Bright Blue

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Bright Blue is a UK-based think tank described as 'the modernising wing of the Tory party'.

Formed in 2010 by Ryan Shorthouse, its stated aim is to apply "liberal conservative ideas and insights to tackle the major economic and social problems of the modern day"[1]

Brexit lobbying

Brexit badge.png Part of the Powerbase Brexit Portal.

In November 2017, Bright Blue published a report on reform of the Common Agricultural Policy. A greener, more pleasant land proposes it be replaced with a 'market-based commissioning scheme' for rural payments after Brexit, which would fund 'ecosystem services, such as woodland creation, restoration of peatlands and removing invasive plant species'.[2] The report was funded by Green Alliance.

How to fund the UK"s farming sector was among the issues discussed at Bright Blue's inaugural Green conservatism conference on 1 November 2017, which was addressed by Minister of State for Climate Change and Industry, Claire Perry.[3]



Associate fellows

Advisory Board


  • Optimism about human potential. All individuals, no matter their background or identity, can flourish in life with the right support.
  • Social Justice. Policy should focus on empowering the most deprived, here and abroad. We believe life changes are maximised by supporting children in the early years and at school.
  • Evidence not ideology. Politicians and policy-makers should be open-minded to new thinking, applying solutions to major public policy problems on the basis of good ideas rather than tired ideology.
  • A mixed and sustainable economy: Markets are the best way of allocating resources, including in the commercial sphere and in public services. But markets can be inefficient and inequitable, so government and social institutions have an important role to play. Environmentally, socially and financially responsible industries and individuals should be encouraged.
  • Strengthening social institutions: Individuals learn from and are supported by enduring social institutions such as the family and schools. These institutions need cultivating and modernising to accommodate increased diversity in the modern world.
  • Human Government: Government should put the person before the process, with responsiveness and relationships at the heart of service delivery.
  • Powerful citizens: We believe political action has the potential to bring positive change. We need to create and revive routes for citizens to take control of the politics that affects their lives, locally and nationally
  • Enthusiasm for the future. Democratic institutions, an open society, a market economy and innovation have led to progress in our society. When the foundations of a liberal society are strong, we can be excited and hopeful about the future.[1]


Fringe Events

Labour Party Conference

Conservative Party Conference

  • 28th September 2014
No place like home: what housing policies should Conservatives have? Held by Generation Rent and Social Housing Under Threat, speakers: Mark Pawsey MP, Cllr Gary Porter, Rafael Behr, Hannah Gousy, Martin Wheatley and Alexandra Jezeph.
What do conservatives want from welfare? Held by Oxfam, Joseph Rowntree Foundation, Child Poverty Action Trust and Grandparent Plus, speakers: Jeremy Lefroy MP, Janet Daley, Alison Garnham, David Kirkby and Iain Dale.
Immigration: a balanced agenda. Held by Barrow Cadbury Fund, speakers: The Rt Hon Dr Liam Fox MP, Sir Andrew Green, Prof Matthew Goodwin, Ian Birrell and Alexandra Jezeph.
Can the Tories go green again? Held by WWF, speakers: Neil Carmichael MP, Michael Liebreich, Geoffrey Lean, David Nussbaum and David Kirkby
Enterprise Britain. Held by G4S, speakers: George Freeman MP, Iain Martin, Matthew Elliott, Peter Neden and Ryan Shorthouse
  • 29 September 2014
Making the UK the HQ for global talent. Held by Universities UK and London First, speakers: The Rt Hon David Willetts MP, Dan Hodges, Jenni Russell, Nicola Dandridge, Baroness Jo Valentine and Ryan Shorthouse.
Getting a better deal for consumers in the energy market. Held by Smart Energy GB, speakers: Baroness Sandip Verma, Angela Knight, Adam Scorer, Sacha Deshmukh and Ryan Shorthouse.
Helping the middle classes. Held by TUC, speakers: Dominic Raab MP, Sir Ferdinand Mount, Gaby Hinsliff, Frances O'Grady and Ryan Shorthouse.
Drink Tank. Held by Bright Blue, speakers: The Rt Hon Ken Clarke QC MP and Kate Maltby.
  • 30 September 2014
Conservatism unchained: what will the Tories do alone in government? Held by Institute for Public Policy Research, speakers: The Rt Hon David Davis MP, Matthew Parris, Peter Oborne, Isabel Oakeshott, Nick Pearce and Ryan Shorthouse.
A Tory nanny state? Conservatives and childcare. Held by Child Care Vouchers Association and 4Children, speakers: Sam Gyimah MP, Rachel Johnson, Cristina Odone, Anne Longfield OBE, Iain McMath and Ryan Shorthouse.
Standing up for the little guy: Conservatives as consumer champions. Held by Ombudsman Services, speakers: Baroness Dame Neville-Rolfe, Mark Garnier MP, Mary Riddell, David Skelton, Lewis Shand Smith and Ryan Shorthouse. [7]


Bright Blue doesn't publish its funders. However, they include:

  • Green Alliance, funded a report in 2017 on reforming the payment system to farmers.




  1. 1.0 1.1 What is bright blue Bright Blue, undated, accessed 3 October 2014
  2. Use CAP to fund a green Brexit], Bright Blue press release, 20 November 2017
  3. Reflections on Bright Blue's Green conservatism conference, Bright Blue website, accessed Nov 2017
  4. Executive team Bright Blue, undated, accessed 3 October 2014
  5. Advisory board Bright Blue, undated, accessed 3 October 2014
  6. Labour party conference 2014 Bright Blue, undated, accessed 3 October 2014
  7. Conservative party conference 2014 Bright Blue, undated, accessed 3 October 2014