The Prime Minister has formed a new business council, comprising leaders of very large companies.  Half the members are men, half women.

The council will discuss ways to boost investment, innovation and access to skills and talent.  It will “support the delivery of the PM’s priority to grow the economy and make the UK the best place to do business”, the government says.

Businesses involved identified in the announcement are:  Astrazeneca, GSK (formerly GlaxoSmithKline), Aviva (insurance and fund management), BAe Systems, Barclays, Diageo, NatWest Group, Google Deepmind, Sage (software/IT), SSE (formerly Scottish and Southern Electricity), Taylor Wimpey, Shell and Vodafone.

In the announcement, Sage CEO Steve Hare says he will “bring SMEs’ voice to the table”.  SAGE is the UK’s biggest lusted technology company, he says.

Topically, in view of the tensions over net zero policies that have followed the Uxbridge by-election, Shell CEO Wael Sawan says he will “help drive prosperity and growth in the UK, specifically through the provision of secure, affordable and cleaner energy”.

The announcement says the leaders come from employers in “strategically important industries for UK growth – from construction, life-sciences and tech to financial services and energy”.

*A Manufacturing Investment Prospectus, which the government said would be published by the end of 2022, has yet to appear. You can find the announcement at and we would welcome any feedback from members on this topic – please send this to Jack Semple at EAMA (email:  [email protected]) and Geoff Noon at MTA (email:  [email protected]).

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