David Mowat MP

24 May 2012 11:31:18

Group of Tory MPs recommend thirty policies to deliver growth in Britain's key industrial sectors

By Tim Montgomerie
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Screen Shot 2012-05-24 at 11.20.19

A number of Tory MPs led by Damian Collins have come together to propose a new industrial strategy for Britain. Mr Collins explains how the approach recommended by him and his colleagues is different from the industrial strategy of the 1970s and also a mythical laissez-faire policy:

"The industrial strategy of the 1970s saw Governments give direct financial aid to failing industries in order to protect jobs. Here people were in effect being paid to build cars that customers didn’t want to buy. That approach was unsustainable and it was in time new ownership, leadership, design, innovation and the commitment of the workforce that ultimately saved businesses like Jaguar and Land Rover from the state run motor industry. 21st century industrial strategy is not just about identifying where direct financial assistance can help accelerate the development of a business or economic region, as we are seeing in the Government’s strategy for enterprise zones and the regional growth fund. This has also been important in the development of new economic clusters, like Tech City, where Government support has acted as a catalyst for private enterprises to bring in much greater levels of investment. In addition to this we have to ensure that our tax and regulatory environment helps UK firms that are competing in a global economy to thrive. This is why, for example, the tax credits announced in the last budget for the production of high end television series, animation and video games were so important. Despite the UK having some of the best practitioners in the world, we were losing business to other countries that could undercut us on price significantly because they offered tax incentives to investors."

Screen Shot 2012-05-24 at 11.29.11The group identifies 17 sectors of special importance:

  1. Aerospace
  2. Automotive
  3. Aviation
  4. Business Services
  5. Creative Industries
  6. Digital Economy
  7. Energy
  8. Finance
  9. Green Technology
  10. High Speed Rail
  11. Innovation
  12. Life Sciences
  13. Ownership
  14. Smart Data
  15. Space (Philip Lee MP's essay on this topic is a fascinating read)
  16. Textiles
  17. Trade

Continue reading "Group of Tory MPs recommend thirty policies to deliver growth in Britain's key industrial sectors" »

15 May 2012 15:45:08

Tomorrow's 1922 Committee Elections - nominations in full

By Paul Goodman
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8.45pm Update by Matthew Barrett: I have now learned which candidates are being backed by the traditional organisations on the right of the Conservative Party, such as the No Turning Back group. I have highlighted these in purple.


The following have been returned unopposed:-




Posts for which elections will take place (I have marked those previously identified by Tim as members of the 301 slate in blue):

1) Secretary - the following nominations have been received for TWO posts:


2) Executive members - the following nominations have been received for TWELVE posts.

PRITI PATEL - Priti Patel is being backed by both the 301 group, and the right of the Party.

Finally and separately, the following nominations have been received for Conservative members of the Backbench Business Committee - four posts:


17 Apr 2012 07:59:19

What is the 40 group? Matthew Barrett profiles the MPs trying to keep hold of the most marginal Tory seats

By Matthew Barrett
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I recently profiled the 2020 and Free Enterprise groups of Tory MPs. Those two groups are formed by ideology: MPs are attracted to the groups because, in the case of the Free Enterprise Group, members wish to open up markets and make Britain business-friendly enough to compete with other world class economies. The 2020's members want to renew and refresh Project Cameron, while considering how the country should look after a majority Conservative government.

The 40 is rather different as it is a group of MPs brought together solely by necessity - the members are those MPs who were elected in 2010 with the narrowest majorities in the Party.

Origins of the group and key members


The group was founded early last year by Eric Ollerenshaw (Lancaster and Fleetwood), Graham Evans (Weaver Vale), and David Mowat (Warrington South). There is no rigid structure to the group as such, given its non-ideological purpose, but when it meets, the convener is usually David Mowat. Other key "executive" members of the group include Evans and Ollerenshaw, as well as Amber Rudd (Hastings and Rye), James Morris (Halesowen and Rowley Regis) and Ben Gummer (Ipswich).

Continue reading "What is the 40 group? Matthew Barrett profiles the MPs trying to keep hold of the most marginal Tory seats" »

22 Mar 2012 15:00:13

An "important moment in British history", and "a very courageous Budget": Backbenchers give their verdict on George Osborne

By Matthew Barrett
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Traditionally, after a Budget speech, high-profile MPs speak in the debate that follows, to give their verdict on the Budget. Compiled below are some of the most significant contributions. 

TYRIE ANDREWFirstly, Andrew Tyrie, the Chair of the Treasury Select Committee, raised his concerns about the Government's proposed scheme for banks to lend to small businesses:

"Yesterday’s announcement on the loan guarantee scheme responded to many constituents’ complaints that they simply cannot get the money they need to run or start up small businesses. We all have constituents in that position, and the scheme will offer some welcome relief. How much relief? I think it will offer only a little, and there is a risk of the banks pocketing most of the money. The Treasury Committee, the Public Accounts Committee— I do not know whether its Chair is in her place—and the National Audit Office all need to play a role in ensuring that the banks do not run off with the money, and that value for money is secured."

Tyrie nevertheless commended the scheme:

"I still think the scheme may turn out to be valuable, for several reasons. First, by announcing it the Chancellor has raised the salience of an important issue and put pressure on the banks not to dismiss requests for loans without examining them properly. Furthermore, it seems to me that the Treasury’s own pessimistic briefing yesterday that the money will go only to existing borrowers is almost certainly mistaken. There is very likely to be some more lending, because banks will benefit from the stronger financial position of firms to which they have lent. Those loans, in turn, will be less risky for the banks, so they should have some more headroom for new lending without altering their risk profile."

Continue reading "An "important moment in British history", and "a very courageous Budget": Backbenchers give their verdict on George Osborne" »

12 Sep 2010 07:00:00

David Mowat MP answers ConHome's Twenty Questions for the Class of 2010

Here is the latest in our series of Twenty Questions with members of the Class of 2010...

Mowat David David Mowat was elected MP for Warrington South with a majority of 1,553.

1. What is your earliest political memory? An SNP MP was keen to marry a cousin of mine in the early 70’s. In an attempt to impress my Aunt he organised a family trip to Parliament.

2. Complete the sentence: “I’m a Conservative because… We recognise the limits of the State and understand the ethical case for free markets. This makes us the party of freedom and social mobility.”

3. Who is your political hero and why? Margaret Thatcher. For her unwavering resolve.

4. When did you decide you wanted to become an MP? After retiring from my business in 2004.

5. What is your reading material of choice? The Spectator, The New Statesman and UK Polling Report.

6. Who is your favourite political interviewer/presenter on TV or radio? Not sure he counts as a presenter but it would be Rod Liddle. If I can’t have him, Andrew Neil.

7. If you could run any government department, which would it be and why? Either BIS or DECC. I helped create and then led a business with a turnover of around £500million before entering politics. The business was concerned with Energy and I spent quite a bit of time advising governments and multinationals on energy policy.

8. Which non-Conservative politician do you most admire? Frank Field.

9. Who would you least want to get stuck with in a House of Commons lift? I’m new. It’s up to me to get on with everybody. That said, 30 seconds with Al Gore would be too much to bear. If it needs to be a current member it would be Gordon Brown.

10. If you were in the US, would you be a Republican or a Democrat? By instinct I’m Rebublican but some of their candidates would be tough to vote for. It would probably depend which part of the States I was in and who the candidate was.

11. What do you enjoy doing to unwind and relax? I play golf quite badly and chess quite well.

12. What is your favourite book? The Strangers and Brothers series by CP Snow.

13. What is your favourite film? The Godfather.

14. What is your favourite music? Blood on the Tracks or Desire Albums - Bob Dylan.

15. What would be your ideal meal and where would you eat it? Steak and Chips in a local family-run restaurant in France. Ideally with as many family and friends as we could round up.

16. What is your favourite holiday destination? France.

17. What do you most want to achieve during your first term in Parliament? To make a difference. Both to my constituents and our country.

18. Tell us one interesting, unusual or surprising fact about yourself. I can identify any Bob Dylan track 10 seconds after it has started. Sad but true.

19. Tell us one interesting, unusual or surprising fact about your constituency. It is the only constituency in the country with a Super League rugby league team which has a Tory MP.

20. Share with us your most amusing story or favourite anecdote from the campaign trail. Canvassing close to the end I was told by a householder that he was a Sinn Fein voter. I explained that they were not standing this time and asked if he would consider us. In the end we put him down as a Green.

> Previously: Christopher Pincher MP

14 Jun 2010 15:03:49

In their maiden speeches, Richard Graham highlights the perils of youth unemployment as David Mowat and Marcus Jones seek a reverse in the decline of social mobility

Richard Graham Commons During his maiden speech last Wednesday, Richard Graham, who gained Gloucester from Labour, spoke about the perils of youth unemployment:

“We are a great working city which now has record youth unemployment and too many families with no working role model—in fact, there are occasionally three generations living entirely off benefits. I believe that everyone in Gloucester will support me in saying that our main endeavour today is to increase business growth in order to generate more jobs, especially for the young, and that this will in turn generate the tax revenues that fund the front-line services that are so crucial for everyone in my city.”

“Today, the truth is that all of us, whatever our origins, face severe difficulties in handling the record youth unemployment and in trying to re-grow our economy to provide jobs for our young people. That is why all my constituents will welcome measures taken by this Government to stimulate business, which we must remind ourselves is the sole source of growth, providing jobs and then tax revenues for the services that many Members are calling for in our different constituencies."

David Mowat Commons During a debate the following day, the new MP for Warrington South, David Mowat, concluded that reversing the decline in social mobility was necessary to tackle poverty:

“I believe that we have to address two issues: first, our country has 8 million people who are economically inactive; and secondly, our country is the worst in western Europe in terms of the number of children growing up in workless households. The best way to help many people out of poverty is to create the well-paid, sustainable jobs that will make a difference. We have to do so over the next few years in a period in which we are going to reduce our dependence on financial services and on unsustainable public sector jobs. In my opinion, the only way in which that can be done is through increased investment in applied science, engineering and innovation.

“I was particularly pleased that the Gracious Speech made reference to measures to create a large number of apprenticeships, but it is important, too, that we make sure that we create enough professional engineers to make a difference. It is a particularly sad fact that over the past three decades, in spite of the increase in higher education, the number of engineering graduates from our universities has decreased. That is not the case in India or China; indeed, it is not the case in any other country in continental Europe.

“On the fringes of Warrington is Daresbury science park, which is a brilliant place that takes some of the best ideas produced in universities in the north-west and combines them with marketing skills and venture capital. Such places are going to create the jobs that we need in the medium term to fight the battle against poverty. In my view, social mobility is a hallmark of a civilised society. It is sad that in the past decade, social mobility fell in this country. I believe that the coalition, of which we are all part, will be judged, at least in part, on our ability to reverse that decline in social mobility.”

PPC Marcus Jones In calling for the promotion of social mobility, he was joined by Marcus Jones, who gained Nuneaton from Labour:

“Although well intentioned, the last Government received very little for their money in terms of social mobility and a reduction in the gap between the rich and the poor, and they have further fuelled a culture of benefit dependency in which children grow up seeing parents and grandparents who have never worked as their role models, in which people are better off living apart than living together, and in which there is no incentive to work because of the fear of becoming worse off.

“I must say that I am enthused by the coalition document, and particularly the work conducted by my right hon. Friend the Member for Chingford and Woodford Green (Mr Duncan Smith), with his practical and pragmatic ideas to simplify the benefits system, help people into work, and prioritise early intervention which will help our most deprived communities. I am sure that the new Government’s commitment to such measures as the pupil premium and support for further education colleges and universities will give the young people of my constituency the educational opportunity that will make them more socially mobile, raise their aspirations, unlock untapped potential and let individuals take control of their own lives once more.

“I particularly welcome the new Government’s commitment to providing an additional 50,0000 apprenticeships, which I am sure will engage and enthuse many young people who do not have the necessary aptitude for—or, more often, are not attracted to—further academic studies. I hope that many of those apprentices will be employed in Nuneaton. I am also convinced that there is no better way of regenerating our areas of deprivation than to create an environment in which the private sector can thrive. We must reduce regulation and business taxes and get credit moving, so that businesses can create the jobs that the skills provided by our Government will deserve.”

Jonathan Isaby