Greg Beales

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Greg Beales (born 1977) is the Director of Strategy and Planning for the Labour Party and a former aide to Ed Miliband.

Political Career[edit]

A former McKinsey Employee, Beales worked in Tony Blair's elite Prime Minister's Delivery Unit which was focused on improving Civil Service performance and efficiency.

Beales served as Senior Advisor for Health and Social Care issues to the British Prime Minister Gordon Brown and when Brown became Prime Minister in 2007 Beales became member of the Downing Street Policy Directorate in 2007. From 2010 Beales served as campaign’s director of strategy and the keeper of party polling for Ed Miliband, Patrick Wintour writing in the Guardian alleges Beales to have urged a general greater focus addressing on immigration and the economy (areas on which the Labour party were suffering substantial repetitional issues) in place of specific retail offers. [1] Miliband's leadership has been described by Patrick Wintour of the Guardian as an evolution from Stewart Wood's demands for a bodily ideological break from 'New Labour' to Beales' apparently more pragmatic approach. From an electoral perspective these viewpoints might arguably characterised as targeting frustrated Lib Dems in Wood's case and soft Conservatives in Beales'. was a member of the “quarterly look-ahead” group composed of Senior Milliband advisers tasked with the winning the 2015 General Election for Labour; nevertheless he was conceived by the Spectator as a 'second tier adviser' who felt the polling he commissioned was frustratingly under-considered in strategic decision making.

One Labour MP quoted in the spectator described Beales' Role; ‘Greg manages the feedback from the focus groups and the polling. And that means he’s actually the guy with the widest interface with the voters. Greg’s always trying to pull Ed’s people back towards that swath of former Labour voters the party lost under Blair. While every-one else is banging on about how to hang on to former Lib Dems, Greg’s popping up and saying, “Fine, but remember that if we want to win, there’s a few blue-collar, small-c conservatives we’re going to need to pull across as well.”’[2]

The Daily Mail alleges that Beales feared tensions between Douglas Alexander, Ed Balls and Milliband threatened the Labour party's strategic efficacy. During an acrimonious and divided meeting of senior figures to discuss the persistent public perception Labour had overspent prior to 2010 Beales is alleged to have shouted; ‘For God’s sake, we have got an Election to win and you are behaving like children. You are still trying to blame each other for what you all did in the Treasury with Gordon.The words seem somewhat improbable; perhaps the sentiment may be genuine.[3]

Geoffrey Robinson, Labour MP for Coventry North West was rumoured to have told party activists he would step down in 2015 to allow Beales to contest his seat; an email seen by the Coventry Telegraph's Simon Gilbert appeared to show Beales and Robinson discussing introductions to prominent members of the local labour party. The email, apparently sent before any announcement of Robinson's resignation, alleged suggested selection of a new MP would take place within two weeks. A second email, addressed to senior members of the local party, was also exposed by the Coventry Telegraph. It stated categorically that Mr Robinson would stand down before the next election; it appears the local labour party was concerned Labour HQ would deprive them of an opportunity to freely choose the next candidate by strongly referencing Beales. A u-turn would appear to have taken place, perhaps due to extensive local media coverage; Robinson contested and won Coventry North West.[4]

Health Advocacy[edit]

Beales was notable as a strong supporter of Foundation Trusts. He has also been a strong advocate of a greater focus on prevention across the public services, arguing that to meet modern challenges, public services needed to co-produce outcomes with a public more responsible for its own behaviour and actions. Beales has been closely associated with the development of Healthy Living Centres and is widely seen to favour a bigger role for social enterprise and cooperative providers in the provision of public services.

References[edit]