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Gavin Barwell – Keynote Speaker

Chief of Staff to the British Prime Minister 2017-2019

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Specialist Subjects

  • Politics
  • Brexit


  • English

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Gavin Barwell has served as Chief of Staff to the British Prime Minister since June 2017 during one of the most turbulent periods in British political history. As the Prime Minister’s senior political adviser, he has been intimately involved in both the conduct of the Brexit negotiations and the efforts to secure Parliamentary support for the deal, giving him outstanding contacts in all British political parties, the EU institutions and a number of European governments. He has also been involved in the development of key domestic policies such as the long-term plan for our NHS and in formulating the UK response to international incidents such as the attempted murder of Sergei Skripal.

Prior to his appointment as Chief of Staff, he was the Member of Parliament for Croydon Central from May 2010 until June 2017, during which time he had to respond to major local issues such as the 2011 riots. He is the author of a book about his experience of holding his seat in the 2015 General Election by just 165 votes.

In October 2013, David Cameron appointed Gavin Barwell as a Government Whip and subsequently promoted him within the Whips Office. Between July 2015 and June 2016, he was responsible for day-to-day management of business in the House of Commons, giving him an excellent understanding of how Parliament and the legislative process works.

In July 2016, Theresa May appointed him as Minister of State for Housing & Planning and Minister for London at the Department for Communities and Local Government, where among other things he played an integral role in the development of the seminal 2017 Housing White Paper Fixing Our Broken Housing Market.

Prior to his election to Parliament, he was a consultant, his primary client being Michael Ashcroft, then Deputy Chairman of the Conservative Party, for whom he managed the successful target seats campaign for the 2010 General Election. Prior to that, he was the Chief Operating Officer of the Conservative Party responsible for running an organisation with 200 staff and an annual budget of £20 million.

Gavin Barwell served as a local councillor in his home town of Croydon from 1998 to 2010, including a period as the Cabinet Member responsible for the Council’s finances. Taken together, these roles have given him an unparalleled insight into British politics from grassroots campaigning in a marginal seat through party headquarters, local government, Parliament, Ministerial office to the very centre of government.

He has also served as Chairman of Governors of one of the top schools in the country and on the governing body of a charity that operates three schools and provides care for elderly people in his home town of Croydon giving him experience of governance and providing challenge and support to an executive team.

Gavin Barwell is a graduate of Trinity College, Cambridge with a BA in Natural Sciences (Theoretical Physics).

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