Earlier this month I was delighted to be personally invited by renowned businessman, entrepreneur and philanthropist, John Mills to join the advisory board of his new Institute for Prosperity recently. The nine person advisory board is made up of a group of cross-party MPs, former MPs and Peers. All of whom have Ministerial or Shadow Ministerial experience.

The Institute was set up earlier this year by Mr Mills who is also the founder and Chairman of South Shields based consumer goods company JML, which sells high-volume consumer products in the UK and 85 countries worldwide. The Institute’s aim is to increase prosperity, growth and equality by putting a more successful economic future at the heart of British political discourse.

South Shields, like many towns across the country have been decimated by lack of investment and deindustrialisation and many have been forgotten by successive governments. Growing up I watched this powerful and prosperous industrious town slowly wither and as a result 100’s of skilled jobs, like that of my fathers disappeared too along with much needed investment. So, I am delighted to work alongside John and parliamentary colleagues to do all we can to find a consensus, to provide a platform to bring people with fresh ideas together and to find new solutions to Britain’s economic problems.