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
Clarence Mitchell Director

Clarence Mitchell joined Burson-Marsteller UK as a Managing Director in September 2011, where he provides strategic counsel to corporate and public affairs clients at the most senior levels across all practice areas, with his particular specialism in media relations, international reputation management and stakeholder engagement.

He was appointed Practice Chair, UK Public Affairs in May 2012, leading on advising clients over engagement with both the British Government and the British Conservative Party.

His current corporate clients include Microsoft, Heineken, Lloyds Banking Group, Hewlett Packard and Costa Cruises. He provided strategic crisis counsel to Costa’s Chairman and CEO during the recent Costa Concordia cruise liner disaster in Italy. His Governmental clients include the Icelandic Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Prior to joining B-M, Clarence was Director of Media Strategy and Public Affairs at Lewis PR in London, where he similarly provided strategic counsel on issues and crisis management and public affairs to the client list, including a number of UK charities and not-for-profit organisations. Previously, he was a consultant with Freud Communications offering the corporate client list print and broadcast media training for both C-suite and middle management.

Prior to that, he was Director of the UK Government’s Media Monitoring Unit, based within the Cabinet Office, leading a 30-strong team of Information Officers that advised No 10 Downing Street and all of the major UK Departments of State on how best to respond to the 24/7 news agenda.

More recently, Clarence was also Head of Election Media Monitoring for the British Conservative Party, based at Conservative Central HQ, during the 2010 UK General Election campaign, advising the most senior Party figures including David Cameron, George Osborne, Eric Pickles and Steve Hilton.

Before moving into Government Communications and PR, he was an on-air BBC News Correspondent, Royal Correspondent, Political Correspondent and Presenter, during a 20 year career with the Corporation. He began his career in journalism as a newspaper reporter writing for both local and national UK titles in the early 1980s. He is also a Trustee of Swanswell, a national charity working to eradicate problem alcohol and drugs use.

Whilst completing his journalistic apprenticeship on the Hendon and Finchley Times, Clarence frequently covered the activities of the then Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher as one of his “local” MPs. He also accompanied the then British Prime Minister John Major “on the road” for the BBC during the 1997 UK General Election campaign.

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