Labour’s reshuffle debacle points to worrying signs for party’s image

Labour’s reshuffle debacle points to worrying signs for party’s image

Labour needs to learn lessons from its high-profile shadow cabinet reshuffle this week, writes former Labour MP and shadow minister turned PR Andy Sawford. Read more

Andy Sawford
Andy Sawford
Should Prince Charles be on the Lobbying Register?

Should Prince Charles be on the Lobbying Register?

The short answer to this intentionally provocative question is probably ‘no’. It is right that the Prince of Wales, as heir to the throne, is kept informed about the business of government. Read more

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Connect takes home Public Affairs Award for Planning Campaign of the Year

Connect takes home Public Affairs Award for Planning Campaign of the Year

Connect came away with the Planning Campaign of the Year award at the Public Affairs Awards last night (Thursday 10 December 2015) for our work with Bode to stimulate the redevelopment of Archway Town Centre. The award caps an excellent year for Connect’s property service, which has secured planning permission for our clients for more than a 1,000 new homes and hundreds of new jobs across the country. Read more

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Labour’s ‘free vote’ on Syria

Labour’s ‘free vote’ on Syria

Jeremy Corbyn has backed down from imposing a three-line Whip on Labour MPs over Syria. He may have been impressed by the argument that MPs should be able to vote with their conscience, or perhaps struck by the potential hypocrisy, having spent thirty years defying the Whip. But what is more likely is that Corbyn stepped back from the abyss when it became clear that he would face resignations from the frontbench. Labour MPs will now be given a ‘free vote’. Read more

Andy Sawford
Andy Sawford
The ‘devolution revolution’ cometh: post Spending Review analysis

The ‘devolution revolution’ cometh: post Spending Review analysis

The face of UK politics is changing dramatically. In 18 months’ time there will be at least five elected Northern Mayors representing 54% of the population of the north.

Read more

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Fireworks in the Parliamentary Labour Party

Fireworks in the Parliamentary Labour Party

In a move that resembles the kind of intra-institutional power playing that takes place inside the Chinese Communist Party or the Vatican City, moderate Labour MPs have pulled off quite a coup today. Read more

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A short guide Statutory Instruments and the Tax Credits vote

A short guide Statutory Instruments and the Tax Credits vote

Connect is often asked by our clients to explain parliamentary procedure and it does not get more complex than Statutory Instruments. We thought you might find this short primer useful to put the vote on changes to Tax Credits in the House of Lords in context. Read more

Andy Sawford
Andy Sawford
EU campaign: is it make your mind up time?

EU campaign: is it make your mind up time?

News that one of the Home Secretary’s closest advisers and a long-standing Conservative campaigner will leave the Home Office to campaign to leave the EU shows that Westminster insiders are already picking their sides. Stephen Parkinson, Theresa May’s longest-serving special adviser, will join Matthew Elliott and Dominic Cummings (former Gove SpAd) at Vote Leave – an offshoot of Business For Britain. For the campaign this is a prize hire – Parkinson has experience as the national organiser for the NO to AV campaign, served in CCHQ and in Lord Ashcroft’s target seat campaign. How long before others follow suit? Read more

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Connect’s round-up of the 2015 Party Conferences

Connect’s round-up of the 2015 Party Conferences

Over the past three weeks the Connect team have been in Bournemouth, Brighton and Manchester attending the first party conferences after the 2015 General Election. Our Conference Round-up reviews the conferences, gives our take on the mood, a review of the Leader’s Speeches, and a light-hearted look at the conference fringe. We have also included a summary of the party policies and key announcements, which should be a useful resource as you think about how to engage with the parties in the months and years ahead. Read more

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Who’s in the frame? The shape of the Northern powerhouse is on its way

Who’s in the frame? The shape of the Northern powerhouse is on its way

With the announcement of an elected Mayor for Sheffield City Region, the second piece of the northern powerhouse jigsaw has been placed by Chancellor Osborne.  After months of wrangling that led the Prime Minister to joke that councils in Yorkshire couldn’t get their act together, the Sheffield City Region brings together Barnsley, Doncaster and Rotherham with Sheffield itself, in a partnership that will take control of significant powers and funding for transport, housing, planning and skills. Read more

Lora Shopova