Iain Duncan Smith outlines policy renewal process
2 Nov 2001
Following his talk to Conservative MP's, the Leader of the Party wrote to set out the policy renewl process.

"Yesterday, I spoke to you about the policy renewal process. Given the interest expressed after the meeting in the process, I decided to write to you all.
I want all of us to be engaged in the vital task of developing the policies on which we will fight the next General Election.
When we renewed our policy between 1974 and 1979 we applied Conservative principles and showed that they offered credible solutions to the most important problems that people in Britain faced.
The opportunity for us over the next few years is to emulate that approach with radical thinking, translated into relevant policies. This will take time. I am determined that we will not rush into new policy commitments before we have properly thought through both the problems and the solutions.
The way we go about the process of policy renewal will say much about us as a party. We need to begin by exposing the problems that need to be tackled; we need to articulate clear priorities; and when we eventually propose solutions, we need to show that they are practical and credible.
Each Shadow Cabinet minister has been asked to lead policy renewal in their portfolio, following a disciplined process of first defining the problems, and then looking for practical solutions based on Conservative values and beliefs.
The 1922 Committee is setting up 7 policy committees chaired by members of the Shadow Cabinet. The committees will comprise members of both Houses, and will be encouraged to take evidence from external experts on particular questions. I hope that you will contribute advice and ideas to these groups.
I have established a Policy Board that will meet regularly, as a sub-committee of the Shadow Cabinet, to oversee the policy renewal process and to consider all new policy proposals. The Policy Board will be supported by a new Policy Unit, reporting to me, which will be modelled on the Downing Street Policy Unit, and will be focused on strategic policy thinking. It will be available to support the process at all levels.
There will be opportunities for all parts of the party to contribute to policy renewal. I am particularly keen to tap into the experience and expertise of our MEPs, MSPs, AMs, Councillors and party members.
And this process will also be an opportunity to expand our reach. Building new networks of people in academia, in business and in the professions whose expertise can inform our policy making, and in due course they will help persuade people that our policies are practical. I hope that in your constituency and in your wider contacts you will be able to encourage people to contribute as we develop the programme of a credible alternative government."




 
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