Labour Party Conference: Fair growth - What does it look like and how does it happen?

Panel discussion in partnership with the New Statesman

10 October 2023
Room 11c, ACC Liverpool (secure zone)

At 2023’s party conferences the Centre for Progressive Policy hosted a range of panel discussions with prominent speakers exploring health care, devolution, and the reality of investing in and delivering fair growth for people and places throughout the UK.

You can find more information about the event and speakers below, and visit our photo gallery.

About this event

Securing the highest sustained growth in the G7 is the first of Labour’s five missions for a better Britain. How can it be achieved, and how can we ensure that the benefits and opportunities of this mission are felt by all?

The UK is experiencing among the slowest growth in the G7 in 2023. Amid a cost of living crisis at home and a bleak global outlook, the road ahead looks bumpy. It is therefore vital that a Labour government takes radical steps to break the cycle of low growth, low pay and high taxes and works in partnership with industry, the third sector and other stakeholders to achieve fair, long-term growth.

Labour’s mission will bring together areas ranging from skills policy to childcare provision and from health to devolution. It will involve addressing fundamental inequalities and untapped opportunities throughout the UK in order to ensure that we are making the most of the UK’s potential. Successful growth will drive up living standards, fund public services and reduce the national debt. And, in many ways, the success of this first mission will depend on the delivery of the others: high, sustained growth is dependent on breaking down the barriers to opportunity at every stage, becoming a world leader in clean energy and ensuring that the NHS is fit for the future.

This panel discussion explored how a Labour government deliver radical and fair growth, including:

  • How will Labour’s fair growth agenda succeed where the Conservatives have not made good on their ambitions for levelling up?
  • How can we ensure that growth is fair, spread across the UK and does not leave people and places behind?
  • How can politicians, policymakers, industry and the third sector work together to build a truly radical fair growth agenda, and what would this look like in practice?

Chaired by Becky Slack, freelance journalist, New Statesman and Co-director of Agenda.

This event is took place in partnership with the New Statesman.


Claire Ainsley

Director of the Centre-Left Renewal project at Progressive Policy Institute

Claire Ainsley is Director of the Project on Center-Left Renewal at the Progressive Policy Institute. Prior to joining PPI, Claire was the Executive Director of Policy to Keir Starmer, Leader of the Opposition and the UK Labour Party, 2020-22. Claire also served as the Executive Director of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, where she led JRF’s 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," which was published in May 2018. Claire is a trustee of Involve, the public participation charity.

Charlotte Alldritt

CEO, Centre for Progressive Policy

Charlotte is a leading advocate of devolution and inclusive economic development, having led the RSA City Growth Commission (chaired by Lord Jim O’Neill) and RSA Inclusive Growth Commission (chaired by Stephanie Flanders). 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 Charlotte worked in HM Cabinet Office as a civil servant during the coalition, in economic consultancy and other think tanks. She advises international institutions, global city leaders and civil society organisations on place-based economic policy and public service reform.

Cllr Bev Craig

Leader of Manchester City Council

Bev became Leader of Manchester City Council on 1st December 2021. First elected in 2011 as a Burnage Councillor, she held a range of responsibilities on Manchester City Council, including serving for 4 years as Executive Member for Adult Social Care, Health and Wellbeing, then as Deputy Leader overseeing resources, capital programmes, social value and digital.

Since becoming Leader her focus has been on Manchester’s ambitious COVID recovery, the importance of building a more inclusive and sustainable economy, children and young people, equalities, housing and zero carbon. She holds a range of responsibilities on behalf of the city including the GM Economy, Business and International Portfolio for the Combined Authority and the GM Local Enterprise Partnership.

Dame Angela Eagle

MP for Wallasey and member of the Treasury Select Committee

Angela Eagle has been an active member of the Labour Party since her teens and held various positions in the party before being elected to Parliament in 1992, when she became the first ever Labour Member of Parliament for Wallasey.

Angela has served in several high profile positions since first being elected. She was a minister in several departments, including the Home Office and Treasury in both Tony Blair and Gordon Brown’s governments, and she was a leading member of Ed Miliband’s Shadow Cabinet, when she became Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury. In 2011, she became Shadow Leader of the House. In 2015, she was appointed as Shadow Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, a position she held until June 2016. She returned to the backbenches, and now serves as a leading member of the Treasury Select Committee. Angela has sat on the NEC as a PLP representative since 2021, having previously chaired both the NEC and the National Policy Forum.

Neal Lawson

Director of Compass

Neal has been helping to lead Compass since its formation in 2003. He is more focused than ever on how to make big transformative change happen. He works on strategy, relationships, funding and fronting Compass.

Becky Slack (Chair)

Freelance journalist, New Statesman and Co-director of Agenda

Becky Slack is co-director of Agenda, an international strategic communications collective that works with charities, NGOs, social movements and trade unions to create positive social change. She is an experienced social affairs journalist; author of Effective Media Relations for Charities, and is a regular event chair and public speaker. Becky lives in Ghent, Belgium where she is the vice chair of Brussels Labour, the Belgian branch of the UK Labour party. She holds a Masters in Political Strategy and Communications from the Brussels School of International Studies.