Congratulations to Neil O’Brien, currently running Open Europe, for being appointed the new Director of Policy Exchange.

Neil replaces Anthony Browne, who is off to work for Boris Johnson.

It’s a great appointment.  Neil brings considerable intellectual and communication skills to the job.  (And, by way of an aside, as a child of Huddersfield he will be northern-friendly!).

PX is in a strong position – financially and staff-wise.  It recently appointed, for example, the very able James Bethell as Head of Communications, for example.  Its challenge is to retain strong links with the party but to be more independent-of-mind, particularly on economic policy.  The decline of the IEA has left the Conservative Party without adequate input on competitiveness issues.  As a centre right think tank, the plight of the UK economy should be at the top of Neil’s in-tray.

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