Former Nick Clegg adviser Zoë Billingham appointed as new IPPR North director

A former adviser to Nick Clegg when he was Deputy Prime Minister has been appointed as the new director of the IPPR North thinktank.

Zoë Billingham, who has also been a senior policy adviser for the Treasury, is joining the organisation from her current role as co-director at the Centre for Progressive Policy.

As a civil servant, she was economic policy adviser to Mr Clegg between 2012 and 2015 when the then-Sheffield Hallam MP and Liberal Democrat leader was one of the most senior figures in the Coalition Government.

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Ms Billingham, who lives in Liverpool and is a Crook Public Service Fellow at the University of Sheffield, said ““I am excited to be taking up the helm at IPPR North and look forward to working with partners to drive progressive change across the North.

Zoë Billingham has taken up a new role at IPPR NorthZoë Billingham has taken up a new role at IPPR North
Zoë Billingham has taken up a new role at IPPR North

“We all know that people across the North of England have been trapped at the sharp end of choices made by distant decision-makers. Existing inequalities have been compounded by the pandemic and now the soaring cost of living. Our nation’s safety net is threadbare and is letting far too many people down.

“It’s time to be even bolder than before. Reducing regional inequality is the concern of our whole country and to the benefit of everyone. Together, we need to build a vision that goes beyond the current conversation and fundamentally shifts the destiny of the North and regions like it. IPPR North will be at the forefront of making this happen.”

Executive director of IPPR, Carys Roberts said: “I am delighted to announce Zoë’s appointment as director of IPPR North. At a time when IPPR North’s work – including bold ideas to level up the North and regions like it - couldn’t be more important, Zoë brings with her a wealth of expertise as well as policy and leadership experience.

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“At 18 years old, IPPR North has a strong track record of outstanding research and influence which has shaped both the North and our national policy conversation. Building on this important history, I am excited to see Zoë now lead the think tank into a bright and impactful future. I am also pleased to welcome her to the senior leadership team at IPPR – the UK’s preeminent progressive think tank."

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