When this lockdown started, we took the decision to put events on hold rather than move them online straight away. This was due to a combination of factors. It was unclear exactly how long this period would last for and, more acutely, our events are unique in that they generate radiant and inclusive discussion between parliamentarians and the business community and take place on the parliamentary estate. Recreating this digitally may not be possible.
Now, with the first steps being taken to ease the lockdown and the focus shifting to facilitating economic recovery, albeit whilst protecting workers, it seems like a pivotal time to restart the events programme.
Whilst Parliament is currently not allowing events on the Estate, discussions will take place on Zoom. The IPT will endeavour, as it always does, to provide a platform to bring the parliamentary and business communities together at a time when both will have a lot of questions and concerns.
The first of the virtual events will take place on 23 June and look at the next steps for business now the lockdown measures are being eased. This event will be hosted by Darren Jones MP, chair of the influential Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy Select Committee and will include guest speakers Dr Adam Marshall, Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce and Martin McTague, Policy & Advocacy Chairman at the Federation of Small Businesses.
In addition to a series of events specifically about COVID-19, we will also hold discussions on other vital policy areas such as biodiversity and regulation of harmful online content.