Shirley Porter: remember her?

Listen to Radio 4 at 9pm tonight to relive all your worst fears about Tory London government. It’s Gregory Evans’s play, Shirleymander, described by the BBC as a “tragic comedy” about the gruesome reign of Dame Shirley Porter, former Westminster Council leader, cut-price Thatcher clone and famous gerrymanderer, seller-off of council houses and 5p cemeteries. Sir Simon Milton – now, as Boris Johnson’s chief of staff, the second-most powerful person in town; then, a minor cog in the Porter machine – probably won’t be listening.

It’s based on my ex-BBC colleague and mate Andy Hosken’s terrific book about Shirl, Nothing Like A Dame (worth buying for the title alone.) Hosken blames me for a sudden and rapid slowdown in sales of his more recent work, Ken, a biography of Ken Livingstone – it was selling pretty well until Ken lost the election, he says. So I think I owe him a plug, don’t you?

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