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What’s Onward This Week

We’re back after two busy weeks hosting packed fringe programmes at the Conservative and Labour party conferences. We delivered 39 events with 194 speakers and roundtable attendees. We welcomed five cabinet members, five mayors, and many more ministers, shadow ministers, MPs, policy experts and commentators. Thank you to our sponsors, speakers, and all those who attended.

Conservatives are left with one big question following Rishi Sunak’s speech rejecting the politics of the last 30 years: where’s next for conservatism? With enormous challenges facing the UK and the old politics struggling to answer them, the Prime Minister is right to look to the long term. It’s time for conservatism to rediscover its roots and change to meet tomorrow’s challenges.

✍️ Research

Today, we published The Case for Conservatism as part of Onward’s Future of Conservatism Project. Co-authored by former Downing Street Chief of Staff Nick Timothy and Project Director Gavin Rice, the paper makes the intellectual case for a fresh, pragmatic approach moving beyond the individualism, unfettered markets, and hyper-globalisation of the past. 

In a foreword for the paper, Levelling Up Secretary Michael Gove says: “We believe conservatism has the intellectual resources and the strategic pragmatism to embrace change and provide new answers.” That’s what this paper seeks to achieve. It lays out twelve foundational principles to guide conservatism forward, meeting the challenge of economic decline and social alienation that threaten the UK.

The paper warns that an ideological approach towards tax cuts, a laissez-faire industrial policy, and “anything goes” liberalism would be unpopular and ineffective. It also argues against an unreformed, ever-expanding state which relies on regional transfers and unlimited immigration. Instead, it calls for conservatives to deliver a new economic model and stronger national community, securing the future of conservatism and launching a British renewal.

📰 Media Mentions

This morning, The Times reported on our latest report, The Case for Conservatism, and Project Chair Nick Timothy spoke to Times Radio

Onward Director Sebastian Payne wrote for the i about how Conservatives should respond to Keir Starmer’s small-c conservative pitch. 

Onward’s fringe programme at Conservative and Labour party conferences was covered by the BBC News, Guardian, Politics Home, ITV News, Telegraph, The Times, Daily Express, and more. Director Sebastian Payne spoke to Radio 4 and Times Radio. Deputy Director Adam Hawksbee spoke to Bloomberg and BBC News.

Deputy Director Adam Hawksbee was quoted in the Yorkshire Post on the Government’s investment to level up towns across the country.

Our recent net zero report, Hotting Up, was covered by Sky News, City AM, the i, and the Daily Express.

In City AM, Onward’s Head of Communications Cameron Smith wrote about the future of the North Sea.

🌐 Onward Online

What’s the future of Conservatism? Nick Timothy tells Times Radio.

Project Director Gavin Rice explains why it’s time for the centre-right to modernise.

🗓️ Upcoming Events

Onward After Hours with Craig Williams MP

Onward After Hours is our event series for under 35s, connecting the next generation of centre-right political thinkers. These events bring together journalists, special advisors, parliamentary staffers and more, to inspire fresh thinking and build connections

On Wednesday 18th October 2023, we will host our next reception with Craig Williams MP.

This evening will be a great opportunity for a casual drink and a chance to discuss the policy agenda and what matters most for young voters.

We hope you are able to join us. Sign up.

Date: Wednesday 18th October
Time: 18:00 – 21:00
Location: Central Westminster 

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