‘Cameron cutie’ Lady Shields sheds her House of Lords robes to return to the private sector after she lands a top job at a £1.5bn London start-up
Joanna Shields was plucked from the private sector by ex-PM David Cameron to become his adviser on the digital economy
The controversial revolving door between Whitehall and business has turned again.
After amassing ‘tens of millions’ as an executive of Google and Facebook, American-born ‘Cameron Cutie’ Joanna Shields was plucked from the private sector by ex-PM David Cameron to become his adviser on the digital economy and was ennobled as Baroness Shields of Maida Vale in 2014.
But fewer than four years later, Lady Shields has shed the ermine-edged robes of the House of Lords to return to the private sector and become CEO of BenevolentAI, a £1.5 billion London start-up.
She has just taken up a full-time paid role with her new employer which harnesses artificial intelligence to help discover new drugs to treat diseases such as Parkinson’s.
The baroness, who stepped down from her government role last year, once helped raise $400,000 in a single evening for Barack Obama during his first presidential campaign at a soiree held for supporters at the Notting Hill home of Elisabeth Murdoch.
While she will no longer attend sittings in the Lords and can’t claim a daily allowance of up to £300, she has not ruled out a return to the Upper House one day.
‘To go out and do this [as CEO of BenevolentAI] and invest my time 100 per cent knowing one day I will go back into the Lords in an active status is why that institution is so powerful,’ she says.
Perhaps she is getting out in time. A petition demanding a referendum on the abolition of the House of Lords has comfortably passed the 100,000 signatures required for it to be debated in Parliament.
Peers have been accused of frustrating the result of the EU referendum after the Government faced rebellions on Brexit legislation in the upper house.
Shields, 55, who arrived in London as a single mother with a one-year-old son well over a decade ago, declined to accept a salary throughout her time working for the Government.
Once spoken of as a potential Conservative mayoral candidate for London, she now shares her life with Andy Stevenson, sporting director of Force India Formula One team.
Cheer up Bianca, it’s your (73rd) birthday!
Sir Mick Jagger’s ex-wife Bianca secured her place in the annals of nightlife legend when, for her birthday in 1977, she rode a white horse across the dancefloor of New York’s famed club, Studio 54 .
This week the haughty human rights activist showed she still appreciates the high life by celebrating her 73rd birthday at a five-star hotel.
Her daughter Jade, 46, whose father is Sir Mick, joined her at Claridge’s in Mayfair where they took a joint selfie showing off their mutual admiration for black-and -white ensembles.
‘Happy birthday mama lovely to spend time with you,’ Jade captioned it, to which Bianca replied: ‘My darling child it was wonderful spending time with you on my birthday. I love you.’
Jade Jagger posts a Birthday picture for her mother Bianca Jagger
Veteran actor Edward Fox is a classy old boy. In the biographical notes found in theatre programmes, actors normally list at length their past roles. Fox, 81, does not bother. In the programme for Oscar Wilde’s An Ideal Husband, which opened on Wednesday night in the West End, it simply says under his photograph: ‘Edward Fox is an actor with a very long career.’
Just two weeks after the Queen’s beloved Corgi, Willow, died the Royal Family has welcomed a new furry friend. Lady Marina Windsor, 25, granddaughter of the Duke of Kent, has acquired a Labrador puppy. ‘Brainstorming names for the little nuglet of heaven,’ she says on social media. ‘Genius suggestions welcome.’ Doggy McDogface?
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