Speaking during an Adjournment debate in the House of Commons on the inclusion of black history in the history curriculum, Rt Hon Nick Gibb MP, Minister of State for School Standards, cited Policy Exchange’s History Matters Project. He mentioned some of the project’s key findings so far, notably that ‘large majorities’ were in favour of ‘retaining statues of our great heroes, such as Sir Winston Churchill and Admiral Nelson’. He also noted our polling which found that 69% of people believe that UK history as a whole is something to be proud of, while only 17% thought it was something of which to be ashamed. You can read his contribution in Hansard.
The Health Secretary, who gave the first speech by a Cabinet minister after the election at Policy Exchange in December, outlined plans for the establishment of a new body – the National Institute for Health Protection (NIHP). The NIHP will bring together the current responsibilities for infection and protection with the Government’s existing Track and Trace programme, as well as building on the analytical capability of the Joint Biosecurity Centre. Mr Hancock said that the new organisation will bring together expertise to respond to the current pandemic, create resilience against future threats, and establish the right culture around collaboration.
The speech was the first Policy Exchange event to be conducted in front of a live audience since the start of the covid-19 pandemic. It was welcomed by Professor Maggie Ray, President of the UK Faculty of Public Heath, who said the setting up of the new agency was “really exciting” and pledged that her organisation wanted to work alongside the Health Secretary in the Government’s efforts to tackle future threats to public health.
To watch a recording of the livestream please click here.
Policy Exchange, Britain’s most influential think tank, today announces the launch of a new international commission on the Indo-Pacific led by the former Canadian Prime Minister, the Rt Hon Stephen Harper. The Indo-Pacific Commission will include diplomats, politicians and military and civil leaders drawn from the United Kingdom, the United States and across the Indo-Pacific region – including Japan, India, South Korea, Australia, Indonesia and Singapore. The aim of the Commission is to write the blueprint for a new strategic approach to the region, examining questions of trade, diplomacy, politics, defence and security that centre on the Indo-Pacific. Read more here and Rt Hon Stephen Harper’s op-ed in The Daily Telegraph.
More than two thirds of the British public are concerned that “a minority of political activists are being given too much say over how Britain treats its monuments,” according to polling published by Policy Exchange to mark the launch of its new History Matters Project, chaired by Trevor Phillips. The polling also reveals rock bottom support for removing historical statues, including Winston Churchill’s in Parliament Square.
Policy Exchange has also issued a call for evidence on the rewriting of the UK’s history and has published a compendium of evidence gathered so far, drawing together a range of recent developments, which all turn on the place of history in the public square – including the removal of certain statues on public display, the renaming of buildings and places, and changes to the way history is taught in university curriculums. Read the announcement, and the compendium, as well as an article by Rt Hon Chris Skidmore MP, a member of the History Matters panel, on Conservative Home.
Policy Exchange is bringing together high-profile and leading figures from across the world to explore the economic and strategic case for UK accession to the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). We will be joined by Rt Hon Liz Truss MP, Secretary of State for International Trade; Hon Tony Abbott AC, 28th Prime Minister of Australia; Rt Hon Stephen J. Harper, 22nd Prime Minister of Canada; Rt Hon Lord Mandelson, former First Secretary of State and former European Commissioner for Trade; and Hon Chan Chun Sing, Minister for Trade and Industry of Singapore.
Signed by 11 countries around the Pacific rim, CPTPP is the largest free trade zone in the region and the third-largest in the world. This webinar will examine how accession to the CPTPP would fit with the UK’s broader trade and foreign policy priorities, and what UK membership of the CPTPP would contribute to the existing membership.
The event will be live streamed and you can register here.
Policy Exchange hosted Mark Carney, UN Special Envoy for Climate Action and Finance, and former Governor of the Bank of England, in conversation with Hon Malcolm Turnbull, former Prime Minister of Australia, in a webinar chaired by Juliet Samuel, Senior Fellow at Policy Exchange and Telegraph columnist. Among other questions, they discussed how to achieve net zero and what the coronavirus crisis can teach us about dealing with climate change. Watch the video on YouTube
Continuing our series on policy responses to the Coronavirus outbreak, Policy Exchange hosted its second online webinar, ‘China policy after Corona: is a shift needed?’ We were joined by Lt Gen H R McMaster, former US National Security Advisor to President Trump; Rt Hon Lord Hague of Richmond, former Foreign Secretary; Hon Alexander Downer AC, former Foreign Minister of Australia and Policy Exchange Chairman of Trustees; Julianne Smith, Director Asia Programme, German Marshall Fund of the US and former Deputy National Security Advisor to US Vice President Joe Biden’ and Lord Wood of Anfield, former Foreign Policy Adviser to Gordon Brown.
The event was chaired by Dean Godson, Director of Policy Exchange. Watch it on YouTube here.
‘Everything is different now: the UK economy and the Coronavirus crisis’ was the subject of Policy Exchange’s first public webinar. Our speakers included the main triumvirate who led the policy response to the 2008 economic crisis – Rt Hon Lord Darling of Roulanish, former Chancellor of the Exchequer; Lord King of Lothbury, former Governor of the Bank of England; Lord Macpherson of Earl’s Court, former Permanent Secretary at HM Treasury – as well as Dr Gerard Lyons, newly appointed Senior Fellow at Policy Exchange. The event was chaired by Juliet Samuel, Telegraph columnist and Senior Fellow at Policy Exchange.
The next round of the Contracts for Difference (CfD) scheme will be inclusive of more forms of renewable energy, including onshore wind, solar and floating offshore wind developments, the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Rt Hon Alok Sharma MP, announced yesterday. The new policy reflects a key recommendation made in Policy Exchange’s 2015 report, Powering Up: The future of onshore wind in the UK, which argued for the continuing inclusion of new and repowered wind projects under the CfD scheme at a time when the policy of excluding onshore wind from future CfD auction rounds was emerging.
“If anyone was to draw up a list of the top twenty most influential think tanks in Westminster, can anyone seriously doubt that Policy Exchange would be at number one?” That’s the verdict of Iain Dale in the LBC presenter’s latest column for Conservative Home. He calls Policy Exchange “the pre-eminent think tank in the Westminster village” and notes our unique convening power, saying: “There are few organisations that could attract power players like Mark Carney and Alan Greenspan, or Dominic Raab and Mike Pompeo to appear on its platforms.”
Policy Exchange was delighted to welcome Hon Michael R. Pompeo, US Secretary of State, to speak on “The Future of the Special Relationship”, in conversation with Rt Hon Dominic Raab MP, the Foreign Secretary, at an event in Westminster. The discussion – which ranged from Brexit to the rise of China – was moderated by Dean Godson, Director of Policy Exchange. Watch the full video here, and read coverage in The Express
The Sun reported that the Government is considering a Department for the Union to strengthen the bonds between the nations, as recommended in Policy Exchange’s Modernising the United Kingdom paper. This follows the House of Lords Communications and Digital Committee backing 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 in Public service broadcasting: as vital as ever.
Policy Exchange was delighted that the party election manifestos reflected the priorities of our cross-party research since the last general election (and even earlier). Ideas from at least 24 papers were contained in the Conservative, Labour, Liberal Democrat and Green 2019 manifestos – from social care to education, farming to judicial power. Explore the infographic showing which ideas were adopted by the different parties here.
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
In the context of the government’s plans to build 40 new hospitals, Policy Exchange is launching a call for evidence to inform a major piece of research into how we should build the next generation of hospitals. Drawing upon the experiences of the NHS in responding to Covid-19, we will explore whether the Government’s new building programme could potentially mark the most comprehensive reform of hospital building in England since the 1960s.
Britain’s universities are world-leading. Yet there is growing concern that academic freedom in these institutions is being undermined in a way that departs from the liberal traditions and democratic norms of British society. This paper uses one of the largest representative samples of UK- based academics carried out in recent years to explore the concern that strongly-held political attitudes are restricting the freedom of those who disagree to research and teach on contested subjects. The report sets out what might be done, in the form of legislation—specifically an Academic Freedom Bill—and other measures to ensure that a) universities support intellectual dissent, which drives progress and innovation and b) all lawful speech is protected on campus.
The Department for International Trade (DIT) has announced that the UK has concluded a historic new free trade agreement with Japan, the UK’s first major trade deal post-Brexit. The agreement is an important step towards the UK’s ambition to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).
New public polling commissioned by Public Exchange has found a preference for traditional hospital design that favours natural light and private rooms. This work in hospital design is part of a bigger project looking at the future of the hospital in Britain in the post COVID era, which will evaluate how new hospital building can better meet the needs of the NHS in the 21st century.
The Government means to reform planning in order to allow more houses to be built. The Local Government Association tells us the Government is wrong.
Changes to the planning system are unnecessary, they argue, for it is developers who hold back housing delivery, not planners.
The COVID-19 pandemic has provoked fundamental questions about our health and social care system. Is the current NHS accountability structure the right one for responding to global pandemics? What is the most effective way of protecting and funding those requiring social care? How can we lock in the technological gains from the pandemic? And how should we build hospitals that better serve the needs of the UK population in the 21st century?
The Government is launching an eight-week consultation on decriminalising BBC licence fee evasion, said the Rt Hon Baroness Nicky Morgan, Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, in a speech at Policy Exchange on the Future of Media and Broadcasting. Watch her speech here.
Policy Exchange’s Visiting Scholar, Dr William Schneider Jr, delivered a keynote speech on “Delivering National Scientific & Technological Advantage: DARPA and the American Approach”. As a former Chairman of the US Defense Science Board, Dr Schneider is a leading authority on strategic innovation and tech R&D. His wide-ranging speech addressed issues including the evolution of national defence technologies, space security and how to help create high-tech innovation. You can watch a video of the event here and read his paper here.
- Monday, 21 September, 2020
13:00 - 17:00
Watch our full programme at 2020 Labour Party Conference. Including speakers such as Unmesh Desai AM, Sir Mark Rowley QPM, Jon Cruddas MP, Rt Hon Caroline Flint, Hon Kevin Rudd AC, Stephen Kinnock MP, Juliet Samuel, Adrian Wooldridge, Emma Hardy MP, Rt Hon John McDonnell MP. More events and speakers to be announced.
- Tuesday, 1 September, 2020
With Hon Tony Abbott AC, Former Prime Minister of Australia chaired by Katy Balls, Deputy Political Editor at The Spectator Read a transcript of the event here (more…)
- Friday, 10 July, 2020
10:00 - 11:00
with Jens Spahn, German Federal Minister for Health in conversation with Rt Hon Jeremy Hunt MP, former Secretary of State for Health and former Foreign Secretary, chaired by Dean Godson, Director of Policy Exchange