Levelling up: in conversation with Conservative Red Wall MPs

Where to invest to help left behind communities across the UK?

4 November 2020
Zoom and on demand

Watch the full video on Youtube or listen to the conversation below.

Watch the full video on our Youtube channel.

Join us for a conversation with some of the leading lights of the recent Conservative intake representing previously safe 'red wall' Labour seats to discuss their visions and plans for levelling up in their constituencies.

In advance of the spending review, we will ask what and where government should invest in now to help left behind communities and drive productivity and shared prosperity across the UK; and what should be the role of local government and of business. We will also discuss the political arithmetic in these former Labour strongholds: what do the Conservatives need to do to keep the red wall blue?


  • Jo Gideon MP, Stoke-on-Trent Central
  • Nicola Richards MP, West Bromwich East
  • Kelly Beaver, MD, Ipsos MORI Social Research Institute
  • Charlotte Alldritt, Director, Centre for Progressive Policy


  • David Collins, Northern Correspondent, The Sunday Times

The debate includes contributions from Rt Hon Lord David Willetts, Caroline Slocock of Civil Exchange and Tony Smith of the West Midlands Combined Authority.

Join the debate on twitter by using #CPPLevelup

You can join the discussion on Zoom by registering below or follow the conversation on our Youtube channel, twitter or on Facebook.

Charlotte Alldritt

Director, Centre for Progressive Policy

Charlotte was Director of Public Services and Communities at the RSA, where she also ran the Inclusive Growth Commission – chaired by Stephanie Flanders – and City Growth Commission – chaired by Lord Jim O’Neill. Before joining the RSA, Charlotte was a Senior Policy Advisor to the Deputy Prime Minister, Rt Hon Nick Clegg MP, working on immigration, energy and housing. She is an advisor to Power to Change, New Philanthropy Capital, the Civic University Network and an external member of the APPG for Left Behind Neighbourhoods. Charlotte also advises the OECD on Inclusive Growth Financing and is a member of the SIPHER Inclusive Economy Advisory Group at the University of Sheffield.

Kelly Beaver

MD, Ipsos MORI Social Research Institute

Kelly Beaver is the Managing Director of Ipsos MORI’s Public Affairs business in the United Kingdom. She is responsible for a team of c.250 staff located throughout the UK including in London, Manchester, Belfast, and Edinburgh. Her team provides robust research and analysis to help clients across every area of government policy to monitor and understand public opinion, behaviours and societal trends, design public services and policies, and to determine what works in achieving social and economic policy objectives. Kelly holds several honorary positions outside of Ipsos. These include a Senior Research Fellowship at the Kings Policy Institute, a Board Member for the Campaign for Social Sciences in the UK, and a Trustee for the Early Intervention Foundation. Kelly was a Director of the UK Evaluation Society between 2011 and 2017.

Jo Gideon MP

MP for Stoke-on-Trent Central

Jo is the MP for Stoke-on-Trent Central, having been elected in the traditionally ‘red wall’ seat at the 2019 General Election on a pledge to ‘level-up’ historically underfunded regions. Jo was quickly promoted to PPS in the Business Energy and Industrial Strategy Department and has spent her first year in Parliament championing the local ceramics industry, promoting apprenticeships & skills for younger people, and speaking out about health inequalities across regions.

Jo has a broad business background: ten years as an importer and wholesaler of handmade papers supplying major High Street and independent retailers; as well as setting up and running award-winning social enterprises, working with businesses for university innovation and enterprise centres and mentoring business leaders in peer support networks.

Nicola Richards MP

MP for West Bromwich East

Nicola Richards is the MP for West Bromwich East and was first elected at the last general election in December 2019. She has previously worked for the Jewish Leadership Council, the Holocaust Educational Trust and West Midlands Mayor Andy Street.

She is a staunch supporter of the Government’s ‘Levelling-Up’ agenda and is Vice Chair for the APPG for 'Left Behind' Neighbourhoods and ‘Midlands Engine” APPG. She is also a member of the Women & Equalities Select Committee and the Committee on the Future Relationship with the European Union.

David Collins (Chair)

Northern correspondent, The Sunday Times

David Collins is the youngest reporter to win News Reporter of the Year at the Press Awards for helping police convict Levi Bellfield for the murder of Milly Dowler. He has worked as deputy editor of The Sunday Times’s Insight team, uncovering doping by the Russian athletics team and Downing Street's cover-up of a failed Trident nuclear missile test. He is currently Northern Correspondent.