Blog Type, Fellowship Blog | May 2017
Goodbye... And thank you!
In the next blog in our IPT Election Series we pay tribute to Members of Parliament not standing for re-election at the General Election. In particular, we pay close attention to Rt Hon Fiona Mactaggart, Dr John Pugh and Ian Wright who have all undertaken IPT Fellowships during their time in Parliament. Read on to find out more:
As we approach the General Election 2017, 31 Members of the 2015-2017 Parliament have decided to not seek re-election. By Party Breakdown this is as follows: 12 Conservative, 14 Labour, 1 Liberal Democrat, 3 Independent and 1 Member from Sinn Fein.
NOTE: For reference, the three Independent MPs account for two candidates who had the SNP whip removed from them – Natalie McGarry and Michelle Thomson and the former UKIP MP Douglas Carswell.
Out of the 31 Members standing down, there are a number of high-profile parliamentarians. These include:
- Alan Johnson, Former Home Secretary and Shadow Chancellor
- George Osborne, Former Chancellor of the Exchequer
- Andy Burnham, Former Shadow Home Secretary and new Mayor of Greater Manchester
- Sir Eric Pickles, Former Conservative Party Chairman
- Gisela Stuart, Former Chair of Vote Leave
The IPT would like to thank members such as Tom Blenkinsop, Alan Johnson and Sir Gerald Howarth who always supported IPT Events. Also, to Steve Rotherham and David Mackintosh who were unable to complete Fellowships during this Parliament. However, the rest of this blog will focus on members standing down who have completed their own unique Fellowship programme.
Rt Hon Fiona Mactaggart (MP for Slough 1997-2017)
Fellowship in the Creative Industries
First elected to Parliament in the large 1997 intake of Labour women MPs, Fiona Mactaggart had a three-year ministerial career at the Home Office before leaving the Government in 2006. Thereafter she sat on the backbenches.
Fiona MacTaggart began her Fellowship in the Arts and Culture industry in 2009. Her Fellowship focused specifically on the arts and broadcasting as Fiona was keen to develop an understanding of the broader creative industries as well as finding out about the arts in education and outreach programmes.
During her Fellowship, Fiona undertook placements with the Young Vic, National Theatre, Royal Opera House, Shakespeare’s Globe, the Royal Shakespeare Company and Chicken Shed.
Fiona was given the opportunity to see first-hand how organisations such as the National Theatre and the Royal Opera House are working with youth groups, schools and young people in order to encourage them to get involved with the creative industries.
“My visit to the National Theatre was fascinating. I watched school girls being motivated to perform and invent theatre, and learned about the efforts our National Theatre has made to reach new audiences with digital content and the new space at The Shed. It is clear to me that this is not just a national theatre but a national resource which we should treasure.”
Dr John Pugh (MP for Southport 2001-2017)
Fellowship in Waste Management
Originally a school philosophy teacher, theologian and logician, John Pugh joined the House of Commons in 2001 and by 2015 was one only eight Liberal Democrat MPs left. He was given the brief of Spokesperson for Health and thereafter Education.
John Pugh, Member of Parliament for Southport and the Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for Education 2015-2017 completed his Fellowship in March 2017 focusing on the waste management industry. John visited a number of our supporting organisations including Shell, Rolls-Royce, FCC, BASF and Tideway.
His Fellowship programme enhanced his knowledge and ability to contribute to discussions around waste management, including the work behind the scenes on major new infrastructure projects. He was exposed to a wide range of issues from examining recycling initiatives at FCC and AB Ports to looking at manufacturing more closely at BASF and Rolls-Royce. He completed his Fellowship at Tideway where he examined plans for a new 25km sewer which will provide capture, storage and conveyance of almost all the combined raw sewage and rainwater discharges that currently overflow into the River Thames.
Commenting after his final Fellowship visit to Tideway, John said:
“Today I learnt a great deal about waste management systems in the UK and the importance of investment in our infrastructure. The Thames Tideway Tunnel is an essential construction project to ensure London’s sewer system is operating effectively and in an environmentally-friendly way. It was a great visit to complete my Fellowship.”
“It is extremely important that we as Parliamentarians take the time to understand what’s involved in the day-to-day running of British industry”
Ian Wright MP (MP for Hartlepool 2004-2017)
Fellowship in Manufacturing
Succeeding Peter Mandelson in 2004, Iain Wright was in the ministerial team within a year. Thereafter; Ian turned his attention to parliament’s select committees and became Chair of the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Select Committee.
Iain Wright MP was an IPT Trustee and completed a Fellowship in March 2017 with the IPT exploring innovation, research and development, and skills.
Iain started his Fellowship in 2012 with an IPT hosted Industry visit to Morrisons focusing on “Made in Britain” which included discussions on the idea of field to fork, trying to promote home grown produce on the shelves. Ian also visited Caterpillar, Finmeccanica, GKN, and Rolls-Royce as part of his Fellowship.
During his Fellowship Iain was able to see first-hand how innovation is implemented through R&D projects, experiencing how the government’s £7bn investment in science is going to help businesses across the UK thrive. The UK has thriving centres of research and development, supported by world-leading experts in science and technology who are leading innovative transformations of businesses across the globe.
Commenting on his Fellowship Ian said:
“The Fellowship has given me a greater understanding of the challenges facing UK Manufacturing. I was particularly interested in the discussions I had with business on topics such as innovation and competitiveness. I would like to thank the IPT for putting my Fellowship together and it has greatly aided my Select Committee work.”
We look forward to organising many more successful Fellowships for the class of 2017.
Written by Alexander Reeves, Parliamentary Officer.