At the heart of Devonshire House Network is just about forty years of being able to attract world-class Speakers to talk to us. We have been privileged to meet the most authoritative and influential leaders in the British Isles and Ireland – in some cases, more than once.


Our Speakers 2015

21st January 2015 – Christine Blower, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers.

24th February 2015 – Angela Knight, CEO of Energy UK.

26th March 2015 – Professor John Womersley, CEO of the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC)

28th April 2015 – Dr Tim Hands, Vice-Chairman of HMC (the Headmasters’ and Headmistresses’ Conference)

2nd June 2015 – Jon Moulton, Founder of Better Capital

8th July 2015 – Len McCluskey, General Secretary of Unite the Union

20th October 2015 – Andy Haldane, Chief Economist of the Bank of England.

18th November 2015 – A Debate – Leave or Stay: What does British business want from the EU? One of the earliest debates on this topic, the aim was to give a balanced and top level platform to BfB and BNE – as they subsume into their new larger structures – Vote Leave and StongerIn. (ED: The result was a draw! See our published Report.)

The Session was chaired by leading Media figure Giles Dilnot. Presenting the case for Staying in the EU were Tim Skeet, board member of the International Capital Market Association (ICMA) and Hugo Dixon, founder of Reuters Breakingviews, Editor-at-Large of Reuters News and 13 years at the Financial Times, the last five as Head of Lex and author of many books. Presenting the case for Leaving the EU were Jon Moynihan OBE, former Executive Chairman of PA Consulting and Matthew Elliott, Chief Executive of Business for Britain and also of VOTE LEAVE.


Our Speakers 2014

10th April 2014 – Michael Portillo. Michael spoke for about thirty minutes about his views on:- “What is happening in the world – in the UK – in the economy – with people – over the near future that we need to take account of – as business leaders, as employers and as individuals?” And, for another thirty minutes we discussed a range of other topical issues, characterised by perspectives that probably reshaped some of our own opinions. Valuable stuff!

23rd September 2014 – Keith Williams, Executive Chairman of British Airways. Keith asked for our views on what we’d like to hear about and It turned out to be more of a discussion than a talk – which suited everyone – particularly in terms of insights.  His style is, we were told, can be seen a fairly informal and the plan was for him to spend a shortish amount of time outlining some of the strategic, organisation and the people issues that are uppermost in his mind. These covered some of the following – Industrial Relations (always topical with DHN people)  – new planes programme and how best to accommodate the necessary changes in management and people terms – the key dynamics of running a successful airline – basics of competing with others in the market – current threats and the opportunities in a changing and sometimes threatening world.  There were also questions about new runways!  The interesting responses fell under the Chatham House Rule! You should have been there!

18th November 2014 – Terry Scuoler, the CEO of the EEF and the recently appointed Chairman of CEEMET. The EEF is the employers’ organisation, dedicated to helping manufacturing, engineering and technology businesses evolve, innovate and compete in a fast-changing world. Its mission is to secure the future growth and development of UK manufacturing – the world’s 11th largest manufacturing nation by GVA and employing 2.6 million employees. CEEMET is the Council of European Employers of the Metal, Engineering and Technology-based Industries – which represent the views of 200,000 EU manufacturing, engineering and technology-based businesses across 23 European nations which collectively support 35 million jobs.


Our Speakers – 2013 – 2010

  • George Galloway
  • Jacob Rees-Mogg
  • Nigel Farage
  • Alan Milburn
  • Sir Alistair Graham
  • David Blunkett
  • Paul Kenny
  • Angela Knight
  • Justin Urquhart-Stewart
  • Baroness Margaret Ford
  • David Smith (The Sunday Times)
  • Michael Crick
  • Stephen Bungay
  • Brenden Barber
  • Patricia Hewitt
  • Lord Hutton
  • Viscount Thurso
  • Trevor Phillips
  • Gill Rider
  • Luke Johnon
  • Lord Smith of kelvin
  • Bob Wigley
  • Nick Fry
  • David Tyler
  • Dame Jenny Abramsky
  • General Sir Richard Dannatt
  • Lord Justice Elias
  • Mike Bowron
  • Carolyn Downs

Previous Speakers

  • Lord Archer
  • Rt Hon Lord Ashdown
  • Professor Sir George Bain
  • Martin Bell
  • Sir Ian Blair
  • Tony Blair
  • Virginia Bottomley
  • Professor Sir Alan Budd
  • Vince CableMP
  • Sir Adrian Cadbury
  • Bishop Richard Chartres
  • Kenneth Clarke
  • Lord Currie
  • Sir Howard Davies
  • Mervyn Davies
  • Greg Dyke
  • Archbishop Robin Eames
  • Sir Tom Farmer
  • Niall Fitzgerald
  • Lord Fowler
  • Frank Field
  • Anna Ford
  • Michael Grade
  • Professor Lynda Gratton
  • Lord Haskins
  • Lord Heseltine
  • Patricia Hewitt
  • Anthony Hilton
  • Lord Hurd
  • Will Hutton
  • General Sir Mike Jackson
  • Alan Johnson
  • Luke  Johnson
  • Lord Digby Jones
  • Sir Terry Leahy
  • Oliver Letwin
  • Sir Pat Lowry
  • Francis Maude
  • Kelvin MacKenzie
  • John Monks
  • Sir Bill Morris
  • Jon Moulton
  • Rabbi Dame Julia Neuberger
  • Dame Pauline Neville-Jones
  • Lord Patten
  • Sir Brian Pitman
  • Lord Puttnam
  • John Redwood
  • Alex Salmond
  • Prunella Scales &Timothy West
  • Archbishop John Sentamu
  • Clare Short
  • Stefan Stern
  • Andy Street
  • Sir John Sunderland
  • Sir Clive Thompson
  • John Towers
  • Lord Adair Turner
  • Professor Laura Tyson
  • Ruby Wax
  • Patience Wheatcroft
  • Jasmine Whitbread
  • Ann Widdecombe
  • Baroness Williams
  • Chris Woodhead
  • Tony Woodley