One of the key players in Team Boris has died. Sir Simon Milton, 49, was not just a Deputy Mayor, but Boris’s most senior appointed advisor. The extent of his influence over Boris was summed up by Tory uber-spinner Peter Bingle two months ago:
“Every successful political leader needs somebody who they can trust. Somebody who can translate ideas into policies. Somebody who is both loyal and effective. Boris Johnson is very fortunate to have Simon Milton. Last night at a dinner he dazzled the guests with his knowledge, intellect, political nouse and humour.
Simon is more popular with Labour council leaders than was ever the case with Ken. Thanks to Simon, Boris has a good chance of winning a second and final term in 2012. No other Tory would have a chance but then again Boris is no other Tory. The history books will be very generous about Simon’s contribution…”
Details from a London hospital are still sketchy tonight. Developing…