3rd August 2017
These are just some of the Conservative MPs that Grayling’s New Economy Team will be keeping a close eye on over the coming years, and so should any technology firm looking to shape government policy.
Kemi Badenoch (Con, Saffron Walden)
If you’re putting together a rising star list of newly elected MPs, this former Head of Digital at the Spectator has got to be on it! Since being elected, Badenoch short stint in parliament has already seen her garner significant media coverage for her maiden speech. Additionally, only last month she was appointed to the powerful Conservative Backbench 1922 Committee.
Bim Afolami (Con, Hitchin and Harpenden)
If he lives up to expectations, Afolami will be a Government Minister soon. He certainly has the pedigree, having previously worked as a lawyer and senior executive at HSBC, and before that as political adviser to George Osborne. Whilst Afolami doesn’t necessarily have the tech background of some of the others we’ve picked out, he’s likely to find himself in HM Treasury before long, and FinTech companies should be speaking to him now.
Vicky Ford (Con, Chelmsford)
As a former MEP for East of England, Ford will bring extensive knowledge of the EU and trade negotiations to Parliament, which she can be expected to utilise in the Chamber and on Select Committees. During her time at the EU, she was Chair of the Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO) Committee (2014-17), one of the most powerful economic committees of the Parliament, focusing on digital policy and unlocking trade opportunities for services and goods.
At the end of July, Ford was elected as Co-Chair of the Technology All-Party Parliamentary Group, PICTFOR. This new post will make her a key target for a wide variety of technology firms.
Gillian Keegan (Con, Chichester)
Popular with senior Conservative figures, Keegan is regarded as a team player. Before entering parliament, she had a varied career, encompassing the manufacturing, banking and IT industries. Her most recent role was as Chief Marketing Officer for a global travel technology company. Keegan is likely to be promoted quickly, and her time will be limited. Depending on the issue though, she could be a powerful advocate for the right disruptor business.
John Lamont (Con, Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk)
Along with Kemi Badenoch, the former Member of the Scottish Parliament, Lamont was the only other newly elected MP appointed to the Conservative Backbench 1922 Committee, making him the most senior of the 12 newly elected Scottish Conservative backbenchers. A former Chief Whip in the Scottish Parliament, he will be aware of the power he and his colleagues hold. Given the importance to Scotland of improving their digital infrastructure, we should expect Lamont to be leading activity behind the scenes to ensure Scotland is at the forefront of Government thinking.
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