CPP Inclusive Growth Conference 2023

Can Labour deliver fair growth?

28 November 2023
The Royal Society, 6-9 Carlton House Terrace, London SW1Y 5AG

Keynote: Rt Hon Ed Miliband MP

CPP’s annual Inclusive Growth Conference took place on 28 November 2023. Bringing together inspiring political and economic thinkers for a day of debate and discussion, we asked: how will Labour deliver fair, green growth for all?

Watch the #IGConf23 sessions on the playlist below and visit our photo gallery.

About this event

The need for economic growth is already at the heart of the next election campaign. Amid squeezed living standards and a flatlining economy, the critical question is how that growth is generated, and who benefits.

The Labour party looks set to win power and it has set out its stall around five key missions, the first and central of which is to deliver sustained economic growth that increases productivity and delivers good jobs across the country.

As the leading think tank focused on inclusive economic growth, the Centre for Progressive Policy believes Labour’s mission is the right one. But under tight fiscal constraints and against a bleak economic backdrop, we know that achieving it will be a monumental challenge.

At this year’s conference, we have put Labour’s plans under the microscope to determine whether, and how, the party can deliver this mission in government. Sessions explored:

  • Fair growth: what’s the prize and what are the challenges?
  • Can Labour deliver fair growth without rebuilding public services?
  • How can we revitalise UK industry to drive fair growth?
  • How do we pay for it all? Turning political promises into a fiscal framework
  • Delivering fair, green growth: a keynote and Q&A with Rt Hon Ed Miliband MP
  • What does fair growth look like in action around the UK?

Conference speakers and programme are listed below.

For any questions check the FAQs or contact us at events@progressive-policy.net

Check out our 2022 and 2021 conferences.


Claire Ainsley

Director of the Project on Center-Left Renewal, Progressive Policy Institute

Claire is Director of the Project on Center-Left Renewal at the Progressive Policy Institute. Prior to PPI, Claire was the Executive Director of Policy to Keir Starmer, Leader of the Opposition and the U.K. Labour Party, 2020-22. Claire also served as the Executive Director of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, where she led work on the social and political attitudes of people with low incomes. She is the author of "The New Working Class: How to Win Hearts, Minds and Votes," Claire is a trustee of Involve, the public participation charity.

Charlotte Alldritt

Chief Executive, Centre for Progressive Policy

Charlotte is a leading advocate of devolution and inclusive economic development, having led the RSA City Growth Commission and RSA Inclusive Growth Commission. These initiatives led to the creation of the Northern Powerhouse and accelerated the formalisation and emergence of mayoral combined authorities. Charlotte set up the Centre for Progressive Policy in 2018. Previously she worked in HM Cabinet Office, economic consultancy and think tanks. She advises international institutions, global city leaders and civil society organisations on place-based economic policy and public service reform.

Henry Bonsu

Journalist and broadcaster

Henry Bonsu is a British Ghanaian journalist, broadcaster, and presenter of a current affairs show on Times Radio. He has been a commentator for BBC News, ITV, Channel 5 and Al Jazeera, and a columnist for several broadsheets including The Times and The Guardian. After studying at Oxford University, Henry worked for the BBC as a producer and a presenter. Currently, he also works as an international moderator for multilateral organisations, including The Global Fund and WHO. His specialist areas are African development, health, education, diversity and sustainability.

Dr Hilary Cottam OBE

Social entrepreneur, thinker and policy advisor

Hilary is a social entrepreneur, thinker and policy advisor with a track record in changing social systems. Her book Radical Help (pub. 2018) has been translated internationally and is widely credited with shifting the national narrative and practice around welfare systems in the UK. Her current research and practice centres on the future of work and work organising. Hilary holds an Honorary Professorship at the Institute of Innovation and Public Purpose at UCL; she was named UK Designer of the Year in 2005 for pioneering the field of social design.

Kersten England CBE

Former Chief Executive of Bradford Council  

Kersten was CEO of Bradford between 2015 and October 2023, and Chief Executive of City of York Council from 2009. Kersten is passionate about building community, social justice, equality and inclusion, having worked in the voluntary sector, higher education, central government and over 30 years in local government. She is Chair of Trustees of The Young Foundation, Chair of Bradford Culture Company which will deliver the UK City of Culture in 2025, a consultant for the Association of Local Authority Chief Executives, and a Trustee of the National Literacy Trust.

Rosie Fogden

Head of Research and Analysis, Centre for Progressive Policy

Rosie joined CPP in 2019 as a Senior Research Analyst and now manages the research programme. She writes on the importance of long-term investment in public services and the role of business and good jobs in making our economy more inclusive. Previously, Rosie was a Senior Economist in the Cabinet Office, and held other government positions, including in the international group at HM Treasury. Her expertise and interests include good and flexible work, social infrastructure, public service investment, childcare and early years, public health, inclusive economics, and fiscal policy.

Ben Franklin

Director of Research and Policy, Centre for Progressive Policy

Ben oversees impactful programmes of work on inclusive growth, including the importance of health, adult education and childcare. He has advised national politicians and local leaders on the links between growth, inequality and public services. His research has featured in major national and print and broadcast regional media. Previously, Ben was Assistant Director at the International Longevity Centre, leading major projects on employment challenges facing the over-50s and the future of the UK’s pensions. He also undertook economic analysis for the Financial Conduct Authority and HM Treasury.

Sam Freedman

Senior Fellow, Institute for Government

Sam is a senior fellow at the Institute for Government and writes regularly on politics and policy for numerous outlets as well as his substack newsletter ‘Comment is Freed’ which has over 35,000 subscribers. Previously he was an executive director at Teach First and worked at the Department for Education as a senior policy adviser. Sam is also a senior adviser to the education charity Ark; Vice-Chair of Ambition Institute; and a trustee of the Holocaust Educational Trust.

Ayesha Hazarika MBE

Broadcaster, comedian and writer

Known for her insightful, witty opinions, and informed observations on current affairs and politics Ayesha is a regular contributor to TV, radio and print. Host of Times Radio Weekend Drivetime and The Power Test podcast Ayesha started her career as a stand-up comedian before going into politics, becoming Special Adviser for the Labour Party for eight years, in Government and Opposition. She worked for Gordon Brown, Harriet Harman and Ed Miliband on speeches, media and policy as well as heading up initiatives on topics such as Women and Equality.

Paul Johnson CBE

Director, Institute for Fiscal Studies

Paul has been director of the IFS since 2011. Columnist for The Times, and regular contributor to other broadcast and print media, Paul is a visiting professor for UCL’s Policy Lab and economics department. Former member of the UK Climate Change Committee, he served on the ESRC and Royal Economic Society. Paul led pension and inflation reviews for the UK government, and on fiscal devolution for Northern Ireland. Previously chief economist at the Department for Education and director of public spending at HM Treasury, he recently published “Follow the Money”.

Mehreen Khan

Economics editor, The Times

Mehreen Khan has been the Economics Editor of The Times since March last year, where she covers the UK and global economy, central banks, and international trade. She was the EU correspondent for the Financial Times from 2017-2022.

Juergen Maier CBE, FRS

Chair of Digital Catapult, Co-Founder vocL

Juergen is Chair of the Digital Catapult, co-founder of vocL – a platform for responsible business voices, and Vice-Chair of the Northern Powerhouse Partnership where he supports the drive for the green re-industrialisation of the North of England. He advises tech start/scale-up businesses, which are a key to the industrial ecosystem creating the green 4th Industrial revolution. Juergen is former Chief Executive of Siemens UK and a passionate advocate for a new politics and economics; one that provides stronger leadership and support for innovation led, high productivity, green ‘frontier industries’.

Claire McColgan CBE, MBE

Director of Culture of Major Events, Liverpool City Council 

Claire is responsible for Culture Liverpool, Marketing Liverpool, Business Liverpool, City Halls, Cruise, Film Office and Tourist Information at Liverpool City Council

This year, Claire delivered an unparalleled Eurovision on behalf of Ukraine, and delivered something extraordinary for the UK. She recently received Woman of the Year – Chief Executives Award. In 2006 she was appointed Executive Producer of European Capital of Culture, and was instrumental in Liverpool winning that bid. Claire received an MBE for services to the arts in 2009 and was awarded her CBE in 2023.

Prof. Anand Menon

Director of UK in a Changing Europe

Anand is Professor of European Politics and Foreign Affairs at KCL and directs the UK in a Changing Europe project. His research areas include policies and institutions of the EU, European security, and British politics. A regular contributor to print and broadcast media, he co-edited the Oxford Handbook of the European Union, and co-authored, Brexit and British Politics. He is a trustee of Full Fact, member of the Strategic Council of the European Policy Centre, Council member of the European Council on Foreign Relations and associate fellow of Chatham House.

Rt Hon Ed Miliband MP

Shadow Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero

Ed Miliband is MP for Doncaster North and Shadow Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero. Ed served as Minister for the Cabinet Office in 2007 and as Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change from 2008 to 2010. In this role, Ed oversaw the introduction of the Climate Change Act 2008.

Lord Jim O’Neill

Former Commercial Secretary to the Treasury and Chair of Northern Powerhouse Partnership

Lord Jim O’Neill is a cross bench peer. He is Chair of Northern Gritstone and Chair of the Northern Powerhouse Partnership. Previous roles include joint head of research (1995–2000), chief economist (2001–10) and chairman of asset management division (2010–13) at Goldman Sachs; chair of the City Growth Commission (2014); and commercial secretary to the Treasury (2015-16). He is a board member and founding trustee of educational charity SHINE, and honorary professor of economics at the University of Manchester.

Jeevun Sandher

Head of Economics, New Economics Foundation

Jeevun is an economist whose career has involved generating ideas and achieving change in both academia and as a practitioner. He currently leads the economics team at NEF. Previously, he was an economist at the Somaliland Ministry of Finance, HM Treasury and Department for Work and Pensions. Jeevun has extensive experience in broadcast and print media. He is a trade union rep and has taught in disadvantaged schools. He has a PhD in Political Economy, an MSc in Economic Development and Policy Analysis and a BA in Economics and Philosophy.

Hannah White OBE

Director, Institute for Government

Hannah is Director of the non-partisan think tank the Institute for Government and a regular media commentator. After completing her PhD and a decade working in the House of Commons as a parliamentary clerk she became Secretary to the Committee on Standards in Public Life. She joined the IfG in 2014 and received an OBE in 2020 for services to the constitution. In April 2022 she published her first book Held in Contempt: what’s wrong with the House of Commons?

Giles Wilkes

Senior Fellow, Institute for Government

After two stints in the government as special adviser (to Business Secretary Vince Cable and then in Theresa May’s Downing Street), Giles Wilkes now divides his time between business advisory Flint Global and think tank the Institute for Government, specialising in business policy and the economy. Prior to his time in government, he enjoyed a varied career in financial services and policy think tanks.



Registration and refreshments


Welcome by broadcaster, journalist and conference host, Henry Bonsu


Opening talks - Fair growth: what’s the prize and what are the challenges?


  • Charlotte Alldritt, Chief Executive, Centre for Progressive Policy
  • Kersten England, former Chief Executive, Bradford Council
  • Anand Menon, Director, UK in a Changing Europe
  • Hannah White, Director, Institute for Government

Morning break


Panel discussion - Can Labour deliver growth without rebuilding public services?


  • Jeevun Sandher, Head of Economics, New Economics Foundation


  • Hilary Cottam, social entrepreneur, thinker and policy advisor
  • Rosie Fogden, Head of Research & Analysis, Centre for Progressive Policy
  • Paul Johnson, Director, Institute for Fiscal Studies

Lunch and Networking


In conversation: Inclusive growth in action

  • Henry Bonsu, broadcaster and journalist
  • Claire McColgan, Director of Culture, Liverpool City Council

Panel discussion - How can we revitalise UK industry to drive fair growth?


  • Mehreen Khan, Economics editor, The Times


  • Claire Ainsley, Director of the Center-Left Renewal project, Progressive Policy Institute
  • Ben Franklin, Director of Research & Policy, Centre for Progressive Policy
  • Juergen Maier, Chair of Digital Catapult and co-founder of vocL
  • Giles Wilkes, Senior Fellow, Institute for Government

Afternoon break


Panel discussion - How do we pay for it all? Turning political promises into a fiscal framework


  • Ben Franklin, Director of Research & Policy, Centre for Progressive Policy


  • Charlotte Alldritt, Chief Executive, Centre for Progressive Policy
  • Sam Freedman, Senior Fellow, Institute for Government
  • Lord Jim O’Neill, former Commercial Secretary to the Treasury and Chair of Northern Powerhouse Partnership

Delivering fair, green growth: keynote and Q&A with Rt Hon Ed Miliband MP

  • Q&A with Ayesha Hazarika, broadcaster, comedian and writer


Drinks reception & networking