Centre for Policy Studies launches 50th anniversary programme

  • Lord Frost to lead major policy project on mapping the UK’s problems and how to deal with them
  • Alex Morton returns as a Research Fellow focusing on the relationship between Britain’s institutions, the state and the market
  • Prof Niall Ferguson delivers Keith Joseph Memorial Lecture
  • Programme of reports and events to run through 2024


The Centre for Policy Studies, Britain’s leading centre-right think tank, is marking the 50th anniversary of its foundation by Sir Keith Joseph and Baroness Thatcher with a major programme of research and events, exploring the legacy of that great conservative revolution and its implications for the economic, social, governmental and cultural challenges affecting the UK today.

As part of the programme, Lord Frost – who will be working with the think tank as a Research Fellow – will be working on a major policy project intended to echo ‘Stepping Stones’, the seminal report prepared by John Hoskyns and Norman Strauss for Margaret Thatcher in 1977. This report, based in part on Hoskyns’ famous ‘wiring diagram’ from 1974, was the result of intense debate and discussion within the Centre for Policy Studies and its circle of policy thinkers. It systematically mapped out the problems facing Britain, set out how they were interconnected, and proposed an order of priorities and methodology to deal with them. Lord Frost, working with the CPS and other advisers, will prepare an updated version of these reports for the challenges facing Britain today, to be published in Spring 2024.

The CPS is also delighted to welcome back Alex Morton, who joins as a Research Fellow. Morton was previously Head of Policy at the CPS before moving to the Institute of Economic Affairs as Director of Strategy from 2022 to 2023. He has also worked in the No 10 Policy Unit under David Cameron and was responsible for policy in Kemi Badenoch’s Conservative leadership campaign. He will be examining the relationship between Britain’s institutions, the state and the market.

The anniversary will also include a series of publications and policy events, reflecting on the organisation’s history and impact as well looking to the future of conservatism and centre-right thought. The first event in the programme will be the 2023 Keith Joseph Memorial Lecture, delivered by Professor Niall Ferguson on November 29th.

Robert Colvile, CPS Director, said:

‘Margaret Thatcher once said that the Centre for Policy Studies was where her conservative revolution began. For 50 years, it has kept that flame alive. I am honoured to be able to celebrate this remarkable anniversary, and hugely excited about the work that lies ahead.’

Lord Frost said:

I am delighted to be working with the Centre for Policy Studies on a new version of the famous ‘Stepping Stones’ report. 

‘Just as in the 1970s, Britain faces a huge range of connected challenges, political and economic. There is no consensus on how to deal with them, even within the Conservative Party. It is therefore an urgent task to look beyond the day to day of politics and to set out a strategy for dealing with the problems the country faces. That is what I will be aiming to do and there could be no better people to work with than the think tank that helped prepare the original report in 1977.’

Alex Morton said:

‘The centre right urgently needs a policy agenda that links across culture and economics. The crucial role of institutions, once understood as vital, has been lacking in conservative thought for too long. To craft a successful approach requires a systemic and cross cutting approach, based on sound principles.

‘The Centre for Policy Studies grasps that to drive through change, you need analysis and a plan for reform across both the state and market. I am very excited to be returning to develop this thinking at such a crucial time.’



  • The Centre for Policy Studies is one of the oldest and most influential think tanks in Westminster. With a focus on taxation, economic growth, business, welfare, education, housing and green growth, its goal is to develop policies that widen enterprise, ownership and opportunity.
  • Founded in 1974 by Margaret Thatcher and Keith Joseph, the Centre for Policy Studies celebrates its 50th anniversary year in 2024. Stepping Stones, written by John Hoskyns and Norman Strauss, was published by the Centre for Policy Studies in 1977
  • The 2023 Keith Joseph Memorial Lecture will be delivered by Professor Niall Ferguson on Wednesday 29 November. To attend the lecture, please email [email protected]
  • For further information, please contact Emma Revell on 07931 698246 and [email protected] or Josh Coupland on [email protected] and 07912 485655.
  • David Frost, the Rt Hon Lord Frost of Allenton PC CMG, a former Cabinet Minister responsible for European affairs and the former Chief Negotiator and Europe adviser to Prime Minister Boris Johnson. 
  • ACOBA advice has been sought and received on Lord Frost’s role.
  • Alex Morton is a Research Fellow at the Centre for Policy Studies. Alex was previously Head of Policy at the CPS before moving to the Institute of Economic Affairs as Director of Strategy from 2022-2023. He was previously a Director at Field Consulting, responsible for housing and planning in the No 10 Policy Unit, and Head of Housing at Policy Exchange, as well as being responsible for policy on Kemi Badenoch MP’s 2022 leadership campaign.

Date Added: Friday 17th November 2023