Matthew d’Ancona is a columnist for the Guardian. A widely respected political commentator, his most recent book was In It Together: The Inside Story of the Coalition Government. He is a former editor of The Spectator and a former deputy editor of the Sunday Telegraph. He founded the Coffee House blog and is a columnist for the Evening Standard, International New York Times and GQ. He is a Visiting Research Fellow at Queen Mary, University of London.
Ryan is the Founder and Chief Executive of Bright Blue. He founded the organisation in 2010 at the age of 24 and finally became the full-time Director at the start of 2014. Ryan is an expert on education and social policy and a political commentator. He regularly appears on national TV and radio, appearing on the Daily Politics Show, Newsnight, BBC News, Channel 4 News, Sky News, Radio 4, Radio 5 and LBC Radio. He provides frequent analysis for national newspapers and magazines, writing for The Daily Telegraph, The Guardian, The Independent, The Daily Mail, The Observer, The Spectator, The New Statesman and Prospect Magazine.
Ryan was previously a Research Fellow for the think tank the Social Market Foundation and was part of the team that won Prospect Magazine’s Think Tank of the Year in 2012. At the SMF, he authored ten research papers and designed innovative policies on childcare, welfare, public service reform, higher education and health. He has provided regular analysis and policies to various Ministers and government departments, with many ideas adopted by the Government. Prior to 2010, he was a researcher for Rt Hon David Willetts MP when he was Shadow Education Secretary, where he authored the Conservative Party’s Childhood Review, and an adviser to the Conservative Party on families and education, formulating party policy and managing media relations. He was the Political Secretary of the Bow Group, a centre-right think tank.
He is a trustee of the Young Women’s Trust, and was previously a trustee for the Family and Childcare Trust and the Daycare Trust. He sits on the advisory council of the National Council for Voluntary Organisations. He is a volunteer tennis coach, a mentor for the Social Mobility Foundation and was a governor of a local primary school.
Rachel Johnson is a journalist, television presenter and novelist who has worked and lived in Brussels, Washington DC and London. After leaving Oxford she was the first female graduate trainee at the FT. She has worked for the Foreign Office’s Policy Planning staff and been a senior broadcast journalist for the BBC. Her career in newspapers started aged 23 and she has written regular columns for the Sunday Times, the Financial Times, The Sunday Telegraph, The Daily Telegraph and the Evening Standard as well as magazines. She is a weekly columnist for The Mail on Sunday and from 2009 until 2011 was editor of The Lady. She is the author of six books including A Diary of the Lady and novels including Notting Hell, its sequel Shire Hell, and Winter Games. Her new novel Fresh Hell (Penguin) is out in 2015.
Whilst at university, Alexandra undertook research which explored issues arising from housing and planning policy. Her master's thesis examined the role and contribution of SMEs to the UK economy and the capacity of government policy to stimulate business, innovation and entrepreneurship. Alexandra is employed by Jones Lang LaSalle, a global real estate company. She is qualified in urban design and is a Chartered member of the Royal Town Planning Institute. She was Chair of Conservative discussion organisation, the Coningsby Club, from 2011-2012 and is also a fellow of the RSA.
Diane founded literary and talent agency Diane Banks Associates in 2006 following 10 years in London’s trade publishing houses including Penguin and Hodder & Stoughton. She is one of the founders of the Conservative Arts & Creative Industries Network and has served a term on the committee of The Association of Authors’ Agents. She previously set up a forum for discussion and debate for senior professional women on behalf of Women2Win, which aims to increase the number of Conservative women in Parliament and in public life, and sat on the advisory board for Women2Win. Diane has a particular interest in enterprise and entrepreneurship.
Phil is a journalist, mainly writing features for the Evening Standard and occasionally elsewhere. He has previously worked in Westminster as well as running his own business in the city. He also co-founded the polling app The Daily Election. He is particularly interested in foreign policy and security (he read Middle Eastern Politics at university), which is balanced with a liberal stance on social issues back in UK. He lives in South West London with his wife Sophie, no cats but an aspiration to perhaps one day get a dog. Or a baby.