McDonnellomics: examining the Shadow Chancellor’s economic agenda

Policy Exchange published an in-depth examination of Rt Hon John McDonnell MP’s economic agenda, based on an analysis of Labour’s manifesto pledges, white papers, related academic papers and interviews with influential figures on the left. The paper concludes that McDonnellomics would represent the biggest shift in UK economic policy since the advent of Thatcherism, while the Foreword by former Business Secretary Rt Hon Lord Mandelson notes that Labour’s radical economic agenda risks empowering a new set of “unaccountable elites”. Read the full report, Rt Hon Lord Mandelson’s article in The Times’s Red Box, and more coverage in The Daily Mail, The Sun and The Independent.

Policy Exchange hosts Prime Minister for the launch of the authorised biography of Margaret Thatcher

Dean Godson, Director of Policy Exchange, was delighted to welcome the Prime Minister, Rt Hon Boris Johnson MP, to the official launch of the final volume of Charles Moore’s authorised biography of Margaret Thatcher, Herself Alone.

The event, hosted by Policy Exchange, was the Prime Minister’s first visit to a think tank since he took office. It was attended by some of the surviving dramatis personae from the Thatcher era and other senior figures from the world of politics, journalism and public life.

The Prime Minister praised the biography, saying, it is “not just the greatest recent work of biography but… also, in our lifetimes, the greatest work of modern British history”. Charles Moore, the author of the 20-year project, is a Senior Fellow at Policy Exchange and was previously Chairman of the Trustees. Watch the video of the speeches on YouTube

Housing Secretary Sets Out Building Beautiful Vision

Policy Exchange hosted a keynote speech by Rt Hon Robert Jenrick MP, Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, on building beautiful homes and protecting heritage. At the event, co-hosted with Create Streets, the Housing Secretary said the Government is “going to take up the mantle” provided by Policy Exchange to address the housing shortage and NIMBYism by building more beautiful homes. Watch the video of the speech on YouTube. Read coverage in The Times and The Daily Telegraph. Read the full speech transcript on the Government’s website.

Policy Exchange Welcomes New Senior Fellows

Richard Sloggett, former Special Adviser to Matt Hancock, the Health Secretary, has joined Policy Exchange as a Senior Fellow working on Health Policy. Richard will lead on all new health projects, as well as supervising our ongoing research on the future of social care.
Juliet Samuel, columnist for The Daily Telegraph, joins us as a Senior Fellow. She will be working on our Prosperity programme, which examines how to renew capitalism. Watch her appearance on Policy Exchange’s Conference platform here.
Trevor Phillips, broadcaster and writer, former chairman of the John Lewis Partnership Council and current Chair of Index of Censorship, joins us a Senior Fellow. He will also contribute to the Prosperity programme, focusing on the future of work, as well as the Civility Hub and examining extremism in all its forms.

Rt Hon Michael Gove MP

Judicial Power and the Supreme Court

Policy Exchange’s Judicial Power Project hosted a panel discussion on the Supreme Court’s prorogation judgment featuring some of the leading legal minds in the country. The speakers, who were evenly split on whether the prorogation should have been considered justiciable, were Lord Sumption, former Justice of the Supreme Court; John Larkin QC, Attorney General for Northern Ireland; Helen Mountfield QC, Principal of Mansfield College, Oxford; and The Lord Trevethin and Oaksey QC, Crossbench Peer and Barrister. It was chaired by Richard Ekins, Head of Policy Exchange’s Judicial Power Project and Professor of Law at Oxford University. Watch the YouTube video here.

Arlene Foster And Kate Hoey At Policy Exchange

Arlene Foster, Leader of the DUP, and Kate Hoey, the Labour MP and member of the Commons Northern Ireland Affairs Committee, appeared at Conservative Party Conference to speak about preserving the Good Friday Agreement during the Brexit process. Watch the debate here and the other major Policy Exchange Brexit discussion, Michael Gove in conversation with the Times columnist Iain Martin.

Strengthen the Union by publicly broadcasting more sporting events

The House of Lords Communications and Digital Committee has backed Policy Exchange’s proposals to increase the number of sporting events that must be shown on free-to-air TV, for example women’s national football tournaments and test cricket.

The Committee’s new report, Public service broadcasting: as vital as ever, references Policy Exchange’s recent report Modernising the United Kingdom. Policy Exchange’s report calls for full legal protection for live coverage of sports events of a national interest as part of a wider programme to strengthen the Union by upgrading the UK’s economic and digital infrastructure, boosting access to shared culture and leading efforts to cut carbon emissions to ‘net-zero’.

What to do with 20,000 extra police

The 20,000 police recruits promised by the Prime Minister should be used to reverse the “almost total collapse of community policing teams across the country,” according to Rekindling British Policing. The new Policy Exchange report, written by Richard Walton – Senior Fellow at Policy Exchange and former Head of Counter Terrorism Command in the Metropolitan Police – with a Foreword by Sir Mark Rowley QPM, former Assistant Commissioner in the Metropolitan Police, offers a 10-point plan for revival. Read coverage in The Times and The Daily Telegraph.

Bigger, Better Forests

Increasing tree cover in the UK is a matter of land use policy.
This simple fact is often forgotten amid a rush to re-forest Britain through multiple schemes and interventions. This seemingly overlooks the fact that silviculture – the art and science of growing trees – is just one subset of land management.
In the last 25 years, several government-backed new forests have been established or proposed, from the mid-1990s National Forest to the most recent ‘Northern Forest’, which is to stretch across the North East and North West of England. Though laudable and important (we propose a project of our own in this report), these schemes alone are not sufficient to address more fundamental barriers to tree planting, many of which are the direct results of public subsidies for a particular model of farming.

Revitalising Key Worker Housing


Many of the most valued and important frontline public sector workers like police officers, teachers, NHS staff and firefighters are struggling to live in or near the community they serve. They often face acute housing affordability challenges which force them to commute from ever further away, particularly in the rental sector and particularly in London and the South East.

In this report we argue the Key Worker Housing initiative should be revitalised as part of reforms to Affordable Housing policy. The Government should announce a new policy programme to increase the stock of homes available to Key Workers struggling with housing costs and update the Key Worker eligibility criteria.

Social Care Reform

New YouGov polling carried out for Policy Exchange shows the extent to which women, who have been identified as critical voters at this general election, worry about the impact of social care on their families and careers. As the major parties finalise their manifestoes, the polling shows that:
• One in five (21%) women aged 35-55 have helped care for someone with long-term needs and nearly half (43%) of women in this group, know a close family member who has done this
• 64% are worried about the effect that losing their home and other assets would have on their family If they required care in later life
• 65% feel that the care system is too complicated too understand
• 53% worry about the impact on their career if they were needed to take care of a relative

First Fruits of Education Reform

The UK should feel deservedly pleased with the results of this week’s PISA rankings. Since the last rankings three years ago, it has risen from 22nd to 14th in reading, from 15th to 14th in science and from 27th to 18th in maths. The last is a particular achievement, with the UK improving nine score points over the last three years, one of only a handful of countries to secure a statistically significant increase. The gender gap and rich-poor attainment gap in the UK is also narrower in both cases than the OECD average.

Some reasons for scepticism about a new War Powers Act

The Labour Party manifesto, published last week, promises that the first year of a Labour government would see the introduction of “a War Powers Act to ensure that no prime minister can bypass Parliament to commit to conventional military action”. Enacting legislation of this kind would be a major change in our constitutional arrangements. The risk is that it would distort decision-making about the use of force and would undermine political responsibility for its use.

Can we force developers to sell homes at a discount?

Related Content Photo Credit: Images Money The Conservative and Labour manifestos make significant pledges on housing policy. The focus of the Conservatives is supporting people into home-ownership, while the centrepiece of Labour’s manifesto is the pledge that local...

Policy Exchange launches Space Policy Unit

The UK should consider setting up a new Space Council “along the same lines as the USA”, according to Chris Skidmore, Science Minister, in order to help create a “joined up government policy towards space”.

Home Secretary to examine Treason law proposal

Policy Exchange’s proposal for a new law of Treason, which would help prosecute returning Isis fighters, was discussed in the House of Commons this week and received front page coverage in The Daily Telegraph.

  • Tuesday, 2 April, 2019
    13:30 - 14:30

How can more people be provided a beautiful place to call home? Pioneered by the work of John Ruskin, British Socialists have long had a vision for answering this question. In this panel debate we asked what that vision is today – and how beauty can be for the many, not the few.

  • Monday, 11 March, 2019
    18:00 - 19:30

The problem of jihadi brides and ISIL fighters has made discussions about reform of the law of treason a matter of high public importance. Policy Exchange is proud to have led the public conversation about this issue, beginning with publication in July 2018 of a major cross-party report on modernisation of the law.

  • Thursday, 21 June, 2018
    10:00 - 11:30

The UK Climate Change Act went through Parliament 10 years ago with cross-party support – marking a political consensus on climate action that has continued ever since and serving as an international template.

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