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GK Insight – Perspective of Dr Iain Wilton, Director, Policy

Whenever we have a Queen’s Speech, the focus is invariably on what it contains - rather than what’s missing. Yesterday, however, was an exception. As well as the Queen herself being absent, for the first time in nearly 50 years, the sovereign’s throne was not merely empty but had been moved elsewhere. In the monarch’s absence, the Prince of Wales moved off the substitute’s bench and into, in effect, the early stages of regency mode - so it was a field-day for historians in...

How important are select committees and their new chairs?

As we wait for both Labour and the Liberal Democrats to complete their respective leadership elections, some other significant elections have taken place within the House of Commons recently. The chairs of the Commons select committees – the prominent cross-party groups of MPs that scrutinise the activity of each government department and other political issues – were confirmed at the end of last month. Alongside frontbench opposition MPs, committee chairs are some of the highest-profile...

The New Conservative Government: the current political landscape

The 2019 general election has led to several big changes in how Parliament and Government will do business over the next five years. What are they, and what do they mean for businesses affected by policy and regulatory change who want to make their voice in Westminster and Whitehall? The Conservatives’ victory in December – securing them the largest parliamentary majority of any single-party government for more than a decade – means that the way in which businesses engage with...

How the Conservative majority will change political risk for investors

The Conservatives’ majority of 80 seats has removed one of the biggest political risks to investors. A hung parliament, let alone a Labour administration, will remain a distant possibility. The Prime Minister no longer needs to tread carefully to win votes in the Commons. Yet, the actions of this single-party government – the first significant majority in the UK for over a decade – will be more complex to forecast. The dynamics of Parliament and politics have changed...

Can Labour’s manifesto trigger “real change” in the polls?

Since parliament voted for a December 12 election, Labour has made some progress in the polls – with the party now polling at 29% (it stood at 24% immediately before the election was called). However, Corbyn still finds his party trailing Boris Johnson’s by around a dozen points. The party’s hopes now rest on it’s radical manifesto, but will this be enough to close the gap? A manifesto of “hope”? Corbyn has so far struggled to cut through in the election...

Breaking all the rules

Both Labour and the Conservatives have made major announcements on their respective economic policies in the early days of the 2019 general election campaign. Much of this has centred on the fiscal rules that a Government led by either party would follow – essentially, how each party would account for its public spending and taxation plans. Both parties are proposing significant changes to the UK’s current framework for public spending over the next few years, but what are they and what do...

3 mental health policy issues Boris Johnson’s Government must address

When he’s not testing the rulebook on parliamentary procedure, preparing the country for that inevitable no-deal Brexit, or out on the yet-to-be-declared campaign trail, Boris Johnson likes to tread the line between audacious policy announcements and drafting bullish content for the papers. Back in July Johnson wrote an Op-Ed, citing his hero Winston Churchill and his...

When government policy provides value creation opportunities

Across the spectrum of due diligence there is, understandably, a focus on risk identification and assessment. This is also true for political, policy and regulatory due diligence, with PE deal-teams interested in whether and how Brexit or a Corbyn government could pose risks to an asset’s business model or key markets. But private equity and their companies are increasingly interested in how political and regulatory changes can drive market opportunities. Our due diligence is moving away...