Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 17 April 2014

Industry leaders to advise Cameron

Sainsbury's CEO Justin King is among top businessmen and women on the new Business Advisory Group

David Cameron has unveiled a new group of industry leaders to provide him and senior ministers with "high-level" business and economic advice.

The Business Advisory Group will meet every three months and will advise on "critical business and economic issues facing the country", Downing Street said.

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, Chancellor George Osborne and Business Secretary Vince Cable will attend meetings of the group, which will be chaired by Mr Cameron.

The Prime Minister said he hoped the mix of experience and expertise on the advisory group would allow for "real interaction and discussion".

He also confirmed he would be disbanding the Business Council for Britain, which advised former Prime Minister Gordon Brown.

Members of the new group will be able to debate with the Prime Minister and senior ministers the priorities facing the economy, as well as strategically important sectors. The discussions will be informal and participants will be expected to give their views on a personal basis.

Its membership contains senior figures from the retail, manufacturing, banking, defence, aviation and pharmaceutical industries.

They include many company chiefs, among them Justin King of Sainsbury's, Sam Laidlaw of Centrica, Sir Michael Rake of BT and Easyjet, Eric Schmidt of Google, Paul Walsh of Diageo and Dick Olver of BAE Systems.

David Cameron said: "The Deputy Prime Minister and I want to make sure the Government is getting really good high-level advice from some of Britain's leading businessmen and women. Having an advisory group with a range of experience and expertise should ensure that there is real interaction and discussion.

"It is vital that we get these policies right as we take forward our plans to drive down the deficit and transform our economy. Our prize will be balanced growth, getting Britain working and ensuring our whole country shares in rising prosperity."

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