Sir Simon Milton

The bells of Westminster Abbey pealed as the Service of Thanksgiving to celebrate the Life and Work of Sir Simon Milton came to an end.

I met Simon at a banquet at the Mansion House years ago when I was a London Assembly Member on the GLA. Having looked at the seating arrangements and found who was sitting next to me – I wasn’t particularly thrilled. I was not looking forward to an evening conversation with a Westminster Conservative. You are always at the mercy of who you are seated next to at these things.

But more fool me! After a few minutes of conversation I had to recalibrate my views pretty radically. Simon was intelligent, kind, interesting – and made the evening an absolute pleasure.

Over the years our paths occasionally crossed and like most people, I was shocked by his untimely death.

Simon made a lasting impression on me and hence I wanted to pay my respects to him today in the Abbey.

But what I really wanted to say about today – is that for me it was a great summation of what religions should be about – love. To have both Jews and Christians (for Simon was of the Jewish faith) together in this most significant of Abbeys to celebrate his life was just wonderful. Reverends and Rabbis – Christian prayers and the Jewish Moruners’ Kaddish – together in praise of Simon’s life.

But to add to it all – his lifelong partner Cllr Robert Davis – paid a most moving tribute to Simon. His tribute was one of love for the man – not the politician. And for me it was of huge significance that the loving relationship he described was a relationship of just the kind that any religion would be proud of.

And to hear the love between two men talked of so movingly in Westminster Abbey was a moment of revelation – that love, that commitment and that relationship triumphs over all.

Would that this could set the example of how we can all live together.

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  3. That the life of an influential man who was unashamedly homosexual could be celebrated by yourself and other Jews and Gentiles is a disgrace and flies in the face of the clear teaching of Judeo-Christian morality in Holy Scripture.It is another clear sign of the apostasy of British christendom, the animal morality of the selfish British public and the judgement of God upon this nation.