• Tuesday, November 21, 2017 at 07:00 PM
    Committee Room 5, House of Commons

    Beating the Tories on Business – How Labour Can Win the Battle for SME Hearts and Minds Again


    Beating the Tories on Business – How Labour Can Win the Battle for SME Hearts and Minds Again

    JOIN US on 21 November in House of Commons Committee Room 5, where our panel of speakers will talk about the challenges and opportunities facing the Labour Party as it seeks to beat the Tories on business and win back the SME hearts and minds that it won over last time it entered government. 

    Jack Dromey MP will kindly host the event and Rehana Ameer will chair. Speaking on the panel will be Hamish Sandison, Emma Barnes and Simon Lydiard.

    Labour has started to rebuild its pro-business reputation. Before the election, a survey of over 1,500 SME and start-up owners on the website put the Conservatives just four points ahead of Labour, despite being seen as “the party of business”. Labour is likely to have gained since then.

    However, on the economy as a whole Labour still lags behind the Conservatives, with the commonly held opinion that Labour is anti-business and therefore bad for the wider economy. In recent polling, despite a generally very positive outlook for Labour and an overall lead of 4 points, the Tories still led by 35 to 23 on the economy. Many SME owners remain suspicious of Labour despite the party having developed some excellent polices that would benefit SMEs up and down the country, such as investment banks with regional arms.   

    Nevertheless, with SMEs increasingly concerned about Brexit and the impact a bad deal (or even worse, a ‘no deal’ and a cliff-edge) would have on their fortunes, Labour has an opportunity to argue that its constructive negotiation stance would lead to a less hostile economic climate in which to do business. It has also started to change the debate around “invest to grow”.

    Our speakers will discuss how Labour can beat the Tories on business issues and win the support of SMEs across the country. Please register below. 

    Speaker bios

    Hamish Sandison chairs Labour Business. He is a consultant with the international law firm Fieldfisher, specialising in IT law, intellectual property and public procurement. He is dual-qualified as a solicitor in England and Wales, and as a US attorney. Hamish has been a member of the Executive Committee of the Labour Business (formerly the Labour Finance and Industry Group) since 2013, and was elected as its Chairman in 2015. He stood as Labour’s candidate for Police and Crime Commissioner in Gwent in 2012, and as Labour’s Parliamentary candidate in Monmouth in 2010. Hamish has law degrees from Jesus College Cambridge and Berkeley Law School in California.

    Emma Barnes is the founder of handmade jewellery brand Wild Fawn Jewellery. Emma set up Wild Fawn in January 2015 whilst working full time as a statistician in the Department of Education. 10 months later, Emma left the Department to work on Wild Fawn Jewellery full time and has been working on the brand for the last two years. Emma is a self-taught silversmith and works from home with hired help two days a week to make, pack and send orders. Wild Fawn is sold online on Etsy, the official Wild Fawn website and in over 40 eco-boutiques in the UK and Europe.

    Simon Lydiard is a former senior civil servant, with a 38 year career spanning several government departments and specialisms. He joined the civil service at the most junior grade and worked his way up, attaining senior civil service rank eight years before he left. Having started as a general administrator, Simon worked in HR, finance and property, before specialising in procurement mid-way though his career. He developed and led the introduction of new approaches to procurement in the civil service, working on the introduction of category management and the application of electronic business and supply chain collaboration in the MoD and, as Director of Contract Management Excellence, over-hauling the Department for Transport’s (DfT) approach to managing commercial contracts through the introduction of new models, standards and training. A particular passion for Simon has been the support of small business – DfT’s spend with small businesses increased ten-fold whilst he was their Small Business Champion. He advised on procurement aspects of the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act 2015. After he left the civil service, he led a review of small business procurement for the Crown Commercial Service. 

    Rehana Ameer is the first Indian-born woman elected as a Councillor in the City of London Corporation’s 950 year history. She is a Councillor for Vintry Ward. She is also the first woman politician in the UK of Tamil Nadu origin. Rehana is the founder and Director of Prosap Corporation Limited in London. She possesses over 20 years in IT and Management Consulting where she has led, managed and successfully delivered large multi-million pound IT and business transformation projects for multinational companies worldwide.

  • Monday, December 18, 2017 at 06:00 PM · £85.00 GBP
    Sheraton Grand Park Lane Hotel in London, United Kingdom

    2nd SME4Labour Gala and Labour Excellence Awards


    We are delighted to announce that the second SME4Labour Gala and Labour Excellence Awards will be held on Monday 18th December at the Sheraton Grand Park Lane Hotel.

    The event will take place as follows:


    18:00 – 19:00

    Dinner & Awards

    19:00 – 23:00

    Sheraton Grand Park Lane Hotel

    Piccadilly, Mayfair, London W1J 7BX

    Dress Code: Lounge Suit or Cocktail Dress

    To RSVP including early bird tickets please see below


    Last year, SME4Labour held a successful first gala and Labour Excellence Awards Ceremony. Those in attendance included the Labour Leader Rt Hon Jeremy Corbyn MP, who made a fantastic speech about the importance of SMEs to communities, as well as inaugural awards winners such as Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell MP and Yvette Cooper MP. For a full list of winners from last year’s ceremony and highlights from the event, please click here.

    See our promotional video from 2016. 

    At this year’s gala and awards, we will once again be joined by an array of Labour MPs, Lords, Councillors, grandees and more, as well as SME owners and trade unionists.

    Please email us at if you have any questions. Please note tickets can be refunded 7 days prior to the event.

    If you are unable to purchase a ticket but wish to support our work, please consider making a donation to SME4Labour.

    To celebrate the achievements of our party friends and colleagues, you can make your nominations for this year’s awards ceremony by emailing us via us with your nomination, name, contact details and a reason why you think your nominee qualifies them for an award.

    This year’s categories are:

    Labour MP of the Year

    Shadow Cabinet member of the Year

    Trade Union of the Year

    Labour Councillor of the Year

    Labour MSP of the Year

    Labour Council of the Year

    Labour Welsh Assembly of the Year

    Labour CLP of the Year

    Labour MEP of the Year

    Labour elected Mayor of the Year

    Labour PPC of the Year

    Labour Parliamentary assistant of the Year

    Socialist society of the Year

    Friends group of the Year

    Labour Peer of the Year

    Labour London Assembly Member of the year


    SME4Labour seeks to strengthen relations between small, medium, micro, and family run businesses with the Labour Party. Our second gala presents a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the successes of SMEs, and to discuss ways to move forward with our aims. We hope you can join us for this exciting highlight of Labour’s end-of-year calendar.