About The Enterprise Forum


The Enterprise Forum was founded in 1997 by Andrew Cumpsty and Alistair Burt through a desire to ensure business involvement in the Conservative Party's policy development. Its aim is to improve the quality and flow of information between the business community and the Conservative Party. Alistair Burt was the first Chairman of the Enterprise Forum. Andrew Cumpsty took over from Alistair Burt as Chairman after Burt’s re-election to Parliament in 2001.

The first formal meeting, by the Enterprise Forum was with Peter Lilley MP, the then Deputy Leader of the Conservative Party. Since that time the Enterprise Forum has had virtually every front bench Conservative Politician speak at one of its meetings.

Additionally, the Forum also engages with key policy stakeholders outside of the Government and the Conservative Party. These have included Director Generals at the CBI, Deputy Governors at The Bank of England, the Liberal Democrats, Labour Party, the SNP, the TUC, Devolved and Local Government.

Membership and Meetings

The Enterprise Forum’s members are businesses and organisations that want to engage on policy with the Government and other politicians. Membership includes commercial organisations (including FTSE 100 companies and SME’s), trade associations and charities.

The programme of events is determined by the policy priorities of the member organisations. The majority of meetings are held under the Chatham House Rule.

President, Vice Presidents and Directors

The President of the Enterprise Forum is The Rt Hon Sir Eric Pickles. Vice-Presidents of the Enterprise Forum are The Rt Hon Alistair Burt MP (Founder and former Chairman of the Enterprise Forum), Sir Graham Brady MP, The Rt Hon Esther McVey MP, Malcolm Harbour CBE and Mark Prisk MP.

The Enterprise Forum is run by an unpaid board of senior directors drawn from business and industry (see biographies opposite)

European Parliament Representative

The Enterprise Forum holds regular European Parliament update meetings in London and Brussels.

Executive Members
Oliver Colvile Director

Oliver Colvile has returned as Director of the Enterprise Forum since resigning in 2010 when he was elected as the Conservative MP for Plymouth Sutton & Devonport. He has also returned as a Director of Polity Communications (web site under construction) which manages community consultation for house builders and developers as well as advising on the local political process. During his time in the House of Commons, Oliver was Parliamentary Private Secretary to Rt. Hon Penny Mourdant and Philip Dunne then Ministers of State at the Ministry of Defence and Rt. Hon James Brokenshire, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland. Oliver also served for six years on the Northern Ireland Select Committee and was the Chairman of the Built Environment All Party Parliamentary Group which conducted an inquiry into the quality of new build housing. Its recommendations have now become law including setting up a New Build Housing ombudsman.

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