Centre for Social Justice

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The Centre for Social Justice says it is

an independent think tank established by Rt Hon Iain Duncan Smith MP in 2004, to seek effective solutions to the poverty that blight parts of Britain.[1]

In a March 2009 presentation Tim Montgomerie and Matthew Elliott described the Centre for Social Justice as part of the infrastructure of the conservative movement in Britain.[2] In 2011 Montgomerie wrote, 'the old rightwing thinktanks weren't particularly helpful to the Tory modernisers and so they built their own. ... The Centre for Social Justice gave Iain Duncan Smith his poverty-fighting plans.' [3]

In 2009 Iain Duncan Smith delivered a speech to the Heritage Foundation in Washington, thanking them for their help in 'building up an international network of individuals and think tanks interested in centre right approaches to the delivery of social justice'.[4]

In 2010 the Centre for Social Justice was voted the think tank which has most influence on the Cameron Project by Conservative Home website [5] and every MP who has taken part in the Centre's 'Inner City Challenge' is a member of the Conservative Party. The list includes Andrew Selons, David Burrowes, John Penrose, Patrick Mercer and Rt Hon Oliver Letwin [6].

Policy Areas



Children in Care

Criminal Justice

Courts and Sentencing

Criminal Justice: Police Reform


Early Years Commission

Economic Dependency

The Centre for Social Justice have a working group set up to tackle the problem of economic dependency. The working group includes Corin Taylor and Nicholas Hillman. Taylor is the research director of the Taxpayers Alliance and is also affiliated with the Policy Exchange; Nicholas Hillman is also a former research fellow with the Policy Exchange.

Along with the Democracy Institute the Policy Exchange and the Taxpayers Alliance attacked Wilkinson and Pickett for their book The Spirit Level, which argued that social problems have a causal relationship with greater levels of income inequality.[7]

The Economic Dependency working group produced a report entitled Breakthrough Britain: Dynamic Benefits; towards welfare that works. The report cites a study by the Department of Work and Pensions which argues that 'the source of income is more important than the level of income in determining levels of social exclusion'.[8] The report argues that the three main failings of the benefits system presided over by the previous Labour Government were:

  • 1. It disincentivises work: the swift withdrawal of benefits, offsetting any earnings from work, punishes the lowest earners trying to earn more. It makes leaving welfare a risky proposition.
  • 2. It imposes penalties on desirable behaviour apart from work – such as marriage and cohabitation, saving, and home ownership.
  • 3. It is very complex – making it costly to administer and reinforcing dependency.[9]

Working Group

Nicholas Boys Smith | David Godfrey | James Greenbury | Nicholas Hillman | Peter King | Sara McKee | Lee Rowley | Debbie Scott | Corin Taylor | Cameron Watt[10]


Mike Brewer

Educational Failure


Family Law Review


David Hodson

Working Group

Rebecca Bensted | Philippa Taylor | Helen Grant | Benjamin Fry | Dr Samanta Callan | Sheela Mackintosh | Richard Bruce | Rachel Gillman


Dr Andrew Bainham | District Judge Nicholas Crichton | Professor Patrick Parkinson


Lady Elizabeth Butler-Sloss of Marsh Green | Baroness Ruth Deech of Cumnor [11]



Looked After Children


Ryan Robson

Working Group

Ivor Frank | Simon Howlett | Michael Bailey | Susanna Cheal | Harriet Sergeant | Malcolm Stevens | Sarah Richardson

Mental Health

Older Age


Social Cohesion

Social Return on Investment

Voluntary Sector

Youth Justice



Board of Directors

Mark Florman - Chairman of Board of Directors from July 2010 following departure of Philippa Stroud [12]

Louise Hobbs | Stephen Brien | Ryan Robson | Sam Clarke

Advisory Board

Camila Batmangelidjh | Baroness Deech | Johan Eliasch | Brian Griffiths | William Hague | Robert Halfon | Syed Kamall | Oliver Letwin | Murdoch Maclennan | George Magan | Tim Montgomerie | Malcolm Offord | Patrick Regan | Stephan Shakespeare | Lawrence Sherman | David Willetts


Gavin Poole executive director from July 2010| Chris Bullivant | Charlotte Pickles | Robin Millar | Juliette Ash | Cara Walker | Jeffrey Bailey | Samantha Callan | Christian Guy | Adele Eastman | Zoe Briance | Ali Crossley | Deven Ghelani |Chris Perfect | Nicola Vimalanathan | Kirsty Turnbull | Lucy Maule | Joseph Colman | James Mumford | Melanie Mackay | Philippa Stroud, executive director until May 2010 |


Board of Directors as at 19 November 2009:[13]

Advisory Board members as at 19 November 2009:

See Also


1 Westminster Palace Gardens
Artillery Row
London, SW1P 1RL


  1. About, CSJ website, accessed 19 Nov 2009
  2. Tim Montgomerie, The growth of Britain's conservative movement, ConservativeHome, 14 March 2009.
  3. Tim Montgomerie, 'Ed Miliband should learn from the Tory opposition experience', guardian.co.uk, 26 September 2011.
  4. Iain Duncan Smith, From Opposition to Power, Centre for Social Justice, 9-March-2009, Accessed 10-January-2011
  5. ConservativeHome?,http://conservativehome.blogs.com/thinktankcentral/2010/04/centre-for-social-justice-and-policy-exchange-are-best-regarded-think-tanks-by-conservativehomes-inf.html Centre for Social Justice and Policy Exchange are best regarded think tanks by ConservativeHome's 'influentials panel', Accessed 11-February-2011
  6. Centre for Social Justice, http://www.centreforsocialjustice.org.uk/default.asp?pageRef=165 What is the Inner City Challenge?, Accessed 11- February-2010
  7. Robert Booth, The Spirit Level: how 'ideas wreckers' turned book into political punchbag, The Guardian, 14-August-2010, Accessed 10-January-2010
  8. Centre for Social Justice, Breakthrough Britain: Dynamic Benefits; towards welfare that works (Executive Summary), Centre for Social Justice, Accessed 10-January-2010
  9. Centre for Social Justice, Breakthrough Britain: Dynamic Benefits; towards welfare that works (Executive Summary), Centre for Social Justice, Accessed 10-January-2010
  10. Economic Dependency, Working Group, Centre for Social Justice, Accessed 10-January-2010
  11. Centre for Social Justice Website, [1] Accessed 17th February 2011
  12. Public Affairs News http://www.publicaffairsnews.com/no_cache/home/think-tank-news/news-detail/newsarticle/new-executive-director-at-the-centre-for-social-justice/45/ New executive director at the Centre for Social Justice], accessed 22 Sept 2011
  13. Board of Directors, CSJ website, accessed 19 Nov 2009
  14. Social Justice Scotland Directors, Social Justice Scotland website, accessed 19 Nov 2009
  15. Centre for Social Justice Advisory Board, accessed 13 February 2010