The future of work

This speech was delivered at the German British Forum conference on Digitalisation and The Future of Work at Liverpool Town Hall, Liverpool, L2 3SW . Please check against delivery.   Continue reading

A Vision for a Bold Britain: Remaking a Major European Power

This speech was delivered at Chatham House on Thursday 26th October. Please check against delivery. Continue reading

Streatham General Election Count

This speech was delivered at the Streatham General Election count on Friday 09 June 2017. Please check against delivery.  Continue reading

Integration of Immigrants

This speech was delivered at the launch to launch the All Party Parliamentary Group on Social Integration's Interim Report into Integration of Immigrants on 05 January 2017 at the The British Academy. Please check against delivery.  Continue reading

The single market vs a free-trade agreement - Problems with cherry-picking

As Anna says, and I want to reiterate, I accept the result of the referendum – the Government has a mandate for our withdrawal.  I have said so in Parliamentary debates. And I repeat today - I do not support calls for a second referendum. Continue reading

Trump-Brexit Challenge to Globalisation

Thank you so much for inviting me to speak. If you think back two years ago, November 2014, we had just avoided catastrophe in Scotland with the possible break up of the United Kingdom averted. I had a good chance of becoming the next Business Secretary under Prime Minister Miliband in the coming year, with Britain poised to assume the Presidency of the EU the year after. Continue reading

The Progressive Challenge: Healing the divisions after Brexit

Thank you very much for that introduction and to the Centre for Progressive Capitalism for inviting me to give this speech. The country voted to leave the European Union on 23rd June, exposing deep divisions in our country.  48% voted to remain; 52% voted to leave; London, Scotland and Northern Ireland voted to remain; the rest of England and Wales voted to leave.  An overwhelming majority of the young voted to stay; older voters opted to go.  Socio-economic classes and ethnic groups voted in different ways too. Continue reading

British Independent Retailers Association Conference 2016

Thank you so much for inviting me to speak to you this morning. It’s a pleasure to be invited by BIRA which I was pleased to work with whilst Shadow Business Secretary, particularly when setting up Small Business Saturday UK in 2013.  Small Business Saturday has since become a successful annual event pushing hundreds of millions of pounds of trade to businesses like yours every year. Continue reading

Making the British Lion Roar

Many thanks for inviting me to speak to you today Disclosure and transparency are the watch words of the week -- so I published my latest tax return on Monday. But today I feel I need to go one step further on the transparency front. If you read the Business Centre Association's 2014 report, you will see that the UK business centre market comprises around 80,000 businesses, you employ over 400,000 people and generate approximately £2 billion of income for our country every year. That alone is reason enough to be here -- but I would be lying if I said that was the whole reason why I'm here. Continue reading

One Nation Britain: An aspiration not a reality

Thank you Oliver for that kind introduction, and to everyone for being here today. In his Andrew Marr interview yesterday Iain Duncan Smith spoke of a One Nation Britain.  There will be those who will dismiss it as a sound bite, or worse, an offensive label for the right-wing agenda the former welfare secretary has been pursuing since 2010. Continue reading