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Dear Friends and Supporters, 

I wanted to write to you to let you know I have now left Onward to take up the post of Deputy Chief of Staff to the Prime Minister – and to thank you for your support for Onward under my tenure. 

Having served in Number 10 before, I know how vital thinktanks are in providing the intellectual spadework and political insights that the maelstrom of government affords little time for. I return to the fray armed with nearly five years of Onward research in my mind and the exceptional Onward team only a phone call away. I am not alone in doing so. As the new PM told Onward’s Annual Dinner in June: “Onward has always let the quality of its work speak the loudest, and we have all heard it.” 

I am exceptionally proud of what we achieved together in the last four and half years and grateful to you for your support and encouragement. It is because of that support that Onward has become one of the most important intellectual institutions on the centre-right in less than a single parliamentary term. We have provided ministers with a steady supply of practical policies to improve the condition of the country, many of which are now official policy, and we have made the case for a conservatism that appeals to the entire country, regardless of geography or background. The 2019 majority was a victory for our values, and the events of the last eight weeks are a further vindication of our approach.

I know that Onward will go from strength to strength in the coming years. It has an enormous opportunity now to be the thinktank of the next political era. Our most recent report, After the Fall, sets out the blueprint for centre right revival and we have three former Advisory Members – Kemi Badenoch, Tom Tugendhat and Gillian Keegan – sitting around the Cabinet table, with five others, including Neil O’Brien, in ministerial roles elsewhere. In the Advisory Board under Danny Finkelstein, the Board of Trustees under Martyn Rose, and the 17-strong team under Adam Hawksbee, who takes over as Interim Director, we have exceptional leadership and a firm base from which to grow. 

I will always support Onward from afar, as a cheerleader for its values and a beneficiary of its ideas. I hope you will too. As you know, thinktanks depend entirely on the financial generosity of donors and businesses, and the intellectual support of their network to prosper. I hope you enjoyed our work under my leadership – and are willing to support the next stage of Onward’s development. I have no doubt that Onward is just getting started. 



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