Lord Chadlington, readers will be glad to hear, is not letting
adverse events grind him down. Chadlington - aka Shandwick’s chief Peter
Gummer, Royal Opera House chairman and the Tories’ PR man - remains,
characteristically, ’very, very cheerful’.
Marvellous really, in view of the slaughter of the Conservatives and
last week’s much-publicised departure, on grounds of ’ill-health’, of
the ROH’s chief executive of four months, Genista McIntosh.
McIntosh’s leaving has given Chadlington the sort of press beating which
clients pay his company large sums to avoid. National newspapers have
described him as openly patronising McIntosh, of challenging her efforts
to banish ROH elitism and, indeed, of masterminding a coup against
Chadlington dismisses such claims: emphasising his admiration for
McIntosh, the reality of her poor health and the fact that ’it is a
non-existent story, there was no hidden agenda and no row’.
But how, apart from the Mozart that serenaded our telephone
conversation, is Chadlington managing to keep his spirits up?
’I have been enormously cheered by the support I have received from the
new heritage secretary Chris Smith,’ he explains. ’He was absolutely
wonderful, instantly available and very supportive. I have nothing but
praise for him. Just because we have different political views does not
mean you cannot admire someone who is doing a good job.’
’When you are in the eye of the storm,’ he concludes, ’You know that the
storm will pass.’
Like Conservative governments, indeed.