Diary: Gummer denies any orchestration to remove Opera House chief exec

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’.

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

her.



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.



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