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CITY DIARY: ‘He did some good things’, says Stuart Rose as sticks up for Philip Green despite bitter feud

Former Marks and Spencer chief Lord (Stuart) Rose calls for a cessation in hostilities towards Sir Philip Green.

He says: ‘He created a lot of wealth – not only for himself but on the High Street – and did some good things. He had an unfortunate experience but that does not mean we should stand there and strip him of his epaulettes.’

Time’s clearly a healer. During Green’s failed takeover of M&S in 2004, Rose, 67, claimed Green aggressively manhandled him by his neatly cut lapels.

Former Marks and Spencer chief Lord (Stuart) Rose calls for a cessation in hostilities towards Sir Philip Green (the two pictured together above when they were on good terms)

Morgan Stanley’s charisma-lite boss James Gorman, 58 – said to be considering relocating jobs from the City – hosted a reception at the British Museum on Wednesday to celebrate the US bank’s 40 years in London.

There was an appearance by Theresa May, fresh from the Budget statement, who made a brief speech that a guest describes as ‘surprisingly complimentary’. The PM’s not big on bankers. But realpolitik dictates one must occasionally sup with the devil in order to survive.

Philip Hammond’s Treasury team cut a rum old bunch in a picture outside Number 11 ahead of the Budget. ‘Like a group outing from Broadmoor,’ commented an unkind Westminster observer. Most notable among them is Baroness Neville-Rolfe, a former right-hand to Tesco boss Sir Terry Leahy who is distinguishable by her dramatic shock of blue hair. Quirky Baroness N-R, 64, is a mother of four children and not without a hinterland. As well as being cricket-mad she’s also a mustard keen follower of the turf.

When former Bank of England Governor Lord (Mervyn) King speaks these days, headlines follow. Which might explain why seemingly half of Her Majesty’s press corps descended upon Mayfair yesterday to hear him at the Legatum Institute. Nibs hovered expectantly until event hostess Baroness Stroud interjected: ‘Chatham House rules, everyone.’ Cue collective groans.

What does George Osborne do for BlackRock to warrant £650,000 for four days a month? By comparison, its highest-paid UK director earns £567,000. Curious.

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