Jeanette Winterson turns the air blue at Rohan Silva’s bookshop launch

    25 February 2016

    Since leaving No 10, David Cameron’s former special advisor Rohan Silva has rebranded himself as a techpreneur. After launching Second Home — the ‘creative’ workplace, he has now turned his attentions to literature with Liberia – an electronics-free bookshop in Shoreditch.

    For the launch, East London creatives and Tories joined forces to raise a glass to Silva’s efforts.

    Jeanette Winterson speaks to partygoers

    Jeanette Winterson speaks to partygoers

    Alas Jeanette Winterson — the guest speaker at the event — didn’t appear to be much of a fan of Silva’s old team. The Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit author used her speech to take aim at government decisions while discussing the history of the area, which she moved to when Spitalfields was on the verge of being knocked down:

    ‘We were in a wave that came on the back of Dan Cruickshank, Gilbert and George, people who saved Spitalfields from British Land just knocking the whole thing to shite.

    I mean they’re at it again in Norton Folgate, as you know, and we have to stop them.’

    The speech was met with awkward glances from some attendees. Norton Folgate is the Georgian quarter in East London which Spitalfields Trust is trying to protect from British Land who plan to demolish buildings in order to build housing and office space. While campaigners claim the development would damage the area’s ‘unique character’, Boris Johnson has vetoed their concerns — using his authority as Mayor of London to push through the plans anyway.

    Perhaps it’s for the best then that Johnson — and Silva’s old boss David Cameron — gave the event a miss.