This week got off to a busy start with the dissolution of Parliament and the election of Lindsay Hoyle as the new Speaker of the House of Commons. As is tradition Hoyle was dragged the Speaker’s Chair which had remained vacant since John Bercow’s resignation last Thursday.
The Speaker’s seat wasn’t the only empty chair this week as Kay Burley discovered on the first official day of campaigning, claiming that James Cleverley had reneged on his promise to be interviewed. Meanwhile, across the country local parties are rushing to select candidates to fill the seats left vacant by a host of MPs announcing they were stepping down.
The loss of expertise will be felt acutely by the tech sector as we lose ministers past and present including Nicky Morgan, Ed Vaizey, Margot James and Tom Watson. Never fear, for techUK will be on hand to identify tech expertise and interest in the new crop of MPs after December 12th.
With the exception of the Intelligence and Security Committee’s Russia Report, Select Committees and Government rushed to publish documents ahead before dissolution on take out the trash day. Boris Johnson in particular seemed to get into The West Wing spirit, tweeting a slow-motion video of himself walking through No. 10, complete with digitally-added camera flashes.
Among notable announcements this week was a new £315 million technology fund to help energy-intensive industry to reduce emissions on the road to net zero. The fund aims to reduce emissions by two million tonnes between 2028 and 2032.
The Government also published the Smith Review, setting out independent advice on the design of UK funding schemes for international collaboration, innovation and curiosity-driven research and development. You can see our own Sue Daley’s thoughts on the report here.
Finally, the House of Lords Communications Committee also published its report on how broadcasting regulations and need to adapt as more viewing is done online. We gave evidence to the inquiry and you can see our take on the report here.
techUK news and events
With climate change continuing to dominate domestic and international politics techUK is preparing a report on the policy and regulatory changes needed to make the UK a world leader in clean-tech investment. To inform our writing we are running a survey, so please send us your thoughts here by 12 November.
On 28 November techUK will be hosting the Open Banking Conference at Country Hall. The conference will review and provide insights into the successes of open banking and examine the potential for ‘exporting’ these principles to wider sectors of the economy. We’ve got a packed agenda for the day – if you’re interested in joining please register here.
After a hugely successful first year, applications are now open to join the techUK Skills & Diversity Council. In its first year the Council produced a best practice report on Gender Pay Gap reporting, expanded the techUK’s Returners Hub which supports those who have taken career breaks to return to work in the tech sector, and continued to support initiatives like the Tech Talent Charter and WISE Campaign’s My Skills My Life. If you’re interested please contact Nimmi.Patel@techuk.org or apply here.