This is my final post in the Parliamentary Connections blog as today I will be leaving Incisive Media 27 years after arriving at Post Magazine as Editor of what was then an ailing, tired weekly magazine.
Alot has happened since then, not least the launch of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Insurance & Financial Services off the back of Post Magazine's 150th anniversary in 1990. The background to this and the history of the group is well documented elsewhere so I won't detain readers with all of that here. Group history
The group has made many significant contributions to policy formation and has improved the quality of information available to Parliament about the insurance and retail financial service sectors, not least over the last year as the debate about how to ensure that householders in flood-prone areas have access to insurance gathered pace. That can be added to other significant contributions such as the formation of Pool Re, the settling of the equity release scandals of the early 1990s, injecting commonsense into the debates about the crises that enveloped Lloyd's, shaping the reforms in the Compensation Act and simply building better relationships between the insurance market and Parliament.
When we started the group, communciations between the industry and Parliament were poor, and that is putting it politely. They are significantly better now and I believe the group has played a significant part in that transformation.
One important feature of the work that we have done with the group – and which will be continued by Post in the charge of Jonathan Swift – is that we have never been afraid of putting the critics of the industry in front of MPs or of reflecting the diversity of opinion within the industry. This has been one of the keys to the success of the group and why it has maintained such a consistent level of support from MPs and Peers of all parties.
It has also hugely benefited from the support of PricewaterhouseCoopers as technical consultants, a role created by Leslie Hammick and now overseen by David Morey.
But an All Party Group would be nothing without the members. I have thoroughly enjoyed working with all of those who have supported the group over the years but especially those who have been officers: the late Sir Robert McCrindle, John Greenway and Jonathan Evans who have been chair of the group as well as Baroness Turner, Lord Hunt, Andy Love, Heather Wheeler, Sir Alan Beith, Sir John Butterfill and Jim Cousins to mention but a few.
I will watch the development of the group with interest and hope that I will find opportunities to write about its work and the political issues that confront the insurance industry for Post: but that is for another day.
I will be having a few weeks off before launching myself on the world as a freelance writer, trainer, presenter and consultant. If you would like to keep in touch with my plans follow me on Twitter or LinkedIn.
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