About the Commission

The Commission will examine the impact of the Covid crisis on the levelling-up agenda and will produce bold and practical ideas over the coming months to support higher productivity levels, encourage business investment and promote a culture of innovation across the UK.

We are keen to ensure a range of perspectives contribute to our final analysis and to hear from community groups and organisations delivering policy on the ground. If you would like to get in touch please use our contact us form.

Commissioners, Advisory Group and Policy Panel

The Commission was established by our nine business Commissioners, but to ensure a diverse range of views and to inform our work, we have established an Advisory Group and a Policy Panel. The Advisory Group is made up of academics and public policy experts in areas relevant to the Commission and the Policy Panel represents political interests from across Westminster, the home nations and the English Combined Authorities.

In line with our tripartite model of policy development, we would like as broad a range of support as possible for our findings and recommendations. However, we recognise that this may not be possible and therefore the final recommendations will be made by the Commissioners alone.

The Project Team

The Commission has been brought together by WPI Strategy, who provide the secretariat to the Commission and WPI Economics who will be conducting the research and analysis.

Nick Faith

Commission Secretariat, WPI Strategy

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Matt Oakley

Director, WPI Economics

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Anna Wallace

Commission Secretariat, WPI Strategy

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James Edgar

Chief Economist, WPI Economics

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Sophie Morris

Junior Consultant, WPI Strategy

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Joe Ahern

Senior Consultant, WPI Economics

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Nick Faith

Nick is the co-founder of WPI Strategy, and a recognised expert in political communications and media strategy. He spent the past four years as the Director of Communications at Policy Exchange, helping the organisation gain its position as the UK’s leading think tank. He is also a prolific writer and blogger and is regularly cited in the national media, most recently in the Sunday Telegraph, The Times, the Financial Times and on the BBC. Prior to Policy Exchange, Nick advised senior business leaders and international businesses on policy and media issues during his six years as a consultant with a leading communications agency.

Matt Oakley

Matthew is a respected economist and policy analyst, having spent well over a decade working in and around policy making in Westminster. Before founding WPI Economics Matthew held a number of roles including Chief Economist and Head of Financial Services Policy at the consumer champion Which?, and Head of Economics and Social Policy at the think tank Policy Exchange. Matthew also led the Independent Review of Jobseeker’s Allowance sanctions that reported to Parliament in 2014, and previously spent eight years at the Treasury. Alongside WPI, Matthew is also a Senior Researcher at the Social Market Foundation.

Anna Wallace

Anna is project lead for the Commission and brings cross sector experience from previous roles at telecoms company EE, pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly and membership body CIPD, where she set up a youth mentoring project for young jobseekers. Most recently Anna was Head of Reputation at global accounting firm, PwC, where she was also a member of the Government and Public Sector Leadership team. At PwC she advised the UK board and clients on political risk and led stakeholder projects such as the Future of Government and the PwC digital annual report.

James Edgar

James has fifteen years of experience working as an economist at the forefront of policy making. His areas of expertise include transport, utility regulation, consumer policy, environmental and digital issues. Prior to joining WPI, James was Head of Policy for Digital and Regulation at the consumer champion Which?. Before this he worked for a decade at the Department for Transport, including as the Head of Road Economics after establishing the successful multi-disciplinary team and has experience of local transport, freight, rail and environmental issues. James has also previously worked at the Bank of England and has a Masters in Economics from UCL.

Sophie Morris

Sophie is assistant project manager for the Commission alongside her role as a junior consultant at WPI. She leads WPI’s political monitoring and intelligence work across a range of clients, including Vodafone, Uber Eats and Tesco.

Joe Ahern

Joe is an experienced policy professional. Before joining WPI Economics, he spent five years working in a range of roles at the Association of British Insurers – most recently as a Senior Policy Adviser in the general insurance team. During his time at the ABI, Joe led on policy development and Government engagement across a range of areas including cyber risk, work and health, and civil justice reform. Prior to the ABI, Joe worked in the communications team at the New Schools Network and before that, in the office of Andrew Jones MP. He holds a degree in in Politics and Sociology from the University of Sheffield.

Want to learn more? Get in touch

The Commission's Secretariat is provided by WPI Strategy and the analysis conducted by WPI Economics. We are keen to hear from a diverse range of stakeholders. If you would like to contribute, please use the contact us form.