Many of the Great and the Good were present including Cabinet Ministers Michael Gove, Maria Miller and the "millionaire private plane owning" Party Chairman Grant Shapps as well as several dozen MPs and peers. Sadly Shireen's husband John was not well enough to attend and step son, film director Guy was otherwise engaged.
Shireen was first elected to Kensington and Chelsea Council in 1998 and during her local Government career made children and young people's issues her speciality. In his excellent address Sir Merrick Cockell mentioned that she insisted on being updated on the progress of each individual child in the care of the Council a commendable action , but all I can say is the Royal Borough must have far less children in care than Barnet !
Shireen exemplified the sort of local Councillor fast disappearing across London passionate about her Ward, prepared to do the hard work, afraid of nobody and an expert in a particular field . She was not afraid of controversy and her service on the voluntary side of the Conservative Party included being responsible for Parliamentary candidates and Cameron's much derided "A-list". A number of the beneficiaries of that system occupied the pews last week ! However the recent resignation of the lightweight Louise Mensch as MP for Corby has reinforced that on this particular topic Shireen was wrong. Her final illness prevented her from making the most of her well deserved elevation to the House of Lords in 2010 .