Gavin Barwell delivers an unparalleled insight into British politics from grassroots campaigning in a marginal seat through party headquarters, local government, Parliament, Ministerial office to 10 Downing Street.
Gavin Barwell served as Chief of Staff to Prime Minister Theresa May from June 2017 to July 2019 during one of the most turbulent periods in British political history. As the Prime Minister’s senior political adviser, Gavin was intimately involved in the conduct of the Brexit negotiations; the development of key domestic policies such as the long-term plan for our NHS and the commitment to net zero carbon emissions; and in formulating the UK response to international incidents such as the attempted murder of Sergei Skripal.
Prior to Gavin’s appointment as Chief of Staff, he was the Member of Parliament for Croydon Central from May 2010 until June 2017 and a Government Minister from October 2013 (initially a Government Whip and then Minister of State for Housing & Planning and Minister for London).
Prior to his election to Parliament, he was the Chief Operating Officer of the Conservative Party and served as a local councilor in his hometown of Croydon. In October 2019, he was appointed to the House of Lords.
Taken together, these roles have given Gavin an unparalleled insight into British politics from grassroots campaigning in a marginal seat through party headquarters, local government, Parliament, Ministerial office to 10 Downing Street.
Gavin has a dedicated talk which address the role of Chief of Staff in Downing Street. For two years, it took up virtually every waking hour of Gavin’s life and in that time he saw almost everything the Prime Minister saw – more than the Chancellor, Foreign Secretary or Home Secretary – and could attend whichever of the Prime Minister’s meetings he wanted to. This presented Gavin with unlimited access to world leaders, many of whom he knows on a first name basis and uses his talk to describe just how the country is run behind that famous black door.
With the UK having left the EU and embarking on a new relationship with its closest trading neighbour, Gavin is uniquely placed to describe what has happened and provide insights into the future relationship. His time spent in Number 10 saw Gavin play an intimate role in the conduct of Brexit negotiations and efforts to convince MPs to back the resulting deal.
The COVID-19 pandemic is the biggest crisis humanity has faced since the Second World War, a once-in-a-generation public health crisis and an unprecedented economic one. In this talk Gavin will discuss which countries have fared best so far and why; why there has been so little global co-ordination to tackle what is clearly a global problem; how the pandemic is likely to progress; and what we can do to stop it happening again.
As Housing Minister, Gavin published the seminal White Paper Fixing Our Broken Housing Market. In this talk Gavin will examine why housing is so unaffordable in many parts of the UK what can be done about it; the likely implications of the COVID-19 pandemic for the housing market; and why housing policy – and the Housing Minister – change so often.
Gavin now runs his own business providing advice to clients including PwC, Barratt, Arcadis and Avonhurst on public policy and geopolitical trends. He is also a non-executive director of Clarion Housing Group, the largest housing association in the country, and a member of the Advisory Board of the Work Foundation.
His new book Chief of Staff: Notes from Downing Street documents his time in Government under Theresa May's premiership.