Pump it up? – The Heat & Building Strategy

Pump it up? – The Heat & Building Strategy

The long-trailed Heat & Building Strategy and the accompanying Net-Zero Strategy were supposed to provide clarity on how Government intends to decarbonise heating, perhaps the hardest sector to tackle and one that accounts for a third of all carbon emissions in the UK. However, industry, investors and tech entrepreneurs were left feeling somewhat short-changed, whilst climate action groups were quick to criticise Government for a lack of ambition and scale.

The Heat & Building Strategy was always going to be difficult for Government – it needed to show progress was being made to decarbonise heat, against a backdrop of radically advancing and often competing technological solutions. The issue is further exacerbated by the fact that the average lifespan of a boiler is 15 years (fossil fuel gas boilers currently heat over 25million homes in the UK), and so the next decade will be key in terms of encouraging switching to lower carbon heating systems. However, with COP26 around the corner, Government needed to offer leadership on the issue.

Heat pumps attracted considerable attention in yesterday’s plan, and were the technology we heard most about across the UK media. Whilst the Heat & Building Strategy was supportive of the technology, it did not propose heat pumps as the golden egg as some reports have suggested. Rather, the focus on heat pumps is both a recognition from Government that this technology is perhaps the most advanced to date of the potential solutions, and a reflection of the lobbying and PR efforts of key players in the energy sector.

Inevitably, however, the Government’s £450million 3-year Boiler Upgrade Scheme, which looks set to offer grants of up to £5000 for households to switch to low-carbon heating, will be used to subsidise the installation of heat-pumps – a reality of what is available on the market at present. This will no doubt be a welcome boost to the heat pump industry, although concerns remain that this would only fund 90,000 heat pumps, and that only the well off will be able to benefit (the average cost of heat pump installation is circa £10,000 – out of reach for many, even with a subsidy).

On other technologies, it’s worth looking at what else was announced yesterday and published alongside the Heat & Building Strategy. Government confirmed its intention to launch a “hydrogen village” by 2026 to provide an evidence base for the roll-out of hydrogen through the gas networks. Both the North West’s HyNet project and the East Coast Cluster project in Teesside and Humberside won Government backing and funding to further their Carbon Capture & Storage (and hydrogen) developments. And Government announced that it would introduce a range of new legislation and regulation to govern the roll-out of heat networks.

Yesterday’s Heat & Building Strategy re-affirmed the Government’s goal of net-zero heat, what it did not do is plot one definitive route to get there. Is it that Government have learnt the lessons of the past – not wanting to pick winners and back the wrong horse, as it did with the switch to diesel cars? Is it indicative of a Government who are committed to a free-market and consumer choice? Or is it a recognition that there is no one solution to decarbonising heat? All of these considerations no doubt influence Government thinking, and there is clearly more work to be done by both business and Government to map out the different routes to decarbonising heat.

Whilst some will be disappointed by an apparent lack of clarity on Government thinking towards the decarbonisation of heat, the one thing that is clear is that there remain great opportunities for businesses, investors and inventors to help shape the future of energy in the UK.

Get in touch with Tom Bradley to find out more.

Conference fun is over. Time to get back to work.

Conference fun is over. Time to get back to work.

 

As Parliament returns next week, we look at the key takeaways from conference and those issues that the PM and his Cabinet will be focussed on over the coming months.

COP26 is less than a month away

The Prime Minister has made reaching net zero a central tenet of his political ambitions and he will be desperate for COP26 to be a success. Expect there to be a lot of focus from the media and opposition on the Government’s green credentials in the coming weeks – particularly if the Environment Bill fails to receive Royal Assent before COP26, and if the net zero and heat and buildings strategies fail to emerge.

This scrutiny began in earnest this week with the International Energy Agency arguing that current global climate policies will only decrease carbon emissions by 40% by 2050 and that £4tn of investment is required to get to net zero. Which, given the impact that Covid-19 has had on world finances, seems unlikely.

A key driver for COP26 will be getting the public more invested in net zero. Our own research shows that 60% of the population have not heard of COP26, and while the majority of the public wants to see the Government prioritising climate change they are split on whether measures to combat climate change will have a positive or negative impact on their household finances. There will therefore need to be considerable weight thrown behind making net zero achievable and relatable for everyone.

At Conservative Party Conference we held an event with the CBI, High Value Manufacturing Catapult, and the Institute for Government on how business can make net zero affordable and achievable – which set out a number of solutions to these challenges. You can watch the event here.

Trade and border matters

Less than a week before Parliament returns and we are already seeing Brexit and the deal rearing its ugly head again. This time, Lord Frost attempted to overcome the bad blood between the EU and UK by arguing that the EU would be making “a serious historical error” by not agreeing to changes to the Northern Ireland Protocol which he himself helped to negotiate. With Dom Cummings weighing in that it was always the intention to go back on it, there will be major implications on trade and imports via Northern Ireland.

With HGV driver shortages, supply chain pressures and concerns about the availability of food at Christmas, there are likely to be very choppy waters ahead for the Government.

Build back better?

It is still a few weeks before we get our first Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) Questions in the House of Commons, with the new look department facing questions from the House.

At Conservative Party Conference, the Government seemed keen to downplay housing and planning as subjects, with few references to them in either the Leader’s speech or Michael Gove’s debut speech as the DLUHC Secretary of State.

When the planning reforms were first published in 2020 they were heralded as “a once in a generation set of reforms that lays the foundations for a better future”. Now it seems like a watered-down version is inevitable, with the Government now suggesting that the biggest reform being announced is now the Infrastructure Levy, which replaces the existing system of developer contributions. Expect the reforms to be significantly less grand than before, and likely to be wrapped up in a ‘levelling up’ package that will see more homes delivered in the north and midlands.

As with trade, though, there are major challenges that have been faced by the sector for a number of years which are only going to be exacerbated by similar pressures elsewhere – including the shortage of hauliers, materials and skilled tradespeople. For the construction industry to be at the heart of the ‘Build Build Build’ agenda and Covid-19 recovery, the Government will be expected to intervene.

At CPC21 we held an event with experts from the National Housing Federation, Federation of Master Builders, Chartered Institute of Building and the Government’s Champion for MMC in Housebuilding to look at what more needs to be done to allow the construction and development industry to flourish. You can watch this again here.

 

Watch our Party Conference Fringe Events again

The Cavendish Advocacy and BECG teams were out in full force at Party Conferences this year, and once again our fringe event programme was one of the most prominent at the conference – and tied into the key themes of the day.

If you did not have an opportunity to virtually our events, you can watch them now, by clicking on the links below.

 

Social media management platform rebrands to SoCrowd

Social media management platform rebrands to SoCrowd

Reputation management software presents fresh look and new features

BECG Group today launches SoCrowd, its upgraded and rebranded social media and reputation management platform. Formally known as CrowdControlHQ, strategic communications consultancy BECG Group acquired the online reputation management software earlier this year.  

Since acquisition, the company has invested heavily in the UK tech platform, to ensure it provides an intuitive user experience, to support comms and marketing professionals in accessing valuable digital insights.  New features ensure users can truly understand and better engage with their audience and stakeholders on Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Facebook, on both desktop and native mobile applications.   

SoCrowd offers a simple to use platform that enables its users to create content, collaborate, and accurately monitor their social campaign KPIs. Its new features have been developed to better support issue and crisis management, government relations, with press and social media monitoring, enhanced team collaboration and tailored approvals.. 

SoCrowd CEO James Leavesley said: 

SoCrowd is at the forefront of technological innovation in social media management. We’ve developed a platform that not only delivers on its promises, but that is accompanied by our investment in a highly skilled UK customer support team and service offer. Social media is a loud and busy universe – the ability to navigate that space can make or break an organisation, and SoCrowd is here to help!

BECG Group CEO, Stephen Pomeroy, added: 

Having SoCrowd as part of our service offer supports our clients and our consultant teams in ensuring their communications strategies are putting digital at the centre. In a world where reputations can be tarnished in a single Tweet, efficient and easy to use social media monitoring and engagement is a vital component of your marcomms toolkit.

To learn more and book in your free demonstration, visit the new website at SoCrowd.com

Top 5 things to look out for at Conservative Party Conference

Top 5 things to look out for at Conservative Party Conference

Following a governmental reshuffle and a Labour Party Conference in the midst of a national crisis in the public’s confidence in supply of fuel to petrol stations, comes Conservative Party Conference. The first physical set piece Conference for the Conservatives since 2019 brings the chance for the Prime Minister and his new-look team to reset the political agenda, refocus his party on his priorities and reinvigorate the grassroots of the Party ahead of local elections next May and a general election that may be closer than one expects.

Here’s the top five things to look out for at Conservative Party Conference:

  1. A plan to match the aspirations of levelling up

One of the most significant outcomes of Mr Johnson’s authoritative reshuffle was his doubling down on levelling up. MHCLG is no more and in its place is the new Department for Levelling up, Housing and Communities spearheaded by Michael Gove. Gove almost immediately put the controversial (some on the Conservative backbenches may say toxic) planning reforms on the backburner to allow a laser-sighted focus on levelling up. But the new levelling up Secretary of State has been given strong support as well; Kemi Badenoch MP, Neil O’Brien MP, Danny Kruger MP and Andy Haldane formerly of the Bank of England have been brought in to the new look department to help shape the plan behind the slogan. Expect levelling up to be one of the focal points of Conference with references where possible from loyal backbenchers and ministers alike on ‘tackling inequality’ and ‘spreading opportunity’ across the UK.

Boris is the man to ‘Get Brexit Done’, now he must use this Conference to start his delivery plan on the second pillar of the 2019 election campaign, that being ‘levelling up’ the country.

  1. Building back better to counter the looming winter of discontent

COVID-19 won’t be easily swept away at this Conference, despite the positive levelling up focus, given the impacts of the pandemic both socially and economically. Neither will the incoming winter of discontent that many are fearing. The ‘build back better’ narrative offers one solution the PM can use to counter the fears and negative narrative around another potential ‘firebreak’ lockdown during the October half term and the winter of discontent that’s looming with energy prices set to rise whilst energy companies go under, a concern over supplies of food to supermarkets and the army on standby to solve the fuel supply crisis. The ‘build back better’ slogan is one that is likely to be used in a ‘long term economic plan’ fashion (if you can remember back to David Cameron’s 2015 election campaign) to draw announcements together that have a COVID-19 impacted tinge to them or announcements being used to counter the negative stories already starting to appear about the cost of living, the cost of energy and the supply of turkeys to supermarkets ready for Christmas. Expect ‘building back better’ to cover skills, taxation, social care and a slew of other announcements to give the most positive spin the party can conjure to party members, MPs and the media alike.

  1. Ahead of COP26

The party need to ensure that COP26 goes to plan and is a success, whether China decides to send representatives or not. With the flop of the Green Homes Grant and energy companies going bust left, right and centre, the PM and his team need to show that they have a plan of action to decarbonise the country and hit Net Zero targets that will be welcomed not only by party members but by the public, and won’t incur the backlash of backbenchers who have already called on the government to be wary of Net Zero targets hitting those who most need government support the hardest in cost of living terms.

This will be a tricky messaging tightrope for the PM to walk given the current issue with energy companies but it’s one that the PM cannot shy away from with COP26 around the corner.

  1. The new Party Chairman: a chance to reinvigorate the grassroots

The reshuffle brought with it a change of Party Chairman, Amanda Milling MP was moved out and Rt Hon Oliver Dowden MP moved in. It will be Oliver’s job during his first Conference as Party Chairman to lead a reinvigoration of the Party’s grassroots activists. There’s crucial local elections coming up in London – where the Party need to stem Labour’s continued dominance of recent years, Wales – where the Party need to continue to make in roads in the Labour-run nation and Scotland – where the recent agreement between the SNP and the Greens means a reigniting of ‘IndyRef2’ which the Party will want to quell with a strong set of local election results. There will also be Dan Jarvis’s South Yorkshire Mayoralty up for election and a swathe of unitary, district and metropolitan authorities that have elections across the country too.

Given the recent headlines about queues at the petrol pumps, a potential lack of lorry drivers to get enough food supplies for Christmas dinners up and down the country and several energy companies going bust, it will be Mr Dowden’s job to ensure that the grassroots comes away from Conference feeling energised and ready to campaign, armed with a set of positive messages to deliver to voters ahead of these crucial local elections.

  1. The next general election

Many had priced in two separate reshuffles by the Prime Minister before an election, and many also expected the first to be a more minor reshuffle, with the second being the one to put the Party on an election footing. However it appears, given the commanding reshuffle we’ve just witnessed, that the PM may only have felt the need for the one switching of his cabinet before the next election. Therefore, expect gossip throughout Manchester’s conference venue, and more than likely several questions to ministers and MPs in Conference fringe events, about the PM’s desired timing of the next general election.

The narrative of Conference will also give a hint, or perhaps more, of what the PM is thinking as well. Will it be a 2023 or 2024 general election? We’ll likely know more by this time next week!

The vote for German Chancellor and Federal Elections

The vote for German Chancellor and Federal Elections

Yesterday, elections for the Bundestag took place in Germany. The election results constitute a substantial defeat for the governing Conservatives (CDU/CSU). At the dawn of the 16 years long era of Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU), Germany finds itself at a turning point. For the first time, it is very likely that the Federal Government will encompass up to three parties. The race remains too close to call who will lead the next government. It remains unclear whether Olaf Scholz (Social Democrats) or Armin Laschet (Conservatives) will be the next Federal Chancellor. The narrow results also open up the door to new possible coalitions. At the same time, the formation of the new government will be rather complex and take some time. According to German electoral law, the voters do not directly elect the Chancellor but determine the composition of the Bundestag by voting for candidates and party lists.

Monday morning’s preliminary official results did not indicate a clear winner as the two major parties appear to be nearly tied at around 24-26%.

Preliminary official results including the difference (in percentage points) to the 2017 Federal Elections are: Conservatives (CDU/CSU) 24,1,% (-8,9%), Social Democrats (SPD) 25,7% (+5,2%), The Greens 14,8% (+5,9%), Liberals (FDP) 11,5,% (+0,8%), The Left (Die Linke) 4,9% (-4,3%), Alternative for Germany (AfD) 10,3% (-2,3%) and other parties 8,6% (+3,6%). The voter turnout remained similar to the previous elections at 76%.

The results display a substantial loss for the Conservatives, while the Social Democrats managed to improve their results, in comparison to the last Federal Elections. Commentators argue that SPD’s Chancellor candidate Olaf Scholz (SPD) managed to gain ground on the Conservatives by representing stability and continuity. He served as Vice-Chancellor and Federal Finance Minister of the current government. Furthermore, as opposed to the Conservatives, the Social Democrats stood firmly behind their candidate and demonstrated unity throughout the election campaign.

The results represent a substantial loss for the Conservatives, coming in with the worst result the party has seen at a Federal Election so far. Commentators argue that the Conservatives’ bad performance is due to disunity in the party, several scandals surrounding conservative policymakers and mistakes by Armin Laschet (CDU’s Chancellor candidate) throughout the election campaign.

The Greens achieved their best result in a Federal Election so far, almost doubling their results compared to the last elections in 2017. Albeit, the party still underperformed and came in third after ranking first in some polls in spring. The Liberals and the AfD retained almost the same position as in the last elections. However, the hard-left Linke party suffered losses and will just slightly enter the next German parliament.

Likely coalitions:

  

Due to the distribution of seats in the Bundestag, the following coalitions are possible and politically conceivable:

  • Social Democrats (SPD) + Greens + Liberals (FDP) (‘Traffic Light Coalition’)​ ​​
    The ‘Traffic Light Coalition’ is the preferred option for the SPD to lead a government. However, such a constellation has few policy overlaps in fields such as taxation, with the FDP refusing any new taxes. Conversely both the SPD and the Greens want to introduce new taxes such as a ‘wealth tax’. Therefore, coalition negotiations would be rather difficult and bear an increased risk of failure. Albeit, as the Social Democrats came in first after the elections, the ‘Traffic Light Coalition’ becomes more probable.
  • Conservatives (CDU/CSU) + Greens + Liberals (FDP) (‘Jamaica Coalition’)​ ​​
    The ‘Jamaica Coalition’ would be the preferred path to the Federal Chancellery for the Conservatives. The FDP is more aligned with the Conservatives’ political agenda than The Greens.​ We can expect climate change to be one of the major crunch points throughout potential negotiations for a ‘Jamaica Coalition’.
  • Social Democrats (SPD) + Conservatives (CDU/CSU) or Conservatives (CDU/CSU) + Social Democrats (SPD) (‘Grand Coalition’)
    While both the SPD and CDU/CSU oppose serving as a junior partner in another unpopular coalition with each other, the close results will raise some questions regarding a potential continuation of the current government. However, this scenario remains unlikely as a grand coalition remains the last resort for both parties. For the Social Democrats entering a coalition with the CDU/CSU would likely once again entail making concessions on many social policies which represent the core of the SPD’s current election campaign.​ For the Conservatives, on the other hand, it would represent the first time in history of entering a government as the junior partner.
    A coalition between Social Democrats (SPD), Greens and Left (Die Linke) ​ ​(‘Red-Red-Green Coalition’)​ will most likely not have a majority in the next Bundestag.

The narrow results make both the ‘Traffic Light Coalition’ with Olaf Scholz (SPD) as Chancellor as well as the ‘Jamaica Coalition’ with Armin Laschet (CDU) as Chancellor possible. The coming days and weeks will show which alternative turns out the most viable. The final composition of the Federal Government will depend on the Greens and the Liberals. Both parties will be the kingmakers of the next Chancellor. However, one of the parties will have to bite the bullet and join a government with a Chancellor they opposed throughout the election campaign. In the course of the negotiations both parties will have strong leverage against the Conservatives and the Social Democrats. In the end, it will come down to what party delivers the most compelling offer to both the Liberals and the Greens.

Key Statements by party leaders:

  • Both Armin Laschet (CDU) and Olaf Scholz (SPD) interpreted the narrow results as a mandate to form the next German government.
  • Despite the historically low results for the conservative CDU, Armin Laschet still interpreted the elections as a vote for a CDU-led government and promised to “do everything we can to form a government led by the CDU.”
  • While the election remains too close to call, Olaf Scholz (SPD) was pleased with the results and is convinced to have received a clear mandate to become chancellor and lead a new government.
  • Annalena Baerbock (Greens), whose party will play a decisive role in crowning the new government, stressed her desire for a “climate government” but  refrained from making any clear statements concerning a preferred coalition.
  • Christian Lindner (Liberals), who is – alongside Annalena Baerbock – perceived as a kingmaker in these elections, argued that Liberals and Greens should hash out their positions before including SPD or CDU in coalition negotiations. Given the German tradition of the election winner to initiate coalition talks, this advance is highly notable.

Traditionally the strongest party of the election is usually tasked with the formation of the next government. Upon its invitation, the parties will meet in the coming week for first exploratory talks to determine if there is enough common ground between them to form a government together. However, this time all eyes are on the Liberals and the Greens as they become the kingmakers for the next Chancellor. Due to the narrow results and the necessity to involve up to three parties in the coalition talks, we expect the negotiations to last at least until the end of 2021. Moreover, both the Greens and the SPD will most likely run a general vote among their members to greenlight the coalition agreement.

Furthermore, several crunch points must be resolved by the negotiators. Among them are measures to tackle climate change, taxation, and restarting the economy after the pandemic. For the time being, the current government under Angela Merkel will remain in office as a caretaker for official duties. However, it is a constitutional tradition that a caretake government refrains from initiating any far-reaching legislative projects.

Update State Elections in Berlin & Mecklenburg-Vorpommern

In addition to the federal election for the Bundestag, two state elections were held in the German states of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern and Berlin over the weekend. Overall, the Social Democrats´ success on the federal level was reflected in the results of the regional elections.

Berlin is not only Germany’s most populous city and capital but also constitutes one of the country’s 16 federal states. The city state’s mayoralty has consistently been held by the Social Democrats for two decades.

Despite a rocky start to the campaign and a plagiarism scandal involving the party’s candidate for “Governing Mayor” Franziska Giffey, the Social Democrats managed to retain their position as the strongest party in Berlin’s senate. Similar to Annalena Baerbock’s campaign for the Chancellery, The Green’s candidate Bettina Jarasch lost a significant lead in the months leading up to the elections. However, The Greens still attracted more voters than the Conservatives. Giffey now faces the choice between continuing the current “Red-Red-Green Coalition” with The Greens and hard-left Linke party or entering a “Germany Coalition” with the Conservatives and the Liberals, instead.

Berlin preliminary official results including the difference (in percentage points) to the 2016 State Elections are: Social Democrats (SPD) 21,4% (-0,2%), The Greens 18,9% (+3,7%), Conservatives (CDU) 18,1% (+0,5%), The Left 14,0% (-1,6%), Liberals (FDP) 7,2% (+0,5%), Alternative for Germany (AfD) 8,0% (-6,2%) and other parties 12,4% (+5,0%).

In Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, one of the least populous and rural German states, the incumbent minister-president Manuela Schwesig (Social Democrats) secured a resounding win ahead of the right-wing Alternative for Germany and the Conservatives. The Social Democrats has been the strongest party in the state’s capital of Schwerin since 1998 and is likely to continue the grand coalition with the Conservatives. Schwesig now faces the choice between continuing the current coalition with the Conservatives or entering a coalition with the Linke party instead.

Mecklenburg-Vorpommern preliminary official results including the difference (in percentage points) to the 2016 State Elections are: Social Democrats (SPD) 39,6% (+9,0%), Alternative for Germany (AfD) 16,7% (-4,1%), Conservatives (CDU) 13,3% (-5,7%), The Left 9,9% (-3,3%), The Greens 6,3% (+1,5%), Liberals (FDP) 5,8% (+2,8%) and other parties 8,4% (-0,2%).

This was first posted on Miller Meier’s website.

What to expect from the 2021 party conferences

What to expect from the 2021 party conferences

What business needs to know

This year’s party conference season will be like no other. Party conference season marks an important milestone in the political calendar and following a year of COVID-19 restrictions, this autumn the parties will be seeking to make up for lost time.

When MPs return to Westminster from their summer recess on 6 September, speculation and rumour will be replaced by policy as the annual political party gatherings get underway. This year will be no different. Despite, party conference coming in different forms – from virtual, hybrid to the usual soiree in Brighton – there will be plenty of issues for businesses to contend with.

We meet again

It seems like a lifetime ago that the parties came together for their last party conferences. Back then, there was an election on the horizon, Brexit dominated, Jeremy Corbyn was leader of the Opposition and there were many promises of increased investment in everything that mattered to voters.

Since then, Boris Johnson won the biggest majority since the 1980s, the UK has formally left the EU, and Keir Starmer was elected Leader of the Labour Party, as was Ed Davey for the Lib Dems.

As well as a roller coaster of a two years in the world of politics, the COVID-19 pandemic has changed life as we know it. It has also put a pause on the Conservatives delivering many of their manifesto promises. And that’s why this conference season will be so important – it will be a time for the parties to reflect, but also to renew ambition.

Against this backdrop, we are likely to see the parties come together – in-person and virtually – to reengage with their grassroots. The Prime Minister will no doubt want to highlight the success of the vaccine programme, while Sir Keir will be rallying the troops and showcasing his leadership credentials.

Beyond COVID-19

But, while COVID-19 will continue to be a hot topic for discussion, so will the recovery, and all the parties will be wanting to pitch their vision for economic transformation.

In Manchester, the Conservatives will want to get back on track with delivering their manifesto promises, from levelling-up all parts of the UK to investing in schools, the police, and the NHS. We can expect a raft of announcements and Cabinet Minister speeches, as well as the Prime Minister going big on how we build back greener, given the conferences’ proximity to COP26.

Linked with the recovery, the economy, and how we’re going pay for the pandemic will be a question on everyone’s mind. All eyes will be on Rishi Sunak, who will take to the conference stage for the first time as Chancellor. In his address, Sunak will have to set out how he intends to spur investment and manage the public finances. However, he won’t be giving too much away with the Budget set to be just a few weeks later, on 27 October, closely followed by the Spending Review.

Starmer’s first conference as leader

Setting out a plan for the recovery will also be a key theme for Labour’s gathering in Brighton at the end of September.

With party conference a vital part of Labour’s policy formation, the agenda is likely to be jam-packed with Keir stamping his mark firmly on the party’s direction of policy travel. CBI intelligence from meetings with Labour’s front bench and party officials suggest key focuses of the party will be on the race to net-zero, the skills agenda, as well as committing themselves as the party of business.

All roads lead back to COVID-19

Yet, for all the talk about the recovery and what policies can help boost the economy, COVID-19 and the government’s plan as we head into autumn is likely to feature strongly across all party conferences. Whether through conference speeches, fringe events or media interviews, MPs will be looking to make their voices heard at every opportunity to influence the debate.

At the Conservative conference, we can safely assume that the government will be focusing on the UK’s world leading vaccine programme. However, we may see some friction within certain elements of the party, who have taken a stronger line against some COVID-19 restrictions.

As for the Labour party, they will use conference to criticise government over particular areas over the past 18 months, at the same time as showcasing Keir as a credible opposition leader with policies to help the recovery.

Similarly, the Lib Dems and the SNP will use their virtual conferences to celebrate their recent electoral success and to make clear their opposition to how the UK government has handled parts of the pandemic.

And for the business community, the 2021 party conference season will be one to watch. The rhetoric and policy that is determined at conference will no doubt impact firms and the recovery.

 

Catch us at the Conservative Party Conference 2021 where we will be discussing the road to net zero, animal trade and ‘Building Back Better’, or for more information please email Alex Challoner.