Wonk Watch: Team Nadhim Fills Up ASI, TaxPayers’ Alliance Promote from Within

The revolving door at the Adam Smith Institute (ASI) will soon need oiling, with Director of Communications Connor Axiotes departing after just under five months to join AI startup Conjecture as their no doubt well-remunerated spin doctor. He’s being replaced by CCHQ political adviser and former Nadhim Zahawi press secretary Emily Fielder, who’s returning to the ASI after a stint as Head of Communications last year. Mimi Yates has joined the team as Director of Engagement & Operations. Congratulations both…

Three former Zahawi SpAds are now pulling the strings: Duncan Simpson has been calling the shots as executive director since February, James Lawson is the Chairman, and James Price has now joined as Director of Government Relations. Nadhim himself became a patron last month. The ASI recently gave their office a new lick of paint; they might need to rethink their branding soon too – does the “Nadhim Zahawi Institute” have a ring about it? On second thoughts the acronym might not work…

Meanwhile at the TaxPayers’ Alliance, Elliot Keck is being promoted to head campaigns, stepping up from investigations manager. He’ll still be firing off hundreds of Freedom of Information requests – co-conspirators will recognise a few of those – while also running the broader campaigns team. Lots of big changes in wonk world at the moment on right and left…

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On tonight’s Live with Littlewood, we’ll be asking:

  • From lockdown to economic meltdown – just how damaging could a delay be?
  • Bangers and clash – could the sausage fight trigger a trade war?
  • Trade not aid – are the G7 taking their eye off the ball?

IEA Director General Mark Littlewood will be joined tonight by Spiked Editor Brendan O’Neill, Guido’s own Christian Calgie, former Oxford President James Price and the IEA’s own Victoria Hewson and Alexander Hammond.

Join the debate from 6pm tonight, Wednesday 9th June, here.

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In tonight’s LIVE with LITTLEWOOD:

  • POWER HUNGRY?  Will current Covid restrictions lead to long-term Soviet-style state overreach?
  • THE RE-GENERATION GAME  How do we mend our battered economy?
  • VACCINE BOOST Will good news on the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine hasten the loosening of the lockdown?
  • GAMECHANGER?  Getting to grips with the ‘Gamestonk’ controversy

Join the show that brings you free-flowing discussion on the issues that matter with host MARK LITTLEWOOD and guests BEN BRADLEY, the Conservative MP for Mansfield;  The Sunday Telegraph’s  JANET DALEY;  The Telegraph’s OLIVIA UTLEY and Comedian and MoneyWeek columnist DOMINIC FRISBY.

They’ll also be joined by JON CALDARA of Colorado’s Independence Institute; JONATHON KITSON, a fellow at the Adam Smith Institute; JAMES PRICE, President of the Oxford Union, and DUNCAN SIMPSON of the Taxpayers’ Alliance.

Be sure to join in the debate, LIVE – TONIGHT at 6PM – here or on YouTube.

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LIVE at 6PM!

On tonight’s LIVE with LITTLEWOOD:

  • Boris Johnson’s conference speech – Will his wind farms turbocharge Britain?  Or is it just hot air?
  • The Chancellor’s Choices  how Rishi Sunak could avoid tax rises and boost the UK economy
  • The Covid fiasco – how were 16,000 C-19 cases lost on Excel? And can central planning ever work?

Host Mark Littlewood will be joined by the Spectator’s Kate Andrews; Conservative MP Philip Davies; the DUP’s Sammy Wilson MP; the New Statesman’s Stephen BushJohn O’Connell from the Taxpayers’ Alliance; the Adam Smith Institute’s Matt Kilcoyne and president-elect of the Oxford Union, James Price.

 Join us LIVE for the issues that matter – TONIGHT at 6PM – HERE or on YouTube.

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Ex-SpAd James Price Wins Oxford Union Presidential Election

Former House of Lords SpAd and Taxpayers’ Alliance wonk James Price has won a shock victory in the Oxford Union presidential election, Guido understands. Price left Oxford in 2013, and threw his hat in the ring for the prestigious position for a laugh after ‘Re Open Nominations’ won the election for the first time in the Union’s history. His campaign was supported by old Oxonians Daniel Hannan, Matt Ridley and James Delingpole…

Price won election for Hilary Term 2021 with 431 first preference votes compared to runner up Jeremy Bararia’s 375 first preferences. The original result announcement was delayed after it was discovered over 500 illegitimate votes had been cast for a candidate from seven, mostly-overseas, IP addresses…

James ran on a lighthearted platform, saying:

“Lockdown has got to me.

Someone convinced me that it would be funny to put my hat in the ring. Despite not having been a student for 7 years and having, you know, a job.

The Price is Right.”

James also assisted with the famous Madeleine Grant 2012 campaign sloganI don’t hack, I just have a great rack.” 

Grant was fined £120 for “bringing the Union into disrepute”…

UPDATE: Guido can reveal that once transfer votes were accounted for, Price won by 15 votes.

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Picking the Lock

With infection rates falling and economic devastation rising, is it time to ease more lockdown measures?

Will the NHSX tracing app work – and what impact will it have on civil liberties? And as the backlash grows over plans to lift the lockdown on schools, what lessons can we learn from countries who’ve already done this?

All this and more will be under debate in tonight’s LIVE with LITTLEWOOD from the IEA.

Host Mark Littlewood will be joined by a stellar cast of economists, think tankers, journalists and commentators to discuss how the UK economy can bounce back.

Guests include broadcaster Martin Durkin, Guido Fawkes’ editor Paul Staines and economist Andrew Lilico. They’ll be joined by Marek Tatala of the Civil Development Forum, James Price of Hanover Communications, Sam Dumitriu of The Entrepreneurs Network, Duncan Simpson of the Taxpayers’ Alliance, Rebecca Lowe, the former Director of FREER, and the IEA’s Victoria Hewson.

JOIN THE DEBATE – LIVE AT 6pm – here or on YouTube.

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