Poverty Trapped: A Discussion with John Penrose MP

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Poverty Trapped: A Discussion with John Penrose MP

6th December 2021 @ 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm

In his new policy paper Poverty TrappedJohn Penrose (Conservative MP for Weston-super-Mare) provides a nuanced and detailed account of the myriad social and cultural factors which feed into forms of economic disadvantage in modern-day Britain. The paper represents a timely and important contribution to hotly debated matters of inequalities and discrimination. While recognising the progress Britain has made in fostering a fairer society, Penrose calls for a greater collective commitment to providing equality of opportunity – which in turn can bolster social cohesion and institutional trust. As part of a landmark paper that challenges the misguided assumptions that dominates much of British politics, Penrose also calls for targeted local programmes to overcome legacy causes of mistrust among disadvantaged communities to boost faith in public services and political institutions.

The Henry Jackson Society is delighted to host John Penrose MP and invite you to this event, where he will discuss his new report’s key themes and conclusions with Dr Rakib Ehsan.



John Penrose has been MP for Weston-super-Mare since 2005. His campaigns to stand up for citizen-consumers include his Government-commissioned report into Competition Policy: Power To The People: Stronger Competition & Consumer Choice So Markets Work For PeopleNot The Other Way Aroundits predecessor A Shining City Upon A HillRebooting Capitalism For The Many Not The Fewthe Energy Price Cap, making housing cheaper to own or rent by allowing urban owners and developers to Build Up Not Out (now enshrined in the Government’s planning reforms); making Britain’s economy more generationally and socially just through a UK Sovereign Wealth Fund; and reforming formerly-nationalised utilities (e.g. energy, telecoms, water, rail) to put customers in charge, rather than politicians, bureaucrats or regulators instead.

John’s education was entirely state-funded, starting with a Church of England Primary school before winning a state scholarship to Ipswich School and then a place at Cambridge University to study law. The only exception was his MBA at Columbia University in New York, which he paid for himself. A successful businessman before he entered politics, John has held a variety of posts since he was elected, including PPS to Oliver Letwin, Shadow Business Minister, Tourism & Heritage Minister, Government Whip, Constitution Minister and Northern Ireland Minister. He is currently the Prime Minister’s Anti-Corruption Champion, Chair of the Conservative Policy Forum and sits on the Party’s Policy Board. John is also an Honorary Patron of the South West branch of the Mankind Initiative – an expert and specialist charity in the UK focussing on male victims of domestic abuse.



Dr Rakib Ehsan is a research fellow who sits in both the Henry Jackson Society’s Centre on Radicalisation & Terrorism (CRT) and Centre on Social & Political Risk (CSPR). He holds a BA in Politics & International Relations (First-Class Honours), MSc in Democracy, Politics and Governance (Pass with Distinction), and a PhD in Political Science, all obtained from Royal Holloway, University of London. His PhD thesis, which was comprehensively sponsored by the Economic & Social Research Council (ESRC), investigated the impact of social integration on the public attitudes of British non-white ethnic minorities. Establishing himself as a prominent British authority on matters of racial identity and social integration, Rakib has consulted influential UK parliamentarians and policymakers on issues surrounding race relations and community cohesion. He has also provided evidence to the White House’s COVID-19 Health Equity Task Force (HETF). Rakib’s forthcoming book Beyond Grievance (June 2022) explores the relationship between modern-left politics and ethnic-minority traditionalism in the UK.





On the 6th of December 2021, Rakib Ehsan, a Research Fellow who sits in both the Henry Jackson Society’s Centre on Radicalization & Terrorism and Centre on Social & Political, and John Penrose, MP for Weston-super-Mare since 2005, discussed Johns new report’s key themes and conclusions concerning the myriad of social and cultural factors which feed into forms of economic disadvantage in modern-day Britain. They discussed the fundamental problem of cultural war and the fundamental question about fairness in our society. They also discussed identity politics and the danger of assuming that everybody in a certain group must all be the same. Dr Rakib Ehsan finished by recommending to read John Penrose’s new paper. 




6th December 2021
3:00 pm - 4:00 pm




John Penrose MP


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