News Politics Society Talk: Giles Wilkes 09.03.2023

Giles Wilkes, former political advisor to Theresa May during her time as Prime Minister, spoke to Politics Society this week on the question ‘What actually happens in Downing Street?’

Giles’ talk gave students fascinating insights into what goes on behind the famous black door (including the malfunctioning toaster!) and what the role of a special advisor involves. Giles argued that becoming a SPAD is a fast-track to political power, when compared to becoming an MP, that perhaps should be more closely regulated. He also spoke about the role of the Liberal Democrats during the coalition, and his journey to becoming involved in politics. Giles also encouraged the listeners to study Politics and related subjects, pointing out the benefits to students’ understanding of the world, as well as the communication and writing skills that they engender. Discussion following the talk was wide-ranging, for example discussing how the personality of prime ministers affects the inner workings of Downing Street, how No 10 could be reformed, and the future of the Liberal Democrats.

Students left with a much deeper understanding of the complex decision-making processes that go on behind closed doors at the heart of government. A huge thank you to Giles for coming to speak to our Politics Society.