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Lord Sheppard of Didgemere (1932 – 2015)

We were saddened to hear of the death of Lord Sheppard, founding chair of London First, on March 25th 2015.

Lord Sheppard was a self-made grandee of the business world as chairman of the food and drink group Grand Metropolitan, and later as a Conservative peer.

He was the chairman of London First from 1992 to 2002 and was instrumental in one of our longest-running campaigns, to support an improved transport system for the capital, eventually leading, amongst other things, to the building of Crossrail.

During his tenure, and in the absence of any London wide government, he convened a wide range of London stakeholders to set the agenda for London; from the Bishop of London to the leader of London’s local authorities. He is still fondly remembered by business, public and voluntary sectors for his energy and commitment to taking on London’s challenges. These ranged from the creation of London First Centre, the inward investment agency, supporting the campaign to get the Olympics to London, helping to create Teach First to advocating the introduction of a congestion charge.

In his latter phase as chairman he was persuaded of the need for a London mayor, and the organisation campaigned for the type of executive Mayor that has now become a reality.

A full obituary can be found on the Telegraph website.

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