Institute for Public Policy Research

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The Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR )is a UK think tank with links to the Labour Party. It describes itself as "progressive".


According to the IPPR website, the organisation was "founded by Lord Hollick who developed the idea for an independent progressive think tank in 1986". [1]

Links to the Labour Party

Writing for a Times Educational Supplement article in 2005, journalist Jon Slater investigates the "influential figures behind the Government's education policies":

If you want to influence Labour's education policy, you could do worse than target a think-tank and a management consultancy. More than London university's institute of education, the teaching unions or even the Labour party, the Institute for Public Policy Research and McKinsey have the ear of people in high places.
McKinsey's motto, "Everything can be measured and what gets measured gets managed", could apply to Labour's schools policy... the web of connections between 10 Downing Street and McKinsey is rivalled only by that between the IPPR and the Department for Education and Skills.
David Miliband, the former schools minister, started out at the IPPR and all four special advisers to Education Secretary Ruth Kelly - Richard Darlington, Will Paxton, Dan Corry and Gavin Kelly - are ex-IPPR (although curiously none specialised in education). Nick Pearce, director of the IPPR, is a former special adviser at the DfES and Home Office.
Relations between the two bodies are close enough to allow IPPR research fellows to moonlight in Labour's innovations unit, and for Anna Bush, a DfES civil servant, to be seconded to the think-tank where she wrote a report expected to criticise the Government for not doing enough to get the best teachers into inner-city schools.
The think-tank - which recently argued for a limit on fixed-term exclusions - also has links with No 10 where Matthew Taylor, Mr Pearce's predecessor, now works...
Those who have moved between think-tanks and government say the two are complementary. Working in a think-tank allows advisers to build expertise in a policy area which is invaluable in government. Conversely, think-tank people with Whitehall experience have a better idea of how policy is formulated and how their ideas will affect government.
The advantage of outside experience within Whitehall is increasingly recognised within the civil service with Sir Alan Wilson, former Leeds university vice-chancellor, and Michael Stephenson, former director of factual and education programming at the BBC, both on the DfES board.
Insiders insist such relationships are far from symbiotic, with even sympathetic think-tanks frequently infuriating ministers.
But the IPPR, SMF and others are in regular discussions with government advisers about policy and are sometimes happy to act as outriders on some issues, helping to start controversial debates and fly political kites without ministers getting their hands dirty.[2]


IPPR Trustees


Corporate collaborations

Nuclear power

EDF Energy commissioned research by the IPPR published in June 2012, which claimed that 'UK investment in new nuclear could boost the UK economy by £5 billion a year, create new export markets and generate many thousands of jobs'. [4]


In 2004, the IPPR organised an extensive series of fringe events at the 2004 Labour Party conference, in association with TV station Channel 4. [5]


In 2006, Merck Sharp & Dohme Limited (MSD) agreed to partner with the IPPR on a project examining what the NHS might look like after 2008.[6]

The MSD website explains the background to the project "is that, whereas in 2002 the government began the process of providing significant extra resources to the NHS, come 2008 the rate of growth of this spending is certain to fall. This project will therefore put forward proposals on how a sustainable health system which commands high levels of public support may be developed after 2008".

It added that 'MSD has previously worked closely with the IPPR on a number of projects. This has included supporting the development of a number of independent research projects, and joining several other corporate sponsors in supporting conferences and fringe events'. However they do not give more detailed information of their involvement or of what form it took.

External links

  • Institute for Public Policy Research Website Home Page Last Accessed 9 June 2007.


  1. Institute for Public Policy Research Website About Us, Accessed 9 June 2007
  2. Jon Slater, "Meshed in web of power", Times Educational Supplement, 22.07.05, accessed 21.09.10
  3. IPPR: staff
  4. I-Nuclear, UK investment in new nuclear could boost GDP by £5 billion/year; add many thousands of jobs, June 25, 2012, acc same day
  5. Institute for Public Policy Research WebsiteBrighton 2004Last Accessed 9 June 2007
  6. MSD UK Institute for Public Policy Research - Alliances/Third Party Support Accessed 12th December 2007