techUK Policy Pulse | Your weekly update on digital and tech policy

Hello and congratulations for making it through the heatwave – whilst the rest of the UK was facing temperatures nudging 38 degrees, techUK’s office got treated to an AC system that wouldn’t seem to nudge above 15 degrees (but clearly I am over it).

Any other week the frontpages would have been dominated by weather-related news but this week marked the transition of power from May to Johnson and a team that looks very much like the sort of team you would put together if you were preparing for an election. Undeterred by this range of news, The Sun fit both on their front page.

The Conservatives were not the only ones electing a new leader. On Monday afternoon Jo Swinson became the first female leader of the Liberal Democrats, convincingly beating the only other contender Ed Davey. Jo made harnessing the technological revolution a key pillar of her campaign and co-chairs the party’s Tech Commission with Dr Sue Black – let us see what she does next!

The day after, Boris Johnson became leader of the Conservative party, with a solid 65% of the selectorate turning out for him. Johnson was a huge supporter of the London tech start-up scene during his time as Mayor and we hope he will be a vocal supporter of our sector from No10.

May took her last PMQs, and the last of the parliamentary year, on Wednesday. The session was record-breaking, lasting a total of 63-minutes. As is customary, the tone was far more conciliatory, with the Conservative Party rallying behind their Prime Minister after months of plotting and manoeuvring to oust her. You can read techUK’s opinion piece on May’s time in office here.

Boris Johnson moved quickly to announce the top jobs with Javid moving into Number Eleven, Priti Patel being installed as Home Secretary and Raab becoming Foreign Secretary. Interestingly, Michael Gove, who famously dashed Johnson’s hopes of becoming Prime Minister in 2017, has been appointed Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster where he will oversee No Deal prep.

As for our Department, we said goodbye to Jeremy Wright who is returning to the backbenches and welcomed Nicky Morgan as Secretary of State and Nigel Adams in the slightly tweaked role of Minister for Digital and Sport. The Department has a lot on its plate in the digital space from the Online Harms White Paper to ensuring the sector is as prepared as possible for the No Deal Brexit that the new administration has put firmly back on the table. We look forward to working with them both to ensure the tech sector continues going from strength to strength.

Away from politics, the CDEI published their interim reports into online targeting and bias in algorithmic decision-making.  


techUK news and events

 

techUK is delighted to announce our new elected board members, Tara McGeehan, President UK Operations, CGI; Andrew Rogoyski, Innovation Director, Roke Manor Research; Georgina O’Toole, Chief Analyst, TechMarketView and Tabitha Goldstaub, Co-Founder, CognitionX. Thanks to all who voted in the election, the techUK team are looking forward to working with our new elected members!

The next policy pulse will land in your inboxes next week and throughout August as usual but hopefully there will be a lot of OOOs on as you all take well deserved summer breaks. Whilst on the events side we will be a little quieter over August, we will be using the summer to recharge and gear up for a busy Autumn. Hopefully one without a General Election!

  • Vinous Ali

    Vinous Ali

    Associate Director for Policy
    T 07595 410 658

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