Introducing our speakers for The Policy Playbook 2021

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As we edge closer to welcoming delegates to The Policy Playbook, we are excited to unveil a full list of speakers who will be taking to the virtual stage at the inaugural event.

Taking place on Wednesday 30 June, the conference will provide an opportunity to learn more about the role of government, local councils and parliament in the sports sector and how you can engage with stakeholders and build relationships with political figures.

Find out more about our speakers below.

Lord Moynihan

Lord Moynihan ()

Lord Moynihan has enjoyed much success in the sporting world, from winning an Olympic silver medal in rowing at the Moscow Games to coxing the victorious Oxford University crew in the 1977 Oxford and Cambridge Boat Race. He took his talents into the political sphere in the early 1980s, when he became MP for Lewisham and Sports Minister under Margaret Thatcher’s government. In October 2005, Moynihan was elected chairman of the British Olympic Association for the run-up to London 2012 and has held a number of other prestigious positions, such as President of the Welsh Amateur Rowing Association, Chairman of the 2005 Paralympic World Cup and Governor of the Sports Aid Trust.

Ben Bradley MP

Ben Bradley ()

Ben Bradley will be known to many in the sector after 18 months as Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Sport. In June 2017, he became MP for Mansfield and was recently chosen as the new Leader of Nottinghamshire County Council. Ben’s love for sport has led him to work closely with the Department for Culture, Media and Sport agenda over the years, where he has notably championed proposals on opening up sport and leisure facilities in our schools for use by the community. Ben sits on the Women and Equalities Committee, and on the All-party Parliamentary groups for Issues Affecting Men and Boys, Fracking, Hockey and Football.

Christina Rees MP

Christina Rees ()

Christina Rees is a former Welsh squash player with more than 100 international appearances to her name. In 2015, she was elected as the MP for Neath and has served in a variety of other political roles, including Shadow Secretary of State for Wales in Jeremy Corbyn’s Shadow Cabinet from 2017-2020. Christina was recently elected Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Sport and sits on more than 30 other APPGs, including Olympic and Paralympic Games, Environment, Autism and Acquired Brain Injury.

Alison McGovern MP

Alison McGovern ()

Alison McGovern, who currently serves as the Shadow Minister for DCMS, is the Labour MP for Wirral South and has been an MP continuously for the past decade. In 2010, she became former Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s Parliamentary Private Secretary and has sat on both the International Development and Works of Art Committees. Alison is the chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Friends of Syria and has spoken and campaigned on a wide variety of issues, including health, inequality and employment.

Ian Leete

Ian Leete ()

Ian Leete is Senior Adviser for Culture, Tourism and Sport at the Local Government Association, which is the membership body for councils in England and Wales. He is responsible for supporting and briefing the Culture, Tourism and Sport Board on issues affecting local government and communities; coordinating political engagement and responding to Government policy announcements and consultations; and developing best practice, support programmes, media plans, and advice for councils. His previous roles include a stint on licensing and regulation, and four years at Cabinet Office working on third sector and civil society policy.

Ben Williams

Ben Williams ()

After more than 20 years working in local government as Strategic Director of Community Services at High Peak Borough Council, Ben secured the role of Executive Director of County Durham Sport before joining Sport England as one of their Strategic Leads. For more than a decade he has worked in the organisation’s outreach function, supporting the development of sport and physical activity in places such as Calderdale, Sheffield and Derbyshire. Outside of work, Ben is a keen road cyclist and Head Coach at Buxton Basketball Club.

Hannah Murphy

Hannah Murphy ()

As Head of Public Policy at the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), Hannah is responsible for designing and leading the organisation’s engagement with key external stakeholders including government and sporting agencies. Prior to this role, she was Policy Advisor to the UK Government Cabinet Office, where she guided departments on their deregulation strategy. Hannah was also a Senior Political Advisor to Andrew RT Davies, the leader of the opposition based in the National Assembly for Wales. A well-respected name in the sports industry, she also sits on the Sport Wales Board and Women’s Sport Collective.

Brigid Simmonds OBE

Brigid Simmonds ()

Brigid Simmonds is the Chairman of the Betting and Gaming Council, which represents over 90% of the gambling sector. Prior to this, Brigid was the Chief Executive of the British Beer and Pub Association from 2009 to 2019 and CEO of Business in Sport and Leisure (BISL), from 1992 to 2009, where she represented over 100 companies across private sector sport and leisure interests. She was a former chair of the Sport and Recreation Alliance and is now a Vice President. Previously on the Board of Sport England and Leicester City Football Club, Brigid was awarded an OBE for Services to Sport in June 2006.

Nigel Harrison

Nigel Harrison ()

Current Chief Executive of the Yorkshire Sport Foundation, Nigel has over 20 years of experience working within the sports industry, specialising initially in sports facility management before moving towards sports development. In his current role, Nigel takes the lead on strategic planning for sport across the region and country and has made a major contribution to the sports strategies in each of Yorkshire’s Districts. He is a member of the Active Partnerships’ Board, Yorkshire Netball Regional Management Board and Chairman of Oldham Community Leisure.

Simon McGrath

Simon McGrath ()

Simon McGrath is the Head of Communications and External Relations at The Camping and Caravanning Club and is also the Chair of the Sport and Recreation Alliance’s Outdoor Pursuits Division. He is an award-winning journalist and former magazine editor, and the author of Camping with Kids, which is sold in the UK, Australia and New Zealand. Simon began his career in journalism more than 30 years ago and for nearly a decade was Editor of Camping & Caravanning magazine, the world’s oldest and largest circulating title for all types of camping.

Ryan McCullough

Ryan McCullough ()

Ryan is the Public Affairs Manager at the Sport and Recreation Alliance. He is in charge of all of our Parliamentary focused work and provides secretariat support for the APPG for Sport. Prior to working at the Alliance, Ryan worked in the Parliamentary office of the Rt Hon Justine Greening MP, where he worked on a range of national and local issues including Brexit.

 Leigh Thompson

Contributor - Leigh Thompson ()

Leigh is the Head of Policy at the Sport and Recreation Alliance and leads work on areas including sports betting integrity, broadcasting, tax and fiscal policy and European policy. He has a background in policy and regulation having held similar posts in other sectors prior to joining the Alliance. Leigh also holds degrees in Economics and Public Policy and has completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Law.