The Red Tape Initiative – West Dorset MP and pal of Swire’s new, er, initiative

Does anyone else find this declaration of interest by Oliver Letwin, West Dorset MP, oldxEtonian pal of Swire and Cameron, champion of privatisation of anything and everything, but particularly the NHS, somewhat worrying?

Remember Letwin has been the centre of several controversies and foot in mouth incidents as well as authoring, with John Redwood (1988) “Britain’s Biggest Enterprise – ideas for radical reform of the NHS”.

He is now, as of April 2017, the founder and Chairman of the Red Tape Initiative, which he describes in his Parliamentary Declaration of interest:


“From 19 April 2017, Chair (unpaid) of the Management Board of the Red Tape Initiative; a cross-party think tank established to identify regulatory changes that can be made by political consensus speedily after Brexit. (Registered 19 April 2017)”

which is made up of:

“Leading Conservative, Labour and Liberal Democrat politicians [who] have agreed to join the Advisory Board, alongside other distinguished people entirely independent from any political party.

The CBI, BCC, IOD and FSB are working with the RTI to construct groups of experts from a range of industries – as well as representatives of environmental and other NGOs – who can help us identify changes that could quickly be made in specific areas of EU regulation, with immediate benefits for jobs and businesses in the UK and with no adverse effects on our ecology or our society. We will be consulting relevant trade unions – via the TUC – on the proposals that emerge, in order to ensure that they are acceptable to employees as well as employers.”

Unfortunately, there is no list of the Management Board or of people, other than Letwin, who make up this group, other than someone called Nick Tyrone, whose blog can be found here:

who had had a couple of relatively short tenures as leader of think tanks Radix and CentreForum, and who seems to work from a Centre in Westminster Kingsway College according to the postcode on the RTI website, but we do know its first three priorities:

The first three areas that the RTI will address are:

1) the construction of housing

2) the construction of infrastructure

3) training and apprenticeships”

Ah – developers and zero-hours employers? Oh, Owl is SO excited!