The newest think-tanks

Your guide to the latest start-ups from wonk-world

Party-politics may have ground to a halt but in quarantined households scattered around London the nation’s policy bods continue to churn out ideas. Here’s your guide to the latest start-ups from wonk-world:

The Good Governance Project

Since standing down as an MP in 2017 from a seat he held for both the Conservative Party and UKIP, Douglas Carswell left the media spotlight and worked from an office a stone’s throw from parliament for various political consultancies. Now, he heads up the Good Governance Project jointly with Radomir Tylecote, a former IEA employee. The pair aim to take on the blob and reveal the opaque, dysfunctional, and wasteful nature of public administration. They plan to point central government towards a strategic approach that ditches the idea you must slavishly follow a media-grid and replace it with long term solutions.


A new group set up by Rebecca Lowe, Director of FREER, and Victoria Hewson, the Head of Regulatory Affairs at the IEA to  challenge the emerging Trans orthodoxy. Making the case against ‘Self-ID’ – the right to define your own gender on demand which the government has shelved for now. Currently unfunded and worked on in their spare time.

Global Vision

The spiritual successor to the successful BrexitCentral blog, Global Vision is a pro-Brexit media platform with a focus on free-trade deals the UK could strike after leaving the Brexit transition period. The new website is run day-to-day by Rebecca Ryan, the woman behind the highly effective StandUp4Brexit campaign which got Tory MPs on the record to criticise Theresa May’s ‘Chequers’ plan for Brexit, and chaired by trade expert Shanker Singham who was the Director of the International Trade and Competition Unit at the IEA (and Radomir Tylecote’s boss). It publishes around one article per day focussed on a specific aspect of Brexit and does a daily news email but has recently began focussing on Coronavirus.

Centre for Brexit Policy

The Centre for Brexit Policy say they will give the government “clear and constructive advice on how to deal with ongoing negotiation”. Owen Paterson, the former Northern Ireland Secretary, and one of the ‘Spartans’ chairs the group and John Longworth, the former chairman of Leave Means Leave and sometime Brexit Party MEP is the Executive Director responsible for day-to-day management along with Edgar Miller, who is also the convener of Economists for Free Trade.  CBP “fellows” include veteran Brexiteers  such as leading lawyer on EU law Martin Howe QC, Free Trade economist Patrick Minford and financial lawyer Barney Reynolds.

Free Speech Union

Toby Young’s latest venture to create a mass membership organisation to fight back against cancel culture was launched alongside Trevor Phillips who was shortly afterwards kicked out of the Labour Party. The Union launched a petition to pressure Labour into reinstating him but so far have been unsuccessful.  The Union have also taken up the case of a Christian woman who was sacked by her employer for raising concerns on her private Facebook page about pro-transgender books being used in her 10 year old’s school. Her appeal is later this year.

Foundation for Independence

The Foundation for Independence runs the Foundation for Independence Business Network which was set up as a rival to the CBI by John Longworth and John Mills. Longworth quit his role as the former director general of the British Chambers of Commerce to speak out publicly against the EU during the EU referendum in 2016.  They say the group will act as an  “alternative, post-Brexit voice” as opposed to the slavishly europhile CBI which has consistently campaigned for greater EU integration over the years including giving support to the euro. Since the referendum, the CBI have called for the closest possible relationship with the EU which the Foundation for Independence wants to challenge.

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