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
The Rt Hon The Lord Eric Pickles PC President

The Rt Hon The Lord Eric Pickles has been President of The Enterprise Forum since 2017.

Lord Pickles was appointed Special Envoy for Post-Holocaust issues in September 2015, replacing Sir Andrew Burns. Sir Eric works closely with the wide range of Holocaust academics, survivors and educational and social organisations in the UK.

Lord Pickles was Conservative MP for Brentwood and Ongar from 1992 until he stood down at the general election in June 2017. He was formerly Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government.

Lord Pickles was educated at Greenhead Grammar School and Leeds Polytechnic.

Lord Pickles was the Prime Minister’s Anti-Corruption Champion from 2015 to Spring 2017, and was Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government from 2010 to 2015. He was Leader of Bradford City Council from 1988 to 1990. He held a number of positions while in opposition, including Shadow Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government from 2007 to 2009 and Chairman of the Conservative Party from 2009 to 2010.

He worked as a consultant in employment practice and as Local Government Editor for Conservative Newsline before becoming an MP in 1992. He is a trustee of 2 local charities – Brentwood Foyer and Brentwood Theatre.

Eric lives with his wife Irene in Brentwood, Essex.

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