- Conservative Business Relations
Conservative Business Relations was set up to provide a new structure for listening to business effectively, and to increase the British Conservative Party’s understanding of the policy concerns of British businesses. The Business Relations team organises a variety of networking and policy events for businesses to come together to help us foster an effective and successful business environment.
Alexandra Robson is the Head of Business Relations.
Conservative Business Relations has achieved a great deal over the last 6 months.[when?] It has hosted a number of networking events and seminars up and down the country.
Three Trade Association engagement seminars were held in conjunction with the Trade Association Forum. The events involved associations from the High Tech, Media and Telecoms sector, the Consumer Goods and Retail sector and the Construction and Property Development industry. Feedback from these events will help the Conservative Party formulate its business policy.
Two CEO engagement seminars were held. These events were attended by FTSE 100, FTSE 250 and Private 100 CEOs from the High Tech, Media and Telecoms sector and the Retail and Consumer sector. At the TMT seminar they voiced their concerns about the current economic climate to the Rt. Hon. Francis Maude MP, Chairman of the Conservative Party, Charles Hendry MP, Shadow Minister for Energy, Science & Technology and Adam Afryie MP our parliamentary sector leader for Technology, Media and Telecoms. At the Retail and Consumer sector event, another group of leading CEOs spoke with George Osborne MP, Shadow Chancellor and Philip Dunne our parliamentary sector leader for Consumer Goods and Retail.
On the 12th March the Conservative City Circle helped to organise a Green Economy Conference at the Great Eastern Hotel. Speakers at this high profile and informative event included the Rt Hon David Cameron MP, George Osborne MP, Sir Terry Leahy, Eddie O’Connor, Zac Goldsmith and James Murdoch.
On Thursday 19 April Sir John Major spoke at the launch event of Conservative City Future. City Future has been set up to embrace the new generation in the City and to provide an accessible and appealing forum for networking, policy influence and feedback for young City professionals.
On the 26th March Business Relations, with the kind help of Indian High Commissioner H.E. Kamalesh Sharma, hosted a business networking reception at India House in London. The London region Conservative Business Relations Chairman Paul Shea was highly encouraged by the success of the event and said the following; ‘This was a unique networking opportunity for a diverse range of people at a stunning location. With the success of this event, no doubt others will follow’.
On the 14th May George Osborne MP, Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer, addressed members of the Conservative City Circle (CCC) at the Grange City Hotel in London. CCC is co-chaired by Michael Spencer, Group Chief Executive of ICAP and Richard Spring MP, Vice Chairman of the Conservative Party (Business and Enterprise).
On the 23rd February George Osborne MP, Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer, spoke to an audience of business leaders and MBA students at Manchester Business School. Northwest Business Relations Chairman Carl Allen was confident about the effects the visit could have on the local business community: 'Regional business leaders saw great value in George's (Osborne) visit, which has certainly reinforced their belief that Manchester, given the right amount of attention and support, can achieve its status of becoming the creative capital of Europe'.
The Conservative Party has brought together MPs with a deep knowledge and understanding of business and economic issues to act as champions for different business sectors.
Philip Dunne is MP for Ludlow and has recently been appointed Sector Leader for Consumer Goods and Retail. Before entering politics, Philip was an investment banker for 20 years with S.G. Warburg then Phoenix Securities. He was co-founder and chairman of bookshop chain Ottakar's Plc and is chairman of Baronsmead VCT4 Plc a venture capital trust.
Mark Simmonds MP is Member of Parliament for Boston and Skegness in Lincolnshire. He was first elected in 2001 with a majority of 515 and re-elected in 2005 with a majority of 6000; which was one of the largest swings to a Conservative MP in the UK. He has held several Shadow Ministerial posts including education and foreign office, and is currently the Shadow Minister for International Development. Prior to entering Parliament Mark was in business as a commercial property adviser, having been a Partner of Strutt & Parker and a Director of Hillier Parker. Mark founded his own firm specialising in retail property in the UK and Europe and still retains his role as Chairman of the company he founded which has offices in London and the Midlands.
Michael Jack is MP for Fylde and has recently been appointed Sector Leader for Industry and Manufacturing. Until he entered Parliament, Michael Jack was the Sales Director of L O Jeffs Ltd a fresh produce supply company, part of Northern Foods. He also worked in a management capacity at Procter & Gamble and Marks and Spencer, where he was PA to the then Sir, later Lord Derek Rayner the company's joint managing director.
Malcolm Moss is MP for North East Cambridgeshire and has recently been appointed Sector Leader for Leisure and Tourism, having previously been the Shadow Minister for this sector. In 1971 Malcolm was an Insurance Broking Consultant at Barwick Associates Ltd., based in Worcestershire. In 1974 he was a co-founder of Mandrake (Insurance & Finance Brokers) Ltd. The company was later bought out by Hambro Countrywide PLC.
Brian Binley is MP for Northampton South and has recently been appointed Sector Leader for Small Businesses. Born in 1942, Brian Binley is Chairman of BCC Marketing Services, the company he created in 1988 to offer a database building service to the direct marketing industry. It has prospered to such an extent, that the company now employs some 100 people, and turns over approximately £1.4 million.
Adam Afriyie is MP for Windsor and has recently been appointed Sector Leader for Technology, Media and Telecoms. His background is in business. Adam was founding Director of Connect Support Services – a member of the Sunday Times Fast-Track 100 of Britain’s fastest growing companies in 2001 – an IT support services company; he became non-executive Chairman of Connect in 2003 in order to enter full-time politics. He is also Chairman of Adfero, a news and information services business.
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