Policy Exchange

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Group.png Policy Exchange Powerbase Sourcewatch WebsiteRdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
Policy Exchange.jpg
FormationApril 2002
Founder• Francis Maude
• Archie Norman
LeaderPolicy Exchange/Director
Typethink tank
SubpagePolicy Exchange/Director
A neoconservative orientated think-tank with close ties to David Cameron

Policy Exchange was launched in April 2002 by two former Asda executives Francis Maude and Archie Norman with Nicholas Boles as its founding director.[1] Its current[When?] director is Dean Godson. Policy Exchange is part of the Stockholm Network, a working group of European market-oriented think-tanks.[2]

In a March 2009 presentation Tim Montgomerie and Matthew Elliott described Policy Exchange as part of the infrastructure of the conservative movement in Britain.[3]

Origins and launch

Policy Exchange was established by a group of Conservative MPs who had backed Michael Portillo’s campaign in the 2001 Conservative leadership contest. Portillo, who had recently admitted having had homosexual experiences, advocated a shift towards more liberal social attitudes, whilst maintaining a commitment to right-wing economic policy. Dubbed ‘Portillistas’ by Westminster commentators, Portillo’s backers saw themselves as modernisers of an out of touch party which had put off potential voters through its negativity, xenophobia and social conservatism.

Portillo withdrew from the Conservative leadership race on the evening of 17 July 2001 and subsequently announced that he would leave politics. According to the Independent the eleven Shadow Cabinet colleagues who had backed him were subsequently dubbed ‘the living dead’ in Westminster. [4]

Only days later, one of the ‘living dead’, Archie Norman a former CEO of Asda, told the Daily Telegraph’s Rachel Sylvester that he and other Portillo supporters were planning to set up a think-tank saying: ‘I came into public life to help transform the Conservative Party so it can win again, and that's what I'm still about.’ [5] On 21 July the Daily Telegraph ran a front page headline, ‘Portillo supporters to fight on’. Archie Norman was quoted as saying:

We've got hundreds of thousands of people who don't want to lose what we were creating, we've got financial support from people who wanted to invest in this as the future of the party and we would like to find a way of channelling that and harnessing it. [6]

That August the Daily Telegraph published a letter from the ‘Portillistas’ in which they said they planned to establish ‘a new forum, firmly rooted within the party, devoted to developing the ideas that will form the basis of a genuinely modern Conservative Party.’ [7] The letter was signed by Francis Maude, Archie Norman, Tim Yeo, Andrew Mackay, Peter Ainsworth, Theresa May, Edward Garnier, Peter Lilley, Damian Green, Nicholas Soames, Julie Kirkbride, Stephen Dorrell and Nicholas Gibb. [8]

In early October, a week before the Tory Party Conference, the party’s new leader Iain Duncan Smith reportedly met for private talks with Francis Maude, and the latter agreed to delay the launch of the think-tank until after the party conference. [9] The truce was cemented with an offer from the ‘Portillistas’ that Iain Duncan Smith would be appointed Honorary President of the think-tank [10] – an offer which apparently came to nothing.

Archie Norman, Francis Maude, and their allies decided to set up two separate think-tanks as part of their modernisation project. One, XChange Ideas or simply XChange, would be rebranded as Policy Exchange a few months later. A company limited by guarantee, formed in October 2001, became XChange Ideas on 9 November 2001. A separate company Conservatives for Change was also was set up that October, and was branded CChange. The two were presumably kept separate to allow Policy Exchange to apply for charitable status as a non-partisan organisation. Conservatives for Change supplied the initial funding for Policy Exchange, with a loan of £75,000.

In December the group set up the websites cchange.org.uk and xchange.org.uk for people to register their interest in the projects prior to the launch of XChange or Policy Exchange's full website.

The full website <http://www.policyexchange.org.uk> was registered on 28 January 2002 and went live a few months later. [11] Policy Exchange was officially launched at the Tate Gallery in Central London on the evening of 29 April 2002. [12]


Tim Adams wrote in The Observer in 2008:

In the three years since Cameron's speech, as his star has risen so has that of Policy Exchange (despite the embarrassment of Newsnight's exposé of its questionable research into radical Islam, and the recent report suggesting northern cities were doomed). Its staff has increased from 5 to 35, its budget, mostly donations from the City, has grown nearly tenfold. One of its founders, Nick Boles, has become head of policy for Cameron; its former chief researcher, James O'Shaughnessy, is now chief researcher at Tory central office; current director Anthony Browne has just been appointed head of policy for Boris Johnson in London... By the time of this year's Policy Exchange summer party, attended by the entire Cameron court, and a good proportion of New Labour's old entourage, there was a glister of a movement that believed it was winning the argument. [13]

Charitable Status

Policy Exchange applied for charitable status and was registered with the Charity Commission on 3 March 2003. Registering as a charity can provide numerous tax breaks for think-tanks. Charities do not normally have to pay corporation tax, capital gains tax, or stamp duty, and gifts to charities are free of inheritance tax. They can also pay significantly reduced business rates (e.g. council tax) on the buildings they occupy.

Policy Exchange’s application to the Charity Commission was based on the application made by the New Labour orientated think-tank IPPR. Former Policy Exchange director Anthony Browne told the Guardian: ‘We basically borrowed the IPPR's claim for charitable status and changed the words “centre-left” to “centre-right”’. [14] Similarly Browne’s predecessor, Nicholas Boles has said: “Before we set up Policy Exchange I went and chatted with Matthew Taylor [then director of IPPR], a friend, and when we approached the Charity Commission we put in an almost identical proposal to them. The joke, which is not quite true, is that the only difference was substituting 'centre-right' for 'centre-left'.” [15]

Policy Exchange was investigated by the Charity Commission after an MP complained in February 2007 that it was close to the Conservative Party. The Charity Commission report found no evidence of party political bias but identified a number of issues:

events hosted by the Charity – For an event to be educational under charity law it needs to be clearly linked to and advance a programme of research which should be identified prior to the event. We identified that the charity had hosted a series of one-off events to stimulate ideas or to promote the charity’s brand which often included attendance by MP’s;

dissemination of information – Research papers produced by the Charity are easily accessible on their website, however, very little information was given on other events hosted by the Charity. All charities must demonstrate that they operate for the public benefit. In this case, Policy Exchange could demonstrate public benefit through the dissemination of transcripts and papers arising out of each event;

and transparency – The original source of concern was that the Charity was supporting a political party and carrying out political activities. Whilst the Commission determined that there was no evidence of party political bias we determined that there is a need for greater transparency, particularly on Policy Exchange’s website. Information contained on the website following events in 2007 failed to sufficiently highlight or identify the cross-party speakers at events hosted by the Charity. [16]

Policy Exchange agreed to conduct a 12-month review of the areas identified by the Commission.


Current and former trustees

Name of Board Member Stated occupation Date of Appointment Date of resignation
Theodore Agnew Company Director 1 April 2010 N/A
Richard Briance Banker 18 January 2006 N/A
Camilla Cavendish Journalist 12 June 2002 N/A
Robin Edwards Treasurer 12 June 2002 N/A
Richard Ehrman Company Director 19 July 2005 N/A
Virginia Fraser Writer for House & Garden 31 July 2007 N/A
Charles Moore Journalist 2 December 2004 N/A
George Robinson Investment Manager 10 November 2004 N/A
Robert Rosenkranz Chairman & CEO, Dephi Financial Group 18 January 2010 N/A
Edward Sells Chartered Accountant 30 October 2007 N/A
Timothy Steel Company Director 30 October 2007 N/A
Alice Thomson British Journalist 12 June 2002 N/A
Simon Wolfson Company Director 2 December 2008 N/A
Adam Afriyie Company Director 7 July 2003 9 May 2005
Colin Barrow Company Director 7 July 2003 18 January 2005
Iain Dale Company Director 12 June 2002 27 February 2007
Michael Gove Journalist 12 June 2002 18 January 2006
Francis Maude MP 2 November 2001 12 June 2002
John Micklethwait Journalist 12 June 2002 27 February 2007
Elizabeth Noel Company Director 5 June 2007 26 February 2008
David Willetts MP 2 November 2001 12 June 2002

The table on the right displays information on the current and former directors of Policy Exchange Ltd as registered with Companies House on 16 April 2010. The 13 current directors (i.e. those where no resignation date is provided) are displayed first in alphabetical order, followed by the company’s former directors.

The earliest directors were the Conservative MPs David Willetts and Francis Maude who resigned in June 2002 and were replaced by a number of public figures (initially mainly journalists) with less direct connections to the Conservative Party. The most notable of the early trustees was Michael Gove who was appointed Chairman of Policy Exchange. He was then a Times columnist, but would later become a Conservative MP and then a Minister in the Cameron Government. Other trustees who have since left the board include John Micklethwait, a writer for The Economist, and Iain Dale a right-wing author and blogger who subsequently became a columnist at the Daily Telegraph.

The 13 current trustees are a mixture of right-wing journalists and wealthy businessmen. Theodore Agnew, Richard Briance, George Robinson, Edward Sells and Simon Wolfson are all British businessmen who have donated to the Conservative Party. [17] Robert Rosenkranz, an American multi-millionaire financier would be precluded from donating as a foreigner but has provided funding to Policy Exchange and Localis [18] (and the neoconservative American Enterprise Institute[19])

Those trustees who are not drawn from the world of business or finance are all affiliated to Britain’s conservative press. Camilla Cavendish is a columnist and leader writer for The Times. Virginia Fraser is the widow of Frank Johnson, [20] a former deputy editor of the The Sunday Telegraph (1995-99) and editor of The Spectator. [21] Alice Thomson is a comment writer at The Times and a former associate editor of the Daily Telegraph [22] and Charles Moore, Policy Exchange’s Chairman, is a former editor of the Daily Telegraph, Sunday Telegraph, and The Spectator. These connections are displayed in a visual form below.


Policy Exchange’s first director was Nick Boles, a former member of Westminster City Council considered part of the ‘Notting Hill Set’ – an informal group of young Conservatives connected to the Prime Minister David Cameron. Before joining Westminster Council Boles ran a DIY business, prior to which he 'worked for a few years in Germany, Russia and Eastern Europe, helping state-owned industries prepare for private ownership.' Boles is a former flatmate of Michael Gove [23] who was Chairman of Policy Exchange whilst Boles was director. Both men are signatories to the statement of principles of the Henry Jackson Society Project for Democratic Geopolitics, a British neoconservative organisation.

Boles left Policy Exchange in February 2007 to concentrate on his bid to be Mayor of London. [24] On his time at Policy Exchange Boles has stated: "My biggest achievement in politics so far has been to set up and run Policy Exchange, which is now the largest and most influential policy research institute on the centre right. While I was its director, Policy Exchange devised policies to make police forces more accountable to local people, to expand the number of places in good schools and to give local communities incentives to build more houses. We also exposed the activities of Islamic extremists in some mosques in the UK and their effect on the attitudes of young British Muslims. Many of our ideas have been adopted by the Conservative Party under David Cameron."

Boles was replaced by the Chief Political Correspondent of The Times Anthony Browne. [25] Browne had worked as a Business analyst in the late 1980s before becoming a journalist. Prior to joining The Times he worked at the BBC and the Observer. During his time at The Times, Browne became embroiled in controversy over his comments on VDare, an anti-immigration US web forum, affiliated to the Center for American Unity. [26]

Browne was Director of Policy Exchange for just over a year. [27] According to ConservativeHome's ToryDiary 'During his time at PX there was a doubling of staff numbers but a concern that the think tank became too close to Project Cameron.' [28]

Browne was appointed as Policy Director to the Mayor of London on 21 July. The Guardian remarked: 'Browne's appointment – the fourth from Policy Exchange to get a top job in the Tory party – marks a further high watermark in the influence of Policy Exchange on future Tory policy.' [29] Browne’s predecessor Nick Boles had been appointed Interim Chief of Staff for the London Mayor Boris Johnson [30] before being appointed head of David Cameron's Implementation Unit, where he was responsible for drawing up the Tories' plans for government along with Policy Exchange founder Francis Maude. [31]

In September 2008 Neil O’Brien, director of the right-wing eurosceptic think-tank Open Europe, was appointed as Browne’s successor. A young Oxford graduate, O’Brien joined the campaign against Britain joining the single currency as an economics researcher [32] and according to an article in the Guardian, 'has a background in City PR', [33] He was director of Open Europe from its launch in 2005 to September 2008 when it was announced that O'Brien had been appointed head of Policy Exchange.

Research focus

Policy Exchange states that it is ‘particularly interested in free market and localist solutions to public policy questions’. Like other right-wing think-tanks much of its research advocates the expansion of private power through the promotion of 'free market' policies. In the case of Policy Exchange however, these measures tend to be presented as progressive solutions to social problems, something it describes as 'Using centre-right means to progressive ends'. It divides its research into nine categories: Arts & Culture, Crime & Justice, Economics, Education, Environment & Energy, Foreign Policy & Security, Government & Philosophy, Health and Social Policy.

As gauged by listed publications and events, its largest single research area is Economics, followed by Foreign Policy & Security, Environment & Energy and then Education. The other areas constitute a relatively small proportion of the think-tank’s output, together comprising less than 25%, although Social Policy became a greater focus from 2008 onwards.

The pie chart on the right displays the total number of events and publications listed in each policy area up to 31 December 2009. The same data is displayed in the table below, which shows the growth in the total number of events and publications as well as the relative prominence of each research area year on year.

Foreign Policy & Security

As the data displayed in the graphs above shows, the policy area described by Policy Exchange as ‘Foreign Policy & Security’ has been the think-tank’s greatest area of activity after economics. The main concern of the Foreign Policy & Security Unit, at least in terms of publications, has been domestic counterterrorism and ‘extremism’, with the focus being on British Muslims. The ‘About’ section of the Foreign Policy & Security webpage states that Policy Exchange stands for ‘Preventing extremism’ and ‘Backing progressives against reactionaries’. It criticises the Labour Government for allegedly ‘deal[ing] with relatively extreme groups at the expense of moderates,’ and calls for the Government to ‘confront those who do not accept the foundations of a liberal society’.

Given its relative overall prominence Policy Exchange has published relatively few reports in this area, listing only eight publications up to 31 December 2009 [34] (although its most controversial report The Hijacking of British Islam has been removed from its website). The first of these reports, called ‘Regime Change - It's Been Done Before’, was published on 15 May 2003, shortly after Britain and the United States invaded Iraq. [35] It was sponsored by Conrad Black, who had employed the Foreign Policy & Security Unit’s current director Dean Godson as a special assistant and leader writer at the Telegraph Group. [36] (Black was subsequently convicted of fraud in the US and sentenced to six and a half years in prison.[37])

The Regime Change report was edited by Roger Gough and grew out of a Policy Exchange round-table held in early March 2003. [38] The report included a foreword by the former Foreign Secretary Douglas Hurd (considered a ‘realist’ on foreign policy [39]), and essays from a number of contributors who considered previous examples of ‘regime change’ in West Germany, Japan, Cambodia, South Africa, Haiti, East Timor, The West Balkans and Afghanistan. [40]

The Foreign Policy & Security Unit was originally called the International Programme and was headed by Anna Reid, a former journalist with The Economist. [41] A separate programme on ‘Terrorism and Security’ emerged in 2006 which was eventually merged with its International Programme to form the Foreign Policy & Security Unit, as it is now known.

The Terrorism and Security programme – originally part of the International Programme and then separate for a period – emerged under the leadership of the right-wing journalist Dean Godson. Godson joined Policy Exchange from the Telegraph, following a purge of the paper’s most explicitly Atlanticist commentators after a change of ownership. In 2004 Telegraph editor Martin Newland told the Guardian:

I soon came to recognise we were speaking a language on geopolitical events and even domestic events that was dictated too much from across the Atlantic. It's OK to be pro-Israel, but not to be unbelievably pro-Likud Israel, it's OK to be pro-American but not look as if you're taking instructions from Washington. Dean Godson and Barbara Amiel were key departures. [42]

Policy Exchange listed Godson as leading the think-tank’s work on ‘Terrorism and Security’ from June 2006, [43] and by August he was listed as Research Director of the think-tank’s International Programme (which then included Terrorism and Security) with its former head Anna Reid listed as an Associate Fellow. [44]

Reports on British Muslims

Martin Bright pamphlet

In July 2006 Policy Exchange published a pamphlet called ‘When Progressives Treat with Reactionaries’ written by the then New Statesman journalist Martin Bright. In the acknowledgments for the report Bright wrote, ‘In particular I wish to thank Dean Godson, whose driving energy and immense professionalism kept the project on the rails.’ [45]

The pamphlet was a collection of a series of stories by Martin Bright on the British Governments relations with Muslim groups. [46] Bright said he chose Policy Exchange, a 'slightly provocative publisher, because I believe a coalition of the left and right needs to be built around this issue.' [47]

Much of the material came from Foreign Office official Derek Pasquill, who was strongly critical of Foreign Office adviser Mockbul Ali and the Government's relationship with the Muslim Council of Britain.[48] Pasquill was charged under the Official Secrets Act, but the case was dropped in January 2008. According to a Guardian report on the hearing, the prosecution ‘indicated that internal FCO papers revealed that senior officials privately admitted that, far from harming British interests, Pasquill's leaking of the documents had actually helped to provoke a constructive debate.’[49]

Policy Exchange has claimed [50] that the pamphlet influenced Communities Secretary Ruth Kelly to change the Government's relations with Muslim organisations. [51]

BBC Newsnight controversy

In October 2007 Policy Exchange published The Hijacking of British Islam, a report which was revealed by BBC Newsnight as being based in part on fabricated evidence, and which has since been removed from Policy Exchange's website.

The full title of the report was The Hijacking of British Islam: How Extremist Literature is Subverting Mosques in the UK. It was written by Denis MacEoin and overseen by Dean Godson. [52] According to the report, which claimed to be 'the most comprehensive academic survey of such literature ever produced in this country', Policy Exchange sent four Muslim research teams to almost 100 mosques across Britain, and found radical material at 25 per cent of the institutions surveyed. [53]The Report's recommendations included calls for the British authorities to reconsider their relationship to the Muslim Council of Britain, the Islamic Foundation and the Muslim Safety Forum.[54]

The report's findings were widely covered in the British media with articles appearing in, for example, The Daily Mail [55], the Daily Telegraph[56] and The Times.[57] According to Newsnight editor Peter Barron, the BBC had originally been due to run an exclusive report on the findings:

On the planned day of broadcast our reporter Richard Watson came to me and said he had a problem. He had put the claim and shown a receipt to one of the mosques mentioned in the report - The Muslim Cultural Heritage Centre in London. They had immediately denied selling the book and said the receipt was not theirs.

On closer examination, the BBC identified particular concerns about five of the receipts in particular:

  1. In all five cases the mosques involved said the receipts did not belong to them.
  2. The expert analysis showed that all five had been printed on an inkjet printer - suggesting they were created on a PC.
  3. The analysis found "strong evidence" that two of the receipts were written by the same person.
  4. The analysis found that one of the receipts had been written out while resting on another receipt said to be from a mosque 40 miles away. [58]

On 12 December 2007, Newsnight ran a report on these concerns, followed by a studio discussion between Jeremy Paxman and Dean Godson, during which Godson accused Barron of 'disastrous editorial misjudgement' and of 'appalling stewardship of Newsnight'. [59] In an initial statement the think tank responded: 'the executive of Policy Exchange will meet on Thursday 13th to discuss legal action against the BBC'.[60]A second response the next day stated that 'Policy Exchange is in legal consultations about action in this matter.'[61]The BBC responded: 'Policy Exchange's statement is misleading in many ways and doesn't answer the simple question raised by Newsnight's film. Given that the Policy Exchange report was based on the testimony of the researchers who gathered the receipts, do they believe all the receipts are genuine?'[62] In the Daily Telegraph on 15 December, Policy Exchange Chairman Charles Moore accused Peter Barron of questioning the receipts in order to justify his original decision not to run the report.[63]

On 17 December, The Times issued an apology to Dr Muhammad Abdul Bari of the East London Mosque in connection with its coverage of the report.[64]

In February 2008, Private Eye reported that 'furious Conservatives say they've no option but to sue or take a dossier on Peter Barron, Newsnight's editor, to the BBC's senior management.' [65] In a letter in the following issue, Barron responded 'Policy Exchange promised to investigate these discrepancies, but two months later they have still not said if they believe these receipts are genuine.' [66]

Policy Exchange did not bring its threatened legal action against the BBC but in September 2008, the North London Central Mosque issued a writ in the High Court over the report's allegations. [67] The case came to the High Court in December 2009 but was struck out by the Judge on the basis that the Trust could not sue in defamation as it was not a corporate entity or legal person. [68]

In March 2009, the report appeared to have been removed from the Policy Exchange website, where the following statement appeared:

The Hijacking of British Islam:
Al-Manaar Muslim Cultural Heritage Centre
In this report we state that Al-Manaar Muslim Cultural Heritage Centre is one of the Centres where extremist literature was found. Policy Exchange accepts the Centre’s assurances that none of the literature cited in the Report has ever been sold or distributed at the Centre with the knowledge or consent of the Centre’s trustees or staff, who condemn the extremist and intolerant views set out in such literature. We are happy to set the record straight.[69][70]

Media exposure

Newspaper Number of items
The Times and The Sunday Times 288
The Guardian and the Observer 271
The Daily Telegraph and The Sunday Telegraph 257
The Independent and Independent on Sunday 131
Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday 104
The Express and The Sunday Express 76
The Mirror and The Sunday Mirror 44
The Daily Star 20
The Business 11
Morning Star 3
The People 3
Total: 1208

The table on the rights gives an indication of Policy Exchange’s media presence in UK national newspapers. It shows the number of items contained in the Lexis Nexis newspaper database group ‘UK National Newspapers’ between 1 January 2000 and 31 December 2009 referring to Policy Exchange. [71] The great majority of the press coverage is from the broadsheets, followed by the mid-market Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday.

It should be noted that these figures are not 100 per cent accurate since Lexis Nexis often includes duplicated articles in its database. It should also be noted that this quantitative data does not necessarily represent favourable or uncritical coverage.

Funding and Finances

In its early years Policy Exchange was a medium sized think-tank, operating on an annual income of around half a million pounds. However after David Cameron was elected leader of the Conservative Party its income increased substantially.

In its latest financial statements, made up to 30 September 2008, the think-tank reported receiving over £2.6 million. This figure put Policy Exchange ahead of the New Labour affiliated think-tank Demos, which saw its income decline over the same period, but still behind the Institute for Public Policy Research, which has enjoyed an income of over £3 million for several years.

Policy Exchange's main source of income has been through donations, but it also receives significant funding through the sponsorship of research and its 'Business Forum', which is part of the think-tank's 'Corporate Engagement'. In early 2006 PR Week reported that companies were paying £5,000 to £10,000 to be part of the forum, and that members included BP, SAB Miller, BSkyB and Bupa. [72] Policy Exchange states that corporations cannot commission research, but that they can 'contribute ideas and give advice to Policy Exchange’s research programme[s]'. In its 2008 accounts, Policy Exchange reported that:

The activities of the Business Forum group made a particularly strong contribution to fundraising during the period, with the number of members more than doubling to 27. The Policy Exchange Business Forum exists to engage corporates in the research work of the charity, by hosting regular round table events where members can come together to listen to influential policy makers and discuss the issues raised. Many members went on to work directly with our research teams by giving financial and/or research support.

Source of Income 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007
Donations £67,030 £359,794 £435,066 £473,296 £796,689 £1,143,266
Research sponsorship - £12,500 £57,310 £55,342 £41,000 £506,022
Business Forum membership- £2,348 £18,930 £3,639 £46,417 £90,875
Sale of Reports - £961 £963 £2,191 £2,294 £12,875
Localis Research [73] - £10,297 £15,035 £30,000 £14,250 £20,000
Corporate Event Sponsorship - - - - £78,133 -
Management charges £7,909 £33,767 - - - -
Premises charges £7,500 £24,750 - - - -
Interest received - £236 £2,651 £3,735 £3,775 £11,958
Miscellaneous income - - - - £1,074 £1,829
Total Income £82,439 £444,653 £529,955 £568,203 £983,632 £1,786,825

The table on the right consolidates information on the sources of Policy Exchange’s income from 2002 to 2007 as provided in its annual financial statements.

The financial statements are made up to 30 September in each reporting year, meaning for example that the figures for 2007 here represent not that calendar year but the period from 1 October 2006 to 30 September 2007.

Although available, information from the think-tank’s 2008 financial statements have not been included in this table as they no longer provide as detailed a breakdown of the various sources of income. From October 2007, income from donations and research sponsorship are given as one lump some (reported as ‘Voluntary Income’), and Business Forum membership, the sale of reports and other sources of income are given as another lump sum (reported as ‘Activities for generating funds’). 2008 Financial Statements do not provide even this information as to what makes up the income reported as ‘Voluntary Income’ or ‘Activities for generating funds’, rather this has been deduced from a comparison with the figures given in the 2007 accounts. The figure on page 6 of the 2008 accounts for ‘Voluntary Income’ in the previous year is equal to the total income from donations and research sponsorship in the 2007 accounts. Similarly the figure given there for ‘Activities for generating funds’ is equal to the aggregate amount given in the 2007 accounts for business forum membership, the sale of reports and the share of research projects paid by Localis Research Ltd.</ref>


In the Dispatches programme ‘Politicians for Hire’, broadcast on 22 March 2010, Patricia Hewitt recommended Policy Exchange as a think-tank which could be used by corporations seeking to influence government policy. Dispatches had set up a fictional US public affairs company and contacted Hewitt and several senior politicians asking them if they were interested in a position on the advisory board in their London office. Hewitt attended a bogus interview and told the undercover reporter:

“Now the think tank and the seminar route I think is a very good one and will remain a good one and so identifying the right think-tank. Policy Exchange is a good one at the moment, Demos is another good one. And saying ok, does that think tank already have a relationship with Minister X? Can we invite Minister X to give a seminar on this subject? Your client would then sponsor the seminar and you do it via the think-tank. And that’s very useful, because what you get for your sponsorship is basically you sit next to the Minister.” [74]

External Resources


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  1. Ed Vaizey, The New Breed of Policy Wonk is a Doer and a Thinker, Sunday Times, 14 July 2002.
  2. "Think Tank details", Stockholm Network, accessed 7 April 2009.
  3. Tim Montgomerie, "The growth of Britain's conservative movement", ConservativeHome, 14 March 2009.
  4. Andrew Grice, ‘The living dead' ponder their future after backing wrong horse in leadership contest’, Independent, 20 July 2001; p.10.
  5. Rachel Sylvester, ‘Norman still selling Portillo's dream’, Daily Telegraph, 21 July 2001.
  6. Rachel Sylvester, ‘Portillo supporters to fight on’, Daily Telegraph, 21 July 2001; p.1.
  7. Letters: Leader needs radical new advisory forum’, Daily Telegraph, 10 August 2001; p.29.
  8. ‘Letters: Leader needs radical new advisory forum’, Daily Telegraph, 10 August 2001; p.29.
  9. David Crackwell, ‘Duncan Smith in secret deal with Portillistas Tory leader agrees truce before party conference’, Sunday Telegraph, 7 October 2001
  10. Rachel Sylvester, ‘We must change to survive, say Tory webmasters’, Daily Telegraph, 8 December 2001; p.14.
  11. The first entry in the internet archive for the website is from 25 May 2002. See Internet Archive Wayback Machine, policyexchange.org.uk [Accessed 5 February 2010].
  12. Patrick Wintour, ‘People want say in local services’, Guardian, 29 April 2002; Melissa Kite, ‘Portillo’s allies call for more mayors’, The Times, 29 April 2002
  13. Tim Adams, 'Have the Right taken all the best ideas?', The Observer, 31 August 2008
  14. Andy Beckett, ‘What can they be thinking?’, Guardian, 26 September 2008.
  15. David Hencke, ‘The new Conservative generation’, Guardian, 7 June 2008
  16. Policy Exchange, Regulatory Case Report, Charities Commission, 18 July 2008
  17. Further details are provided on each individual’s page.
  18. The Rosenkranz Foundation, Areas of Interest - Public Policy [Accessed 16 April 2010]
  19. The Rosenkranz Foundation, About Us [Accessed 16 April 2010]
  20. Alan Watkins, 'BOOK REVIEW: Best Seat in the House', The Spectator, 11 November 2009
  21. 'Frank Johnson', Daily Telegraph, 15 December 2010.
  22. Kamal Ahmed, 'Old pals plot to sabotage project for a new Europe', The Observer, 25 May 2003.
  23. Sam Coates, Francis Elliott, Fran Yeoman and Helen Nugent, 'The new generation of Conservative candidates', The Times, 30 April 2009.
  24. Iain Dale's Diary, 'Nicholas Boles Steps Down from Policy Exchange', 21 February 2007.
  25. Iain Dale's Diary, 'Nicholas Boles Steps Down from Policy Exchange', 21 February 2007.
  26. Chris Tryhorn, Bloggers target Times writer, Guardian, 3 August 2005.
  27. Mayor appoints Policy Director, Greater London Authority, 21 July 2008
  28. Anthony Browne leaves Policy Exchange to become Boris Johnson's Policy Director, ToryDiary, ConservativeHome, 21 July 2008.
  29. David Hencke, A change in the political weather, guardian.co.uk, 22 July 2008.
  30. Robert Watts and Jonathan Oliver, 'Boris Tory HQ team puts reins on Boris Johnson', Sunday Times, 11 May 2008.
  31. Andrew Grice, 'Talent 2010: The politician, Nick Boles', Independent, 26 December 2009.
  32. Adam Branson, 'Ire starter - Neil O'Brien, director, Policy Exchange', Regeneration and Renewal, 8 June 2009
  33. Andy Beckett, What can they be thinking?, Guardian, G2, 26 September 2008.
  34. This is based on information posted on Policy Exchange’s website on 9 April 2010. In addition to these eight reports Policy Exchange also published an official response to its report ‘Choosing our friends wisely’ written by the Director General of the Office for Security and Counter Terrorism.
  35. Roger Gough (ed.), Regime Change - It's Been Done Before (Policy Exchange, May 2003)
  36. Tom Bower, Conrad and Lady Black: Dancing on the Edge, (HarperCollinsPublishers, 2006) p.138.
  37. Conrad Black, ‘Conrad Black is sentenced to 6½ years in jail – after festive season is over’, The Times, 11 December 2007.
  38. Roger Gough (ed.), Regime Change - It's Been Done Before (Policy Exchange, May 2003) p.16.
  39. e.g. Julian Flanagan, ‘Douglas Hurd: “I am not brilliant. Not a great original”’, Daily Telegraph, 30 March 2010.
  40. Roger Gough (ed.), Regime Change - It's Been Done Before (Policy Exchange, May 2003)
  41. Anna Reid (ed.), Taming Terrorism (Policy Exchange, February 2005) p.13.
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