Tory MPs launch new ‘2020’ policy group

Nadhim Zahawi MP 10.04am

At last year’s party conference a group of around twenty MPs came together to form what would later become known as the 2020 Conservatives group.

Since then the group has grown to its current membership of 69 and continues to meet once a week while Parliament is sitting.

Unlike other groups, we are not focused on a single theme, like the Free Enterprise Group, nor are we focused on campaigning, like the Forty Group.

Ultimately 2020 is about the future, about how we can secure a majority not just in 2015, but in the longer term. Each week we try to look at the issues and policies that will drive a Conservative manifesto in 2020, not just at the next election.

As our web site proclaims, we are a group of Conservatives who believe in a modern, fair and inclusive politics, an open, aspirational and liberal economics, and a strong, just and pluralist society. This is the Conservative thinking that brings us together and drives our discussions. 

Unlike the 1922 Committee, there is no real formal structure, no executive or chairman. Cabinet ministers site alongside backbenchers; 2010 intake MPs sit with those from other intakes. All have the same level of authority and validity of input, and this is one of the group’s great strengths.

Every week, two MPs present on a subject, followed by discussion and debate about the issues and what policy solutions might be suitable. We have also had external speakers such as Mark Littlewood from the IEA, John Cridland from the CBI and the Chancellor of the Exchequer. Topics to date have been wide ranging, including food prices and security, cities, personal debt, life sciences, industrial policy, freedom, mutuals and early years intervention.

Like any new organisation, 2020 is still evolving. We recently launched our website at 2020Conservatives.com, which we hope in time will be a place for the public to engage and interact with the process of policy making.

In the coming months we will be looking at some policy areas in much greater detail, using the web site to gather feedback, and taking some of the ideas discussed already and working them up into detailed initiatives.

Nadhim Zahawi is the Member of Parliament for Stratford-on-Avon and the former CEO and co-founder of YouGov. He will be discussing the 2020 Conservatives Group at the TRG’s policy supper on the 25th April.

Follow Nadhim on Twitter @nadhimzahawi

This article appeared originally at Platform10