s customs officers bare-facedly
striding through Heathrow’s green channel weighed down with purchases
from Fifth Avenue’s finest. The items, which she assures me followed a
‘spot of retail research’, included ‘a very nice green shantung frock,
one or two pieces of jewellery and a tie for my suitor’, and, together,
spectacularly demolished the pounds 145 spending limit.
She was therefore ushered in to a small room emblazoned with hygiene
tips for those about to be strip-searched, read her rights, advised she
could make one call and left to ponder her sins for two hours before
being allowed to buy her freedom.
Back on the outside, Elliot tells me with somewhat questionable
contrition: ‘I felt very humbled and have resolved to be more careful