Election special, with Mark Ridley - Ctrl Alt Lead podcast

What does Labour's majority mean for the tech sector?

Tom Allen
clock • 2 min read

After winning a massive majority, the Labour Party has the power to enact sweeping changes. But does it have the drive to do so?

Labour has returned to power after more than a decade in the political wilderness, campaigning on a ticket of grown-up politics and sensible spending. It might not be the most inspiring message, but after years of corruption, incompetence and scandal it's a welcome change.

But, the new government has a big task ahead of them. A sizeable majority will not instantly fix the crumbling NHS. Nor will it address the tech sector's massive skills shortage, our vulnerability to cyber attacks or our reliance on foreign firms in critical infrastructure.

Today, for a special bonus episode of Ctrl Alt Lead, I talked to Mark Ridley - a fractional CIO and technical co-founder of Reed.co.uk - about Labour's manifesto promises and what the tech sector can expect in the coming months.

An important point that came from the discussion was what Labour didn't talk about. There were minimal mentions of cybersecurity and little talk about SMEs, which make up 99.9% of British businesses. The manifesto acknowledges the importance of education, but we don't know how much focus - if any - will go to the tech sector.

More encouraging was the talk of regulation, which Mark pointed out needs to be rolled out and able to change much faster than it has in the past; Labour has proposed a Regulatory Innovation Office to tackle exactly that.

We also talked about the government's plans for the NHS, the possibility of mass open source adoption and our own personal hopes for the future. I'm in favour of tech sector investment at a similar (proportional) scale to the USA's CHIPS Act.

Enjoy this longer, bonus episode of Ctrl Alt Lead. Our next scheduled episode, due on 15th July, will be an interview with National Grid CIO Sarah Milton-Hunt, about how the UK's energy sector is getting ready for renewables.

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