Enterprise Forum invites Lib Dem minister for first non-Tory meeting

The Enterprise Forum (EF) – the group that aims to facilitate dialogue between business and senior Conservatives – is to hold its first meeting with a non-Tory politician.

Steve Webb
Steve Webb

The Liberal Democrats’ Steve Webb MP, the Minister of State for Pensions, will be speaking about pension reform at a breakfast meeting on Thursday 12 May. The event will be held at the City offices of Fidelity International.
The date is exactly a year since the Lib Dems and Tories agreed to form a government together.
Attendance is free for members of the EF, which is chaired by Andrew Cumpsty. Non-members should contact markbeckett@enterprise-forum.co.uk.

Enterprise Forum 'Q&A'

PAN: Why is the Enterprise Forum relevant to PAN readers?
Andrew Cumpsty (AC): The EF has been running for almost 15 years and has developed a reputation for strong debate around the policy issues of the day. Anyone interested in public affairs, or keeping fully updated on where policy debates are heading, will immediately see how the EF is relevant to them.
PAN: What format do EF meetings take?
AC: The vast majority are roundtable events, where our guest speakers talk about their policy, followed by questions and observations from our members. The events are member-only. We also have receptions, a party conference programme and work with our sister organisation in Brussels.
PAN: Has David Cameron’s sporadic anti-‘lobbyist’ rhetoric caused any MPs to have second thoughts about attending?
AC: The EF does not take a lobbying position on any subject. We merely provide an open forum to discuss relevant policy issues. In terms of MPs speaking at our events, the 2010/11 programme has been our busiest and most diverse ever.
PAN: Will you regularly invite Lib Dems to speak from now on?
AC: We took the decision to invite Lib Dems to speak given their place as partners in the Coalition. Inviting Lib Dem ministers merely continues our track record of attracting the most important decision-makers in the public-policy arena, which, in the past, has included the last three director-generals of the CBI and the deputy governor of the Bank of England.
PAN: Any other EF plans that PAN readers would be interested in?
AC: Our events before the summer recess will be on the subjects of the health reforms, the Olympics and energy policy. We also have our summer reception.

8th April 2011 by PAN staff

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