Graham Harrison IoD Greater Lincolnshire Committee member and Ambassador
A group from IoD East Midlands were treated to a fascinating look behind the scenes at the House of Parliament during a members’ visit to London, followed by a networking lunch at the IoD headquarters on Pall Mall.
The event started with an expert guide giving us an interesting talk on the history of Westminster. As the House of Commons was in session we could not go inside the main chamber but instead we had the opportunity of a full tour of the House of Lords.
After the tour we moved into the public gallery in the Commons to listen to a debate on the challenges within the steel industry, which was particularly pertinent and poignant as the national news reported the closure of British Steel’s Scunthorpe plant the very next day after our visit.
The event then moved on to a networking lunch at the IoD offices in Pall Mall where we had the opportunity to discuss topical issues with Edwin Morgan, Interim Director General of External Affairs and Policy, and Tej Perikh, Chief Economist.
Edwin and Tej outlined the IoD’s view on big current issues including Brexit, the skills shortages, maintaining focus on non-Europe issues and the UK’s international reputation, including the problem of attracting investment. The group then took these issues on with a general discussion, bringing in different perspectives from across the business sectors represented on the visit.
The networking aspect of the visit was invaluable, not only giving IoD members a chance to meet IoD members from different areas but also giving us a better understanding of how the IoD works with government, based on the thoughts and views of its members.
I particularly enjoyed talking with Tej about the economic implications of the steel industry debate we had witnessed
earlier in the House of Commons and I learnt a lot about how the mechanism of government and policy works inside the main Commons chamber and in the more detailed and smaller meetings.
This was one of the best IoD events I have been to, giving everyone who attended an excellent opportunity to see
historic Westminster, witness a live government debate and then network and learn from other IoD members.
I would like to thank Cari Grice and Ron Lynch from the IoD team for hosting, and also Cameron Ford and Robert Jendrick MP for giving their time and for helping to set up this excellent event.