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
Katherine Sykes Director

Katherine is a strategic communications and external affairs consultant with over 20 years' experience of delivering board and senior level counsel to FTSE 100 companies, trade/membership organisations and charities. The founder of boutique communications consultancy Marland Sykes, her practice area combines strategic and crisis communications, PR, public affairs, policy and law.

Previously a City lawyer specialising in art and heritage law, product litigation, regulation and public policy, she works across a range of sectors including the arts, healthcare, nutrition, medical and pharmaceutical products, FMCG and professional services.

Katherine is a Past Master (2017-18) of the City of London Company of Communicators, the PR and communications' industry's livery company and a former ward chairman and vice-chairman of Holborn and St Pancras Conservative Association. She is a Chartered PR Practitioner and a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations, also holding a postgraduate diploma in crisis communications. In addition, Katherine is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and a Member of the Law Society.

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