AI: applied intelligence

Yesterday (20th September 2021), I was delighted to co host the latest evidence session for the All Party Parliamentary Group on AI. This was the third in a series we have been running to seek input to the National AI strategy.  And, perhaps it was the most important as we were considering the opportunity to …

IPT Innovation Fellowship Completed

For over 40 years the Industry and Parliament Trust (IPT) charity has been working to promote mutual understanding between Parliament and the worlds of business, industry and commerce for public benefit. It is such an important mission and I am delighted to be part of it, initially by attending events in parliament, participating in industry …

Unpaid internships must be stopped

Unpaid internships are still scandalously prolific. Covid has been appalling for so many, in so many ways. Perhaps a lesser known impact has been the rise in unpaid internships which has accompanied the pandemic. Firms claiming, Covid related, their inability to pay so ask; “come along, give of your work for free and maybe, but, …

We must urgently ‘level up’ SME finance

Lifeblood of the UK economy Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) – the lifeblood of the UK economy –  are reporting significant problems in accessing finance. 99% of UK businesses are SMEs; responsible for 52% of the turnover of UK plc and employing more than 16.5 million people. SMEs struggling to access finance Supporting small businesses …

Batteries and fuel cells for net zero, new Lords report published.

The House of Lords Science and Technology Select Committee today (27 July 2021) publish a report on batteries and fuel cells. The report is based on an inquiry into the role of battery and fuel cell technologies in achieving the UK’s ambition to reach net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. The inquiry considered the use …

UK Cash Infrastructure – Critical UK Infrastructure

First, they closed the bank branches, then they closed the cash machines, then they questioned the point of cash itself, then they didn’t financially serve us. Our streets, left high and financially dry. Banks and cashpoints were already closing pre-Covid. The pandemic has accelerated five years of reductions into one. Covid has led to the …

Digital ID

Today (20 May 2021) in the House of Lords I asked about the Government’s plans for a distributed digital identification protocol. A distributed digital ID offers incredible potential for reimagining the relationship between citizen and state and delivering significant social and economic benefits. “Lord Holmes of Richmond to ask Her Majesty’s Government what plans they …

Build Back Better Together

Today I had the pleasure of speaking in the first of five days of speeches that follow, and respond to, the Queen’s Speech. The speeches are organised into specific policy areas and I was keen to contribute to the debate addressing the economy and business. We must build back better. We must absolutely build back …

Financial Services Bill Amendment: Cashback Without Purchase

On the final day of report stage (19 April 2021) for the Financial Services Bill in the House of Lords, I put forward an amendment similar to a previous amendment regarding a review for cashback without purchase. The new amendment was reworded but with the same aim – of supporting access to cash by allowing …