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Porter, Sir Leslie

PORTER, SIR LESLIE

PORTER, SIR LESLIE (1920– ), British businessman. Porter joined his family's textile business (J. Porter and Company), of which he became managing director in 1955. In 1959 he joined as director the supermarket chain, Tesco, which had been founded by Sir John Edward *Cohen, and after being appointed assistant managing director in 1964 and deputy chairman in 1970, served as chairman from 1973 to 1985. He was president of the Institution of Grocery Distribution from 1977 to 1980. A noted philanthropist, Porter also served as the Chancellor of Tel Aviv University. In 1949 he married (dame) shirley (1930– ), daughter of Sir John Edward *Cohen. In addition to company directorships, including that of Capital Radio, an independent broadcasting company in London, Lady Porter was active in Conservative local politics, serving as a Westminster city councilor from 1974 and as leader of the council from 1983 to 1991. She was especially concerned about the promotion of the campaign for a cleaner London. She was awarded a knighthood in 1991. From the late 1990s she received much publicity resulting from her conviction in a so-called "homes for votes" scandal, arising out of the sale of council houses in Westminster during her time as leader of the local council, which resulted in the controversial fine of £37 million being levied on her.

[Vivian David Lipman /

William D. Rubinstein (2nd ed.)]

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