Kenneth Clarke MP has been the Member of Parliament for Rushcliffe since 1970.
He held Ministerial office in successive Conservative Governments as Secretary of State for Health, Secretary of State for Education and Science, Home Secretary and Chancellor of the Exchequer.
Following the General Election in 1997, Mr. Clarke returned to the back benches and took on various senior non-executive business appointments. He was appointed as the Chairman of David Cameron’s Democracy Task Force and became Shadow Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills in January 2009.
Following the General Election in 2010 Mr. Clarke was appointed Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice. After a Government reshuffle in 2012 until July 2014 he served as Minister without Portfolio, working to develop key trade relationships on the Prime Minister’s behalf. He had an advisory brief on the economy and also sat on the National Security Council.
He returned to the back benches in July 2014.
Dr. Gerard Lyons is a leading global economist widely respected for his understanding of macro economic trends and the accuracy of his forecasting. In August 2008 he was one of only two UK economists then predicting an imminent deep recession. He was ranked number one forecaster globally by Bloomberg (out of over 360) in 2010 and 2011. He regularly tops the Sunday Times annual forecasting table.
Gerard has served as Chief Economic Advisor to London Mayor Boris Johnson since 2013. His remit is to provide the Mayor with strategic advice and intelligence on the economic outlook for London and the global economy. Previously, Gerard spent 25 years in senior roles in The City, in positions such as Chief Economist and Group Head of Global Research at Standard Chartered Bank plc., Chief Economist and Executive Director at DKB International, and Chief UK Economist at Swiss Bank Corporation.
Claire Byrne is a radio and television broadcaster with the national service provider RTÉ where she specialises in current affairs programmes.
Claire presents her own show Claire Byrne Live on Monday nights on RTÉ One. The hour-long current affairs programme featuring a live studio audience. Claire also hosts her current affairs radio programme on Saturday afternoon called Saturday with Claire Byrne on RTÉ Radio 1. The topical current affairs show questions agendas and dissects the week gone by along with debating the likely issues of the week to come.
A native of Mountrath in County Laois, Claire began her broadcasting career in radio and worked for the BBC in the Channel Islands as a broadcast journalist before becoming News Editor with a Channel 103FM. She has also previously worked for TV3 Channel 5, ITN News Channel, TV3 and Newstalk 106-108 FM. Claire's charitable involvements include Daisy House, Irish Hospice Foundation, Dublin Rape Crisis Centre and The Peter McVerry Trust.
Simon McKeever joined the Irish Exporters Association as Chief Executive in October 2013 where he is responsible for leading a team of 20 people who work with companies across the Irish export industry.
Prior to Simon taking up his current position as Chief Executive, he spent 3 years as Director of Trade and Investment at the British Embassy in Dublin, which placed him at the forefront of joint trade strategy between Ireland and the UK, where he developed a close working relationship between UK Trade and Investment and Enterprise Ireland. Simon was behind the creation of the British Irish Chamber of Commerce, and his leadership on the Agri-food agenda created a joint initiative that has enabled the first Irish British Food Business Innovation Summit in Dublin.
Simon’s career to date encompassed senior executive roles in global financial markets and business consultancy in Ireland. Simon spent 18 years working in global financial markets, with RBC, TD and AIB Capital Markets.
Arthur Beesley is Economics Editor with The Irish Times. He specialises in the Irish and European economies, public policy and business affairs. He writes a weekly column on the political economy and is a panellist on the paper's Business podcast. He has been with The Irish Times since 1998.
Previously he was Political News Editor, European Correspondent and Senior Business Correspondent. He covered Ireland's bailout and the euro zone debt emergency from Brussels. After the demise of Lehman Brothers he covered the global crash of 2008 from Wall Street. Beesley grew up in Dublin, and studied journalism at Dublin City University.