Hello. It looks like youre using an ad blocker that may prevent our website from working properly. To receive the best Tortoise experience possible, please make sure any blockers are switched off and refresh the page.

If you have any questions or need help, let us know at memberhelp@tortoisemedia.com

#TheStateOfBritain

thinkin

Should the UK leave the Commonwealth?

The Commonwealth of Nations is home to 2.6 billion people and comprises 54 member states, most (but not all) with links to the former British Empire. The Queen has been head of the Commonwealth for more than seven decades, and Prince Charles has been agreed, in principle at least, as her successor. But as the UK considers the next chapter of the monarchy, would the Commonwealth be better off without the UK in it? Only 9% of UK trade is with the Commonwealth – despite all the talk of it being a major trading opportunity post-Brexit. With our greater understanding of the long-term impact of colonialism, is our continued involvement in the Commonwealth just an attempt to paper over the cracks caused by Britain’s imperial past, or do we still have a responsibility to be involved? editor and invited experts Jeevan VasagarClimate Editor Dr Sue OnslowDirector & Reader in Commonwealth History, Institute of Commonwealth Studies Kojo KoramLecturer at the School of Law at Birkbeck College, University of London Lord HowellFormer President of the Royal Commonwealth Society; Chairman of the Council of Commonwealth Societies

thinkin

Does the UK have enough nukes?

Despite the UK’s commitments to the nuclear non-proliferation treaty (NPT), last year the Johnson government announced that Britain will to grow its nuclear capability by up to 40%, equivalent to 260 warheads, citing risks from nuclear-armed states, emerging nuclear states and state-sponsored nuclear terrorism. The argument being that a nuclear deterrent is needed to guarantee the UK’s security and that of its allies.Opponents say that nuclear powers like the UK should use their influence to strengthen international arms control agreements and reduce – not increase – the number of nuclear weapons in existence. Do these steps by Johnson undermine the NPT?Renewing Trident will cost an eye-watering £130billion. Is it worth it? Can we afford it? Or is it the cost of maintaining peace in an uncertain world?  editor and invited experts Giles WhittellSensemaker Editor Dr Andrew CorbettFormer Trident Captain and Author of ‘Supreme Emergency: How Britain Lives with the Bomb’ Dr Hassan ElbahtimyDirector, Centre for Science and Security Studies (CSSS) Dr Rebecca Eleanor JohnsonAcronym Institute for Disarmament Diplomacy

thinkin

What do we owe each other now? A ThinkIn with Minouche Shafik

This is a newsroom ThinkIn. In-person and digital-only tickets are available.Anger manifested in polarised politics, culture wars and intergenerational tensions over climate change have revealed great disaffection in recent years. Minouche Shafik argues that this widespread discontent stems from the failure of existing social contracts to deliver on people’s expectations for both security and opportunity. How should society pool risks, share resources and balance the individual with collective responsibility?Join us for a ThinkIn with the director of the London School of Economics and author of What We Owe Each Other: A New Social Contract, where she will draw on evidence from across the globe to identify the key principles every society must adopt if it is to meet the challenges of the coming century. We will be asking her and our members the age old question: what do we owe each other? editor and invited experts James HardingCo-Founder and Editor Minouche ShafikDirector of London School of Economics and Political Science and Author of ‘What We Owe Each Other: A New Social Contract’

thinkin

Britain’s productivity crisis: what is the solution?

“Hi, this is Dan Neidle, UK Head of Tax at Clifford Chance. I now have the answers to your ten tax questions.”The Lawyer If you don’t spend time perusing videos about tax on Youtube, you might not have heard of Dan Neidle. “Question 1: How many taxes are there in England? I think the answer is 34? It looks something like this: income tax, national insurance corporation tax…”The Lawyer He’s a tax lawyer with years of experience at one of the world’s biggest law firms.  And even though he stepped back from the corporate world a few years ago to spend more time with his family, he hasn’t exactly led a quiet life. He now runs Tax Policy Associates, which provides advice to experts and politicians about tax policy. But he also began asking questions about one politician’s tax affairs in particular. “A Tory party chair facing further questions over his financial affairs after his emerged he settled a dispute with tax authorities while he was Chancellor.”Sky News Thanks to Dan Neidle it was revealed that Nadhim Zahawi paid £5 million to HM Revenue and Customs, which included a penalty. “Will you resign as Party Chair Mr Zahawi? Are your tax affairs a distraction for the party Mr Zahawi?”Daily Mail Labour leader Keir Starmer has called for his resignation, and the pressure is mounting. But these headlines haven’t come out of nowhere; Dan Neidle has been investigating Nadhim Zahawi’s taxes for months.  So how did we get here? *** “So back in July, there was a report in some of the press that the NCO, the SFO and HMRC had investigated his tax. He denied it, but then you wouldn’t necessarily know if you’re being investigated. So I started looking and I saw something very odd…”Sky News Dan Neidle was interested in YouGov, which is the market research firm that Nadhim Zahawi co-founded before he became an MP.  And he spotted something strange. 40 per cent of the company’s shares were held in a Gibraltar–based trust, controlled by Nadhim Zahawi’s parents.  Nadhim Zahawi himself took no shares in YouGov. He said that the shares went to his parents in recognition of the advice and money that his father had provided to help him start the company. To some, this was already suspicious. Gibraltar is widely regarded as a tax haven. And some early YouGov employees told The Times newspaper they had no recollection of Nadhim Zahawi’s father being involved in the company when he started it. But things got more questionable when the Zahawi’s sold their stake in the company for £27 million in 2018.  If Nadhim Zahawi was the true beneficiary of that transaction, he would have had to pay tax on it.  Dan Neidle figured all this out back in July. “It looked like he had not paid about £3.7 million in tax. He denied that. Not only did he deny it, he threatened to sue me and other newspapers looking at it.”Sky News Everything went quiet for months after that. Until this news emerged. “The BBC’s Chris Mason understands that, while Chancellor, he paid around £5 million to settle a tax dispute, which included paying a penalty. The Guardian reports that 30% of the overall amount – £1 million – was the penalty in question.”BBC Nadhim Zahawi has not broken the law. HMRC accepted that this was a “non-deliberate error” relating to YouGov.  So what does it matter? *** As Dan Neidle told Sky’s Kay Burley, the whole saga does raise serious questions. Kay Burley: “I suppose a lot of people watching this morning would say surely, you know, he’s putting his hands up, he made a mistake, he’s paid the money he needed to. That’s it.”Dan Neidle: “Well, we all make mistakes. I mean, I lost a pen yesterday. I have no idea where it was. I felt ridiculous. I was using it. A mistake where you don’t declare £27 million? I mean if we accept everything he says, and that wasn’t intentional, that’s an amazing mistake to make.”Sky News It’s also not clear whether successive prime ministers were told about the HMRC investigation into Nadhim Zahawi when he was appointed Chancellor by Liz Truss, or when he was in the running to be re-appointed by Rishi Sunak. He wasn’t reappointed, but he was made Tory Party chair. A job he remains in. Rishi Sunak’s spokesperson says he has full confidence in Nadhim Zahawi. But Dan Neidle questions whether someone who makes those kinds of errors can really hold such a senior position. And, to him, this isn’t just about the taxes. It’s about the fact that he uncovered this six months ago. And he was silenced. This episode was written and mixed by Patricia Clarke.

thinkin

Is Britain unravelling?

“Hi, this is Dan Neidle, UK Head of Tax at Clifford Chance. I now have the answers to your ten tax questions.”The Lawyer If you don’t spend time perusing videos about tax on Youtube, you might not have heard of Dan Neidle. “Question 1: How many taxes are there in England? I think the answer is 34? It looks something like this: income tax, national insurance corporation tax…”The Lawyer He’s a tax lawyer with years of experience at one of the world’s biggest law firms.  And even though he stepped back from the corporate world a few years ago to spend more time with his family, he hasn’t exactly led a quiet life. He now runs Tax Policy Associates, which provides advice to experts and politicians about tax policy. But he also began asking questions about one politician’s tax affairs in particular. “A Tory party chair facing further questions over his financial affairs after his emerged he settled a dispute with tax authorities while he was Chancellor.”Sky News Thanks to Dan Neidle it was revealed that Nadhim Zahawi paid £5 million to HM Revenue and Customs, which included a penalty. “Will you resign as Party Chair Mr Zahawi? Are your tax affairs a distraction for the party Mr Zahawi?”Daily Mail Labour leader Keir Starmer has called for his resignation, and the pressure is mounting. But these headlines haven’t come out of nowhere; Dan Neidle has been investigating Nadhim Zahawi’s taxes for months.  So how did we get here? *** “So back in July, there was a report in some of the press that the NCO, the SFO and HMRC had investigated his tax. He denied it, but then you wouldn’t necessarily know if you’re being investigated. So I started looking and I saw something very odd…”Sky News Dan Neidle was interested in YouGov, which is the market research firm that Nadhim Zahawi co-founded before he became an MP.  And he spotted something strange. 40 per cent of the company’s shares were held in a Gibraltar–based trust, controlled by Nadhim Zahawi’s parents.  Nadhim Zahawi himself took no shares in YouGov. He said that the shares went to his parents in recognition of the advice and money that his father had provided to help him start the company. To some, this was already suspicious. Gibraltar is widely regarded as a tax haven. And some early YouGov employees told The Times newspaper they had no recollection of Nadhim Zahawi’s father being involved in the company when he started it. But things got more questionable when the Zahawi’s sold their stake in the company for £27 million in 2018.  If Nadhim Zahawi was the true beneficiary of that transaction, he would have had to pay tax on it.  Dan Neidle figured all this out back in July. “It looked like he had not paid about £3.7 million in tax. He denied that. Not only did he deny it, he threatened to sue me and other newspapers looking at it.”Sky News Everything went quiet for months after that. Until this news emerged. “The BBC’s Chris Mason understands that, while Chancellor, he paid around £5 million to settle a tax dispute, which included paying a penalty. The Guardian reports that 30% of the overall amount – £1 million – was the penalty in question.”BBC Nadhim Zahawi has not broken the law. HMRC accepted that this was a “non-deliberate error” relating to YouGov.  So what does it matter? *** As Dan Neidle told Sky’s Kay Burley, the whole saga does raise serious questions. Kay Burley: “I suppose a lot of people watching this morning would say surely, you know, he’s putting his hands up, he made a mistake, he’s paid the money he needed to. That’s it.”Dan Neidle: “Well, we all make mistakes. I mean, I lost a pen yesterday. I have no idea where it was. I felt ridiculous. I was using it. A mistake where you don’t declare £27 million? I mean if we accept everything he says, and that wasn’t intentional, that’s an amazing mistake to make.”Sky News It’s also not clear whether successive prime ministers were told about the HMRC investigation into Nadhim Zahawi when he was appointed Chancellor by Liz Truss, or when he was in the running to be re-appointed by Rishi Sunak. He wasn’t reappointed, but he was made Tory Party chair. A job he remains in. Rishi Sunak’s spokesperson says he has full confidence in Nadhim Zahawi. But Dan Neidle questions whether someone who makes those kinds of errors can really hold such a senior position. And, to him, this isn’t just about the taxes. It’s about the fact that he uncovered this six months ago. And he was silenced. This episode was written and mixed by Patricia Clarke.

thinkin

Is levelling up a myth?

“Hi, this is Dan Neidle, UK Head of Tax at Clifford Chance. I now have the answers to your ten tax questions.”The Lawyer If you don’t spend time perusing videos about tax on Youtube, you might not have heard of Dan Neidle. “Question 1: How many taxes are there in England? I think the answer is 34? It looks something like this: income tax, national insurance corporation tax…”The Lawyer He’s a tax lawyer with years of experience at one of the world’s biggest law firms.  And even though he stepped back from the corporate world a few years ago to spend more time with his family, he hasn’t exactly led a quiet life. He now runs Tax Policy Associates, which provides advice to experts and politicians about tax policy. But he also began asking questions about one politician’s tax affairs in particular. “A Tory party chair facing further questions over his financial affairs after his emerged he settled a dispute with tax authorities while he was Chancellor.”Sky News Thanks to Dan Neidle it was revealed that Nadhim Zahawi paid £5 million to HM Revenue and Customs, which included a penalty. “Will you resign as Party Chair Mr Zahawi? Are your tax affairs a distraction for the party Mr Zahawi?”Daily Mail Labour leader Keir Starmer has called for his resignation, and the pressure is mounting. But these headlines haven’t come out of nowhere; Dan Neidle has been investigating Nadhim Zahawi’s taxes for months.  So how did we get here? *** “So back in July, there was a report in some of the press that the NCO, the SFO and HMRC had investigated his tax. He denied it, but then you wouldn’t necessarily know if you’re being investigated. So I started looking and I saw something very odd…”Sky News Dan Neidle was interested in YouGov, which is the market research firm that Nadhim Zahawi co-founded before he became an MP.  And he spotted something strange. 40 per cent of the company’s shares were held in a Gibraltar–based trust, controlled by Nadhim Zahawi’s parents.  Nadhim Zahawi himself took no shares in YouGov. He said that the shares went to his parents in recognition of the advice and money that his father had provided to help him start the company. To some, this was already suspicious. Gibraltar is widely regarded as a tax haven. And some early YouGov employees told The Times newspaper they had no recollection of Nadhim Zahawi’s father being involved in the company when he started it. But things got more questionable when the Zahawi’s sold their stake in the company for £27 million in 2018.  If Nadhim Zahawi was the true beneficiary of that transaction, he would have had to pay tax on it.  Dan Neidle figured all this out back in July. “It looked like he had not paid about £3.7 million in tax. He denied that. Not only did he deny it, he threatened to sue me and other newspapers looking at it.”Sky News Everything went quiet for months after that. Until this news emerged. “The BBC’s Chris Mason understands that, while Chancellor, he paid around £5 million to settle a tax dispute, which included paying a penalty. The Guardian reports that 30% of the overall amount – £1 million – was the penalty in question.”BBC Nadhim Zahawi has not broken the law. HMRC accepted that this was a “non-deliberate error” relating to YouGov.  So what does it matter? *** As Dan Neidle told Sky’s Kay Burley, the whole saga does raise serious questions. Kay Burley: “I suppose a lot of people watching this morning would say surely, you know, he’s putting his hands up, he made a mistake, he’s paid the money he needed to. That’s it.”Dan Neidle: “Well, we all make mistakes. I mean, I lost a pen yesterday. I have no idea where it was. I felt ridiculous. I was using it. A mistake where you don’t declare £27 million? I mean if we accept everything he says, and that wasn’t intentional, that’s an amazing mistake to make.”Sky News It’s also not clear whether successive prime ministers were told about the HMRC investigation into Nadhim Zahawi when he was appointed Chancellor by Liz Truss, or when he was in the running to be re-appointed by Rishi Sunak. He wasn’t reappointed, but he was made Tory Party chair. A job he remains in. Rishi Sunak’s spokesperson says he has full confidence in Nadhim Zahawi. But Dan Neidle questions whether someone who makes those kinds of errors can really hold such a senior position. And, to him, this isn’t just about the taxes. It’s about the fact that he uncovered this six months ago. And he was silenced. This episode was written and mixed by Patricia Clarke.

thinkin

Building Back Better: have the UK’s infrastructure priorities changed?

Breakfast ThinkIn: how do we build our way out of this crisis? Our daily digital ThinkIns are exclusively for Tortoise members and their guests.Try Tortoise free for four weeks to unlock your complimentary tickets to all our digital ThinkIns.If you’re already a member and looking for your ThinkIn access code you can find it in the My Tortoise > My Membership section of the app next to ‘ThinkIn access code’.We’d love you to join us.Infrastructure investment was a key part of the government’s ‘levelling-up’ agenda. But that was before C19 hit. If the way we live and work is set to change for good, are our pre-virus assumptions about what we need in terms of energy and transport still true? How should major infrastructure projects be funded now? How can they be greener, faster and create more jobs? And how are these decisions best made?Editor: Matt d’Ancona, Editor and Partner, Tortoise `This ThinkIn is in partnership with EDF.Our invited experts include: Jesse Norman MP, Conservative MP for Hereford and South Herefordshire from 2010, Financial Secretary to the Treasury from May 2019.Colin Matthews, Non-Executive Chairman of EDF in the UK, and former Chair of Highways England and Chair of the Highways Agency.Tristia Harrison, CEO TalkTalk.How does a digital ThinkIn work?A digital ThinkIn is like a video conference, hosted by a Tortoise editor, that takes place at the advertised time of the event. Digital ThinkIns are new to Tortoise. Now that our newsroom has closed due to the coronavirus outbreak, we feel it’s more important than ever that we ‘get together’ to talk about the world and what’s going on.The link to join the conversation will be emailed to you after you have registered for your ticket to attend. When you click the link, you enter the digital ThinkIn and can join a live conversation from wherever you are in the world. Doors open at 7:55am for a welcome and briefing. Come early to get settled, meet the team and chat to other members. ThinkIn starts at 8.00am.Members can enter their unique members’ access code to book tickets. Find yours in My Tortoise > My Membership in the Tortoise app.If you have any questions or get stuck, please read our FAQs, or get in touch with us at memberhelp@tortoisemedia.com What is a Tortoise ThinkIn?A ThinkIn is not another panel discussion. It is a forum for civilised disagreement. It is a place where everyone has a seat at the (virtual) table. It’s where we get to hear what you think, drawn from your experience, energy and expertise. It is the heart of what we do at Tortoise.How we work with partners We want to be open about the business model of our journalism, too. At Tortoise, we don’t take ads. We don’t want to chase eyeballs or sell data. We don’t want to add to the clutter of life with ever more invasive ads. We think that ads force newsrooms to produce more and more stories, more and more quickly. We want to do less, better.Our journalism is funded by our members and our partners. We are establishing Founding Partnerships with a small group of businesses willing to back a new form of journalism, enable the public debate, share their expertise and communicate their point of view. Those companies, of course, know that we are a journalistic enterprise. Our independence is non-negotiable. If we ever have to choose between the relationship and the story, we’ll always choose the story.We value the support that those partners give us to deliver original reporting, patient investigations and considered analysis.We believe in opening up journalism so we can examine issues and develop ideas for the 21st Century. We want to do this with our members and with our partners. We want to give everyone a seat at the table.

thinkin

Tortoise ThinkIn with Cash Carraway: the truth about austerity today

A writer with first hand experience talks about life in the gutter of austerity Our daily digital ThinkIns are exclusively for Tortoise members and their guests.Try Tortoise free for four weeks to unlock your complimentary tickets to all our digital ThinkIns.If you’re already a member and looking for your ThinkIn access code you can find it in the My Tortoise > My Membership section of the app next to ‘ThinkIn access code’.We’d love you to join us.In her extraordinary first book, Skint Estate, Cash Carraway details the day-to-day realities of living in poverty in the UK between 2010-2019. Bringing poetry and humour to the starkest of circumstances – staying in a women’s refuge whilst pregnant, working in peepshows, visiting food banks and suffering domestic violence – Cash’s heart-wrenching account is moving and inspiring in equal parts, told with dark wit and resilience. Cash takes us from council house childhood to single motherhood, working multiple jobs yet relying on food banks and temporary accommodation, finding lifelines in her love for her daughter, community and friendships. Skint Estate is a call-to-action, shedding light on what life is like for millions of people living in poverty in the UK today.Chair: Liz Moseley, Editor and Partner, Tortoise Buy the book here Our special guest is: Cash Carraway, an award-winning playwright, author and screenwriter from London. How does a digital ThinkIn work?A digital ThinkIn is like a video conference, hosted by a Tortoise editor, that takes place at the advertised time of the event. Digital ThinkIns are new to Tortoise. Now that our newsroom has closed due to the coronavirus outbreak, we feel it’s more important than ever that we ‘get together’ to talk about the world and what’s going on.The link to join the conversation will be emailed to you after you have registered for your ticket to attend. When you click the link, you enter the digital ThinkIn and can join a live conversation from wherever you are in the world. Members can enter their unique members’ access code to book tickets. Find yours in My Tortoise > My Membership in the Tortoise app.If you have any questions or get stuck, please read our FAQs, or get in touch with us at memberhelp@tortoisemedia.comWhat is a Tortoise ThinkIn?A ThinkIn is not another panel discussion. It is a forum for civilised disagreement. It is a place where everyone has a seat at the (virtual) table. It’s where we get to hear what you think, drawn from your experience, energy and expertise. It is the heart of what we do at Tortoise.