About The Enterprise Forum

History

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.


Membership and Meetings

The Enterprise Forum’s members are businesses and organisations that want to engage on policy with the Coalition Government or before 2010, the Conservative Party. 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 Rules.

Additionally, the Forum also engages with key policy stakeholders outside of the Conservative Party. These have included Director Generals at the CBI, Deputy Governors at The Bank of England, the Liberal Democrats and the First Minister of Northern Ireland.


President, Vice Presidents and Directors

The President of the Enterprise Forum is The Lord MacLaurin of Knebworth DL. Vice-Presidents of the Enterprise Forum are Alistair Burt MP (Founder and former Chairman of the Enterprise Forum), David Gauke MP, Malcolm Harbour CBE, Margot James MP and Mark Prisk MP.

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

Former directors of the Enterprise Forum that have gone on to become MPs are David Gauke MP, Stephen Barclay MP, Oliver Colvile MP, Alan Mak and Laura Sandys.


European Parliament Representative

Julie Girling MEP is the representative for The Enterprise Forum in The European Parliament. The Enterprise Forum holds regular European Parliament update meetings in London and Brussels.

Executive Members
Sir Robbie Gibb Director

Robbie Gibb is a political adviser, broadcast journalist and communications professional.

He is a senior adviser for the corporate communications consultancy Kekst CNC and is a board member of the Enterprise Forum. He is an expert in the British political landscape with a detailed understanding of the Brexit process.

Between July 2017 and July 2019, as Director of Communications, Robbie was one of the Prime Minister Theresa May’s closest political advisers. He joined Number 10 from the BBC in the aftermath of the 2017 General Election.

Robbie was intimately involved in the development and selling Britain’s policy to leave the EU. His first hand experience and insights into the political drama surrounding Brexit give him an almost unique understanding of the challenges the Government faces in Europe and the country.

In his capacity as Director of Communications he worked across every area of policy including preparations for the UK’s annual budget, measures to combat singe use plastics and the long term plan for the NHS.

Despite his longstanding Conservative leanings, he had a reputation during his career at the BBC as a passionate advocate for impartiality. Since leaving No10 his has spoken and written extensively on the need for reform of the BBC and the wider broadcast environment.

As a broadcast journalist and programme editor he had an illustrious career editing many of the corporations flagship programmes - deputy editor of Newsnight, editor of the Daily and Sunday Politics, executive editor of the Andrew Marr Show and This Week. In the years leading up to his move to No10 he was head of BBC Westminster with overall responsibility for the BBC’s political output.

Robbie is a regular columnist writing mostly for the Daily Mail and Daily Telegraph.

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