Government & Politics
Latest Government & Politics Publications
Featuring a Foreword by Lord Macpherson of Earls Court, Open, Meritocratic and Transparent calls for an urgent overhaul of Civil Service appointments in light of recent revelations about the appointment of Lex Greensill.
The Government should use the opportunity of the stability created by the election result to reform the civil service to make it more democratically accountable and better able to deliver on the mandate of the government of the day. Better decision making, streamlined processes and improved accountability will lead to improved policy making and legislation, more effective delivery and improved public services, benefiting every part of the UK.
Unleashing the power of the Union – ideas for new leadership
Latest Government & Politics Blogs
The second chapter of the Levelling Up White Paper is entitled “systems reform”. Its central contention is that any policy regime aimed at “levelling up” opportunity across the United Kingdom must acknowledge the complex and interconnected economic, social and institutional factors that shape regional disparities. Crucially, it acknowledges that it will be impossible to “level up” the United Kingdom unless the machinery of government is reformed in the process. The White Paper promises “root and branch reform of government and governance in the UK”. Does it deliver?
The Coronavirus pandemic exposed and exacerbated many of the long-term weaknesses of the British government, drawing particular attention to the complexity of the UK’s public body landscape. August 2020 provided a particular moment of reckoning. Within a matter of weeks, the Government confirmed that Public Health England would be disbanded and MPs from both major parties called for Ofqual (the exams regulator) to be scrapped after the exam grades fiasco.
Lord Hennessy spent his entire journalistic career writing about the machinery of government in Britain. His classic 1996 work “The Hidden Wiring: Unearthing The British Constitution” set out how the British Constitution operated in practice and revealed the often obscure nexuses of administrative power.
Latest Government & Politics News
“Some attention has been given post-election to the Conservative plans for a constitutional commission. But less focus has been given to the significant plans being put together for a re-servicing of the Union. The Policy Exchange think-tank has called for ‘a Grand Strategy to modernise the United Kingdom.’ This is an activist Unionism of a kind only glimpsed before.”
Speaking in a debate on Strengthening the Union, Conservative MP for Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk John Lamont cited Policy Exchange’s recent polling on the strength of the Union, saying “We should strengthen our Union because it is the will of the people of our land. Recent polling by Policy Exchange clearly demonstrates that the majority of people across the United Kingdom are in favour of the Union in its current form. Some 68% of people in England, 52% of people in Scotland, 66% of people in Wales and 59% of people in Northern Ireland want a continuation of the Union.”
A clear majority of people in all parts of the United Kingdom think that the monarchy unifies the country following the Brexit referendum, according to polling data carried out exclusively for Policy Exchange. Even in Scotland and Northern Ireland, which voted to remain in the EU, more than double think the monarchy brings the country together than the reverse.
Latest Government & Politics Events
Monday, 1 July, 2019
11:00 - 12:00
Rt Hon Jeremy Hunt MP sets out his 10-point Brexit Delivery Plan
Tuesday, 18 June, 2019
13:00 - 14:00
2017 saw the Conservatives seek a landslide coalition of their southern heartlands & Brexit-supporting Labour areas in the North, Midlands & Wales. The result: the loss of seats like Canterbury & Stockton together with David Cameron’s majority. Is this strategy doomed or can an effective campaign deliver?
Monday, 23 July, 2018
17:00 - 18:30
Marking the launch of a new paper, Policy Exchange invites you to a panel discussion on “Is Britain’s Growth Model Broken – and Can Brexit Help to Fix It?” The paper’s author Dr Christopher Bickerton will introduce his research, followed by a panel discussion including the former Permanent Secretary to the Treasury Lord Macpherson of Earl’s Court.
Venue: Policy Exchange
Monday, 2 July, 2018
18:00 - 19:30
Adam Smith is now widely regarded as ‘the father of modern economics’ and the most influential economist who ever lived. But what he really thought, and what the implications of his ideas are, remain fiercely contested. Jesse Norman MP’s book shows how, far from being a doctrinaire ‘libertarian’ or ‘neoliberal’ thinker, Smith offers an evolutionary theory of political economy, which balances the roles of markets and the state.
Wednesday, 27 June, 2018
11:00 - 12:30
At a time of growing international instability, the Five Eyes intelligence arrangements (which brings the UK together with the United States, Australia, Canada and New Zealand) is of vital important to the security of Britain and its allies. While questions are being raised over the long-term future of NATO, Five Eyes represents another crucial pillar of our national security – mitigating threats from hostile states, terrorism, and other non state actors. Why does the continuation of the Five Eyes matter and what can be done to support and enhance it for the challenges ahead?
Monday, 21 May, 2018
8:30 - 15:45
Policy Exchange hosted a major conference considering the future of the Union, with keynote speeches from Ruth Davidson, Michael Gove, Arlene Foster, Brandon Lewis, Alistair Darling, Jim Murphy and Theresa Villiers. In bringing together speakers from different parties, different nations and opposite sides of the Brexit debate, we demonstrated that unionism can be the bridge between the different elements in our divided society.
Monday, 5 March, 2018
10:15 - 12:45
Policy Exchange’s Making Good on Global Britain conference culminated in a discussion between General David H Petraeus (Ret.), former Commander of United States Central Command and former Director of the CIA, and Hon Alexander Downer AC, Australian High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, who explored the theme of hard and soft power from their unique perspectives.
Monday, 5 March, 2018
13:15 - 14:30
Policy Exchange is delighted to host a lunch with General David H Petraeus (Ret.) in conversation with Hon Alexander Downer AC, Australian High Commissioner to United Kingdom The discussion will cover the topic of: “Hearts and Minds” in an era of isolationism The lunch will be the conclusion of a conference following the publication of three reports examining Britain’s international (more…)
Monday, 5 March, 2018
10:15 - 14:30
Policy Exchange is delighted to host a conference following the publication of three reports examining Britain’s international role in a post Brexit world – and how to address the new isolationism. The conference will focus on the role that the UK can play as an outwardly focused nation and global leader in defence, science, trade (more…)
Venue: Policy Exchange
Wednesday, 28 March, 2018
18:00 - 19:30
Policy Exchange was delighted to host the keynote valedictory speech of Hon Alexander Downer as High Commissioner of Australia. Mr Downer praised British leadership in responding to Russia, saying “Not only did the British Government react robustly to the chemical weapons attack in Salisbury but it has brought to bear the power of Britain to corral the great network of Western allies at long last to stand up to Russian intransigence”. He also reflected on the opportunities for free trade after Brexit. Mr Downer is Policy Exchange’s incoming Chairman.