Last night, the Centre for Policy Studies launched its new flagship New Generation project, designed to harness the talent, energy and enthusiasm of a new breed of policy thinkers, led by MPs from the 2015 and 2017 intakes.
Speaking at the launch - held at the London offices of M&C Saatchi - Amber Rudd, the Home Secretary, welcomed "the start of something really extraordinary”, noting that it will be “only with [the New Generation’s] help that we’ll be able to make the changes that we all believe in”.
The Home Secretary also praised the work of the Centre for Policy Studies, highlighting not just its work following its founding by Margaret Thatcher and Keith Joseph but more recent successes such as Lord Saatchi's proposal for the poor to be taken out of tax.
Pointing out that the raising of the personal allowance had delivered a tax cut to 40 million people and taken three million out of income tax altogether, she urged the Conservatives to be "prouder and louder" in boasting of the success of such policies.
Theresa May, the Prime Minister, also welcomed the launch of the project.
In a letter to Graham Brady MP, Deputy Chairman of the Centre for Policy Studies and Chairman of the 1922 Committee, she said she was "delighted" to express her support.
"It was thanks to the pioneering work of the Centre for Policy Studies that the Conservative Party successfully made the case for free markets and won the battle of ideas in the 1970s and '80s," she wrote.
"Today we must win that argument again for a new generation, defend free and open markets, and the values of freedom, equality, rights, responsibilities and the rule of law that lie at their heart."
The Prime Minister added that "as we fight this new battle of ideas, I want to make the most of all the talent in the Conservative Party... I am delighted that our brilliant 2015 and 2017 intakes will be at the heart of the New Generation project, and I look forward to hearing the ideas that they put forward."
Lord Saatchi, the CPS's Chairman, also spoke, describing the CPS's task as being to act as an "intellectual rescue" for the pro-market movement. There were also brief remarks by Graham Brady; Ben Elliot, co-founder of Quintessentially and the CPS's new Treasurer; and Robert Colvile, appointed yesterday to succeed Tim Knox as the CPS's Director (he had previously been Editor of its CapX website). All the speeches from the evening are available on our website.
At the launch party - whose audience included many of the MPs contributing to the project, as well as other MPs, ministers and peers - Robert Colvile described many of the upcoming papers that will form part of the New Generation project.
The first, by Rishi Sunak MP, will tackle the problem of funding for SMEs, given that Britain has a great record for starting firms and a very bad record at scaling them up. Then, in December, the CPS will publish a paper by Chris Philp MP on the housing crisis and home ownership.
Other future reports include Luke Graham MP on devolution, Maria Caulfield MP on the NHS, Bim Afolami MP and Nusrat Ghani MP on prosperity and growth, Alan Mak MP, Matt Warman MP and others on technology, Ben Bradley MP on its effect on young people's mental health, Chris Green MP on reinvigorating the North, Ranil Jayawardena MP on regional devolution, and Ben Howlett on the genomics revolution.
The New Generation project will run across the coming year. You can read Lord Saatchi and Graham Brady's article on the project from The Sunday Telegraph, or Robert Colvile's piece today on ConservativeHome. It has also been covered by The Times, The Telegraph, The Spectator, The Sun, The Independent, Huffington Post, the Daily Mail, and elsewhere.
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