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.

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
John Sartin Vice President

John was an independent consultant specialising in investment management in the UK public sector before his retirement in 2011. His involvement with local government stretches back to 1970 and he was actively engaged in advising investment management companies since 1993.

He was Director of both Kleinwort Benson Investment Management and Dresdner RCM Global Investors where he was Head of Public Sector Business Development. John joined Alliance Capital (subsequently Alliance Bernstein) in 2000 where he was Vice-President, again concentrating on the public sector. He commenced his consultancy in 2002 and he has advised a number of organisations including major global asset managers and a leading UK corporate governance company. He was awarded the 2009 Local Government Chronicle Finance Lifetime Achievement Award.

In 2007 John was made a Honorary Alderman of East Hertfordshire in recognition of his service to local government and the District.

John is married with two grown up children and lists his interests as; time with his family, sport of all kinds (now mostly watching rather than participating and is a season ticket holding "Gooner"), fishing, gardening, DIY, the countryside and travelling.

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