What we've been up to: 16 October

This week’s edition is slightly different – a Party Conference 2015 Summary Special!

Members from our Financial + Professional Services, Energy + Industrials and Public Affairs practices attended the Liberal Democrats, Labour and Conservative Party Annual Conferences, live-tweeting and reporting their experiences here. Read on for a roundup of the most important/interesting moments from these conferences.

Liberal Democrat Conference (19-23 September)

After the party’s overwhelming electoral defeat in May under Nick Clegg, Tim Farron’s keynote speech functioned to reaffirm the core values and ambitions of the Liberal Democrats. His call for people to join the Liberal Democrats was at least in part aimed at those who felt their parties had abandoned them, and he most certainly had moderate Labour people in mind.

Read more about Farron’s speech here.

Nick Clegg’s fiery speech to his former followers sought to justify his party’s time in government whilst advising the party’s future course of action. Clegg also spoke passionately about the importance of Britain’s place in Europe, attacking Jeremy Corbin for his ambivalence towards the EU.

To read more, please click here.

Labour Conference (27-30 September)

Jeremy Corbin’s first speech as Labour leader was greatly anticipated – supporters deemed it an opportunity to get sceptics and critics to treat him seriously, whilst also taking back the agenda after two weeks of teething issues. Click to find out Michael Stott’s thoughts on Corbin’s speech!


Energy policy represented a hugely significant line of attack for Labour during the second half of the last Parliament. Lisa Nandy, replacing Caroline Flint as Shadow Energy Secretary, specifically discussed the notions of energy democratisation and energy efficiency. Read more about Labour’s Energy policies here.

 Conservative Conference (4-7 October)

This conference season, forget everything you thought you knew about George Osborne. For so long the bad boy of the Conservative frontbench, the Chancellor today attempted to recast himself as something altogether different: a Prime Minister-in-waiting. Click here to read Larry Smith’s coverage of Mr. Osbourne’s speech.

Boris Johnson used his main stage speech today to show he still has one of the best weapons to win the Tory leadership - popularity among the party membership. Please click here to read the whole article.


Outside, the vitriol hurled by protestors at delegates was at times shocking. Inside, David Cameron used his speech to try and entrench the Tories on the centre ground, with plenty of references to equality and compassion. In his major keynote, the Prime Minister called for a Greater Britain, with security, stability and opportunity the watchwords. This was a play for the country, not just the party. More on the Prime Minister’s speech can be found here.

But its not just been about the Party Conferences...

This week, E+I helped climate policy experts E3G and Climate Home (formerly RTCC) host an event at PwC. The event was a briefing for journalists on the upcoming UN climate change summit COP21 in order to give a clear non-technical insight into the implications for business, investors and politicians from those in the know. Speakers included:

  • Laurence Tubiana, France’s top climate diplomat
  • Pete Ogden, Former Head of climate change at the White House
  • Jairam Ramesh, Former Indian Environment Minister
  • Monica Araya, Founder & Executive Director, Nivela
  • Rowan Douglas, Chairman of Willis Research Network, Willis Insurers
  • Celine Herweijer, Partner of Climate Change and International Development, PwC

Chairs included Richard Black ECIU, Pilita Clark FT and our own Suzy made her chair debut! It was a fantastic event and well attended by experts and around 40 media from a mixture of trades and nationals such as Channel 4, BBC, Bloomberg and Vice.

On Wednesday night our client Aon opened their new global headquarters in The Leadenhall Building. Our Aon public affairs team had been working on the event for months and arranged for the Secretary of State for Business Sajid Javid MP to speak at the event alongside Aon’s most senior executives. Also at the event was Manchester United legend Bryan Robson and more than 200 insurance apprentices, industry bodies and insurance executives. 

In other news, we won Silver at the Digital Impact Awards for our client io oil & gas consulting - best use of digital in the extraction sector. Well done team, check out their website http://iooilandgas.com/ to see all the great work!

Sam Lythgoe

Hill & Knowlton Strategies Search