Manchester Business Awards

Thank you for that introduction, and thanks for inviting me to share in this fantastic occasion. This is the last stop in my tour of different parts of the country this week – meeting the best of British business, finding out how we can help you prosper and grow. Yesterday morning I visited the Glenmorangie whisky bottling plant in Livingston; in the afternoon I went to one of our leading pharmaceutical firms in Edinburgh, before addressing you at this glamorous gathering this evening. Continue reading

Business and government: A new partnership for a new economy

Thank you for inviting me to come and speak to you this morning. I can think of no better place to come and give this speech than one of the world's leading providers of business news. And we should be proud that Bloomberg's European headquarters are located in our financial centre, indeed the world's financial centre, here in the City of London. Continue reading

Procurement: Re-shaping the Landscape

Good morning. Thank you for that introduction, and thank you for inviting me to be here with you this morning. I should say that this time last week I was not expecting to be speaking to you as the Shadow Business Secretary. Last Friday I took over from my good friend, John Denham, who is one of the most thoughtful and best respected Members of Parliament. You will know John for many reasons not least because he resigned – along with Robin Cook – from the previous Labour government over the Iraq War. Continue reading

The Red Tape Conundrum: making regulation work for business

Let me start by saying how great it is to be speaking here at my old firm. As many of you know, this is where I practiced for a number of years and it is a real pleasure to be back again. Above all, it is good to be here talking to you all today for another more profound reason. Continue reading

Compass Annual Conference

Thank you very much Gavin and thank you to everyone here who supported my election campaign – we could not have done it without you. Before I begin, I just want to say a little something about our man here – Mr Cruddas – and Compass itself. I know many people in this hall were extremely disappointed when Jon decided not to run for the leadership of the Labour Party. I know many more, out in the country, share that disappointment. Continue reading