Greg Beales

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Greg Beales (born 1977) is a former Downing Street advisor to Prime Minister's Gordon Brown and Tony Blair and formerly Director of Strategy and Planning for the Labour Party

Health Advocacy[edit]

Beales was Director of Performance for the NHS during a period of substantial investment and improvement which saw significant reductions in waiting times and improvements in access to services. 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 charities, social enterprise and cooperative providers in the provision of public services.

Political Career[edit]

A former Accenture & McKinsey & Co. employee, Beales worked as the NHS Performance Director in Tony Blair's Prime Minister's Delivery Unit where his focus was on improving waiting times and infection control and cleanliness in the NHS. [1]

Beales subsequently served as Senior Advisor for Health and Social Care issues to the British Prime Minister Gordon Brown after Brown became Prime Minister in 2007. Initially a Senior Civil Servant, by 2010 Beales had become a political appointment and was listed on as a Policy Advisor on the Cabinet Office website assigned to the Downing Street Policy Directorate. From 2010 Beales become Labour Party Director of Policy as the party become the official opposition and after a reorganisation of the party in 2012 Beales served as the Labour Party's Executive Director, responsible for 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. [2] 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'. Beales was a member of the “quarterly look-ahead” group composed of Senior Miliband 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. In 2012-2013 Beales was cited in numerous sources as the architect of Labour's focus on living standards and what the party dubbed a "cost of living crisis". In 2013 he was nicknamed Mr Freeze by the Financial Times after being seen to be responsible for the Labour party's proposals to cap energy bills. [3]

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.”’[4]

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. [5]

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. However Robinson subsequently contested and won Coventry North West.[6]

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