ASI at Conservative Party Conference

After some great events at both Labour and Liberal Democrat Party conferences, we at the ASI have just wrapped up conference season with the Conservatives. 

On Monday we launched the Neoliberal Manifesto, a collaborative project with opinion platform 1828. An agenda for a freer, more prosperous Britain, our Head of Development Morgan Schondelmeier took to the stage alongside the Telegraph’s Helena Horton (chair,) London Assembly Member Andrew Boff, Head of Research at the Entrepreneurs’ Network Sam Dumitriu and founder of 1828 Jack Powell for a discussion on the manifesto - and the ideas we put forward. You can find the manifesto here.

At 4pm, our Head of Research Matthew Lesh chaired a fascinating discussion on the future of aviation with John Penrose MP and representatives from Heathrow West, Virgin Atlantic and Rolls Royce. In our recent report Ready for Takeoff.

We rounded out Monday with a great discussion on Housing. Our Deputy Director Matt Kilcoyne chaired ‘Build Our Way Out.’ Thanks to LondonYIMBY’s John Myers, Fingleton Associates (and ASI’s) Sam Bowman, Marc Vlessing of Pocket Living and Andrew Carter of Centre for Cities.

We kicked Tuesday off by Giving the Green Light to Legal Cannabis. If a legal cannabis market is the way forward - what exactly would that look like? Chaired by Volteface’s Lizzie McCulloch, our audience were treated to great insights from our Head of Programmes Dan Pryor, MP for Reigate (and Chair of the Conservative Drug Policy Reform Group) Crispin Blunt, CEO of CDPRG Rob Wilson, and George McBridge of Hanway Associates. Loads of interesting questions - enthusiasm for a regulated market is growing!

At 4pm, we said No to the Nanny State. We laid on a gourmet feast for our audience of haribo and wine and Philip Davies MP, Andrea Jenkyns MP, our Dan Pryor and Professor Peter Hajek of Queen Mary University London railed against the encroaching nanny statism under the watchful eye of Hugo Gye, Deputy Political Editor at the i paper. Queues out the door for this one!

And our panel series was wrapped up by our own Matt Kilcoyne at 6pm. Dan Hannan MEP, Ted Bromund of the Heritage Foundation, High Commissioner for Singapore Foo Chi Hsia and High Commissioner for Australia George Brandis laid out the case for free trade in the post-Brexit world to a packed room. Thank you to all who came!

Away from the Chester Suite of the Midland Hotel, Matt Kilcoyne was up bright and early on Monday for breakfast with Julia Hartley-Brewer - talking about the issues of the day. Our Senior Fellow Tim Worstall has the Times’ Thunderer today - making the case for lower taxes for workers. Our Research Associate Matt Gillow hosted a housing debate in the exhibition hall with youth group Blue Beyond, Dan Pryor talked medical cannabis to Conservative Health, Matt Kilcoyne spoke to Transport for the North on how to do devolution right. Our incoming Head of Government Affairs, Charlotte Kude, spoke to the Telegraph about how the Conservatives can win back the youth vote.

Thanks to everyone who came to see us in the Chester Suite in the past few days - some brilliant free-market solutions to the pressing problems of the day.