Kingston Tories elect new PR guru leader days after victory in polls

Kevin Davis is the new leader of Kingston Council after being elected by the Conservative party last night. Pic: Jon Sharman

Kevin Davis is the new leader of Kingston Council after being elected by the Conservative party last night. Pic: Jon Sharman

First published in News
Last updated
Surrey Comet: Photograph of the Author by , Senior reporter

The new leader of Kingston Council is Conservative councillor Kevin Davis.

Coun Davis said he was chosen at a meeting of the party last night.

He took over from Howard Jones, who led the Tories to victory over the Liberal Democrats on Friday, but stood down due to illness.

Coun Davis said today his group would undertake a full review of the borough's back-room structures, including council committees and the balance of power between officers and elected councillors, before the end of July.

He said: “For the last 12 years the councillors and executive members haven't pulled the levers of power enough.

"We believe that councillors need more control over what goes on in the borough."

Coun Davis has returned to the council after losing his seat in 2006..

Since then he has run unsuccessfully for parliament both in Kingston, against sitting Lib Dem MP Edward Davey, and Yeovil, against Lib Dem MP David Laws.

The former Beverley Boys school pupil also contributed to London mayor Boris Johnson’s 2012 campaign.

In recent years Coun Davis has owned PR firm Cratus Communications, from their Park Road office, alongside PR people from all walks of political life.

Fellow Tory Nick Kilby, who lost his seat in 2010, and Lib Dem supporter Mary Graham still work there.

They have also employed former Labour council candidate Katie Hill and Labour activist Alex Griffiths.

Cratus has worked on numerous planning projects including the redevelopment of Eden House next door to Primark, student housing in Ewell, and Cherkley Court, the former home of press magnate Lord Beaverbrook, near Leatherhead.

Coun Davis has also been chairman of the All Saints Church Appeal Trust, and, along with Christian People's Alliance member David Campanale, ran the unsuccessful bid to establish a Christian secondary free school in the borough.

Comments (5)

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9:05pm Thu 29 May 14

0753waterloo says...

Cratus also worked on the planning application for Surbiton Filter Beds.
Cratus also worked on the planning application for Surbiton Filter Beds. 0753waterloo
  • Score: 14

11:37am Fri 30 May 14

Tony from Surbiton says...

A strange article/interview by the Comet - no mention of what Mr Davis wants to achieve in his time in office, or the fact that he has been council leader previously. Most of it is about things that are nothing to do with his role as council leader. Hope the Comet do a more in-depth article sometime soon.
A strange article/interview by the Comet - no mention of what Mr Davis wants to achieve in his time in office, or the fact that he has been council leader previously. Most of it is about things that are nothing to do with his role as council leader. Hope the Comet do a more in-depth article sometime soon. Tony from Surbiton
  • Score: -4

12:32pm Fri 30 May 14

Red_Rock says...

Tony from Surbiton wrote:
A strange article/interview by the Comet - no mention of what Mr Davis wants to achieve in his time in office, or the fact that he has been council leader previously. Most of it is about things that are nothing to do with his role as council leader. Hope the Comet do a more in-depth article sometime soon.
I wouldn't bet on it!
[quote][p][bold]Tony from Surbiton[/bold] wrote: A strange article/interview by the Comet - no mention of what Mr Davis wants to achieve in his time in office, or the fact that he has been council leader previously. Most of it is about things that are nothing to do with his role as council leader. Hope the Comet do a more in-depth article sometime soon.[/p][/quote]I wouldn't bet on it! Red_Rock
  • Score: -6

3:24pm Fri 30 May 14

bravenewmalden says...

It's useful to know that he has a background in the public relations industry and believes in schools that educate from a religious perspective. No doubt we'll learn more later.
It's useful to know that he has a background in the public relations industry and believes in schools that educate from a religious perspective. No doubt we'll learn more later. bravenewmalden
  • Score: -7

10:53am Tue 3 Jun 14

PeterSaint says...

Congratulations Mr. Davis!

I was impressed by the fact that as soon as the news became public, there was an announcement on the website of his PR company, Cratus, that they would no longer be accepting PR work in Kingston to push through planning applications for their clients (see http://www.cratus.co
.uk/portfolio/counci
l-leader-role-awaits
-cratus-director).

This follows the demand by Local Government secretary Eric Pickles that shadowy lobbyists be exposed (see http://www.telegraph
.co.uk/news/politics
/10250608/Eric-Pickl
es-Shadowy-planning-
lobbyists-must-be-ex
posed.html).

It's less well known that Kevin is also closely involved with Middlemarch Communications, based in Bristol. But Middlemarch aren't planning to fill the space being vacated by Cratus in Kingston, are they? Perish the thought!
Congratulations Mr. Davis! I was impressed by the fact that as soon as the news became public, there was an announcement on the website of his PR company, Cratus, that they would no longer be accepting PR work in Kingston to push through planning applications for their clients (see http://www.cratus.co .uk/portfolio/counci l-leader-role-awaits -cratus-director). This follows the demand by Local Government secretary Eric Pickles that shadowy lobbyists be exposed (see http://www.telegraph .co.uk/news/politics /10250608/Eric-Pickl es-Shadowy-planning- lobbyists-must-be-ex posed.html). It's less well known that Kevin is also closely involved with Middlemarch Communications, based in Bristol. But Middlemarch aren't planning to fill the space being vacated by Cratus in Kingston, are they? Perish the thought! PeterSaint
  • Score: 0

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