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KPMG - 2015 party conferences


4 min read

KPMG high profile engagement at the 2015 party conferences

The autumn party conferences provided a unique setting to debate policy issues in the new political landscape, following the general election earlier in the year.

KPMG was a contributor at the two main party conferences, holding a number of thought leadership discussions with internal and external speakers attended by over 400 conference delegates.

At both the Labour and Conservative party conferences KPMG headline events was with the firm’s charity partner, National Literacy Trust, on ‘Literacy and the Economy: Threat or Opportunity?’

Speaking alongside Education Secretary Nicky Morgan MP and the new Labour education spokeswoman Lucy Powell MP, KPMG’s Michelle Quest outlined the long-standing commitment KPMG has made to improve literacy skills as part of KPMG’s social mobility agenda with our support on the Vision for Literacy business pledge* and the KPMG Foundation ‘Every Child a Reader’ initiative.

Other party conference engagement including events on ‘Metro Economies: How can Cities Exploit Devolution to Boost Growth?’ at both main party conferences. Speakers included John McDermott of the Financial Times and KPMG’s

Head of Infrastructure & Government, Kru Desai. Meanwhile, at an event held jointly with Localis at KPMG’s new Manchester office, a packed audience of conference delegates listened to KPMG adviser Stephen Dorrell speak on whether cities and counties can defuse the healthcare time bomb through a ‘devolution revolution’.

In summary the 2015 conference season was very successful delivering a number of high profile and well attended events contributing to the national policy debates on education and devolution.

Conservative Party Conference 2015, Manchester

KPMG’s Party Conference engagement kicked off with over 100 delegates squeezing in to hear Education Secretary of State Nicky Morgan MP outline her views on literacy and what action the Government is taking, and what it needs to do to improve literacy skills.

We hosted an event alongside the Education Secretary on the theme ‘Words for life: how better literacy improves lives’ highlighting the importance of business getting involved in helping improve literacy skills to boost aspiration and social mobility. Other speakers included Jonathan Douglas, Director of National Literacy Trust, our national charity partner, Brigitte Anderson, Chief Executive of The Big Innovation Centre,  Simon Gilbert-Barnham, Head Teacher of Ormiston Venture Academy and Andrew Halenby, Director of leading think tank Reform who chaired the event.

KPMG spoke to delegates on the theme of ‘Metro economies: How can cities exploit devolution to boost growth? John McDermott, of the FT chaired the discussion alongside panellists, Steve Hughes, Head of Economic and Social Policy at influential think tank Policy Exchange, former adviser to Tony Blair, Mike Emmerich of  Metrodynamics,  Professor Brian Robson of Manchester University and Lord Holmes of Richmond MBE, Deputy Chancellor of BPP University, the UK’s only university solely dedicated to business and the professions.

Meanwhile at our new Manchester office a packed audience of conference delegates listened to a joint KPMG/Localis event with KPMG’s Stephen Dorrell speaking on “Devolution revolution: can cities and counties defuse the healthcare time bomb?” alongside Councillor Izzi Seccombe, Chair of the Local Government Association Health and Wellbeing Board, chaired by Michael White of the Guardian.

Labour Party Conference 2015, Brighton

KPMG hosted two events in Brighton on two very contentious issues: literacy and devolution. In association with Localis, KPMG engaged in high quality discussion with council leaders and social and health leaders

KPMG spoke to delegates on whether ‘Literacy and the Economy: threat or opportunity?’ KPMG hosted in association with think tank, IPPR and the National Literacy Trust, an event which opened the floor to powerful discussions with our guest speakers. Speakers included Lucy Powell, Shadow Secretary of State for Education, Diana Fox Carney, Director of Strategy and Engagement, IPPR (Chair), Jonathan Douglas, Director, National Literacy Trust, Jonathan Clifton, Associate Director for Public Services Reform IPPR and Michelle Quest, KPMG Partner

Simultaneously KPMG and think tank Policy Exchange discussed ‘how cities can exploit devolution to boost growth?’ KPMG and Policy Exchange. Contributions included Steve Hughes, Head of Economic and Social Policy, Policy Exchange (Chair), Kru Desai, Partner KPMG, Ivan Lewis MP, Tony Travers, LSE and Simon Parker, New Local Government Network

Overall both fringe events in Brighton were a huge success with progress made on both business and political fronts.

For more information on our political engagement please contact Lisa on 020 780 3209

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