As an official All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) operating in the Houses of Parliament, we bring together Parliamentarians from all parties and both Houses with key players in the internet, communications and technology sectors to engage with the most pressing issues of today and tomorrow.
As evident in our name, we focus on three policy areas: internet, communications and technology. These inspired our logo with each of the three dots representing our related core themes.
Our legacy began over 30 years as the Parliamentary Information Technology Committee (PITCOM). We continue the tradition of innovation and inviting diverse stakeholders to join the conversation by hosting numerous high-level discussions to exchange ideas to strengthen the UK’s position as a leading digital economy.
Join engaged Parliamentarians and industry thought leaders interested in energising UK innovation. Members support and attend our events while contributing to the discussion to strengthen the UK’s digital economy. Companies and organisations are eligible for industry membership with fees based on organisational turnover. To learn more about the benefits of joining PICTFOR, please click the link below to go to our page on becoming a member.
Join PICTFOR to support our events which discuss ideas to strengthen the UK’s digital economy. Benefits of becoming a member include the following:
Play an important role in policymakers understanding the sector: In today’s dynamic environment, with the internet, tech and comms sectors’ exponential capacity to advance, it is essential for industry to share their vision with policymakers.
Gain access to events: We facilitate a busy events programme of 1-2 members-only events each month, providing plenty of opportunities to engage.
Set the agenda: Members play an essential role in selecting discussion topics, delivering events, providing relevant speakers, and sharing their perspectives.
Join fellow thought-leaders: Our industry members comprise a wide range of companies including some of the most well-known international tech companies, national media and communications organisations, some of the most rapidly growing innovative UK-based companies, accelerator and incubator programmes, significant membership organisations and excellent universities.
Broaden your networks: In addition to our substantial industry membership, we enjoy strong Parliamentarian engagement which is constantly increasing; we have one of the highest number of Parliamentarian officers of any APPG and 100 different Parliamentarians attended at least one of our events in 2017.
Diversify the ways you engage: Our annual programme consists of many different types of events across the year including panel events, roundtable discussions, Parliamentary briefings, a Summer Reception, CEO Forum roundtables reserved exclusively for corporate-level members and a high-level Annual Dinner (additional cost for attendees at the dinner).
Our Parliamentary Members
Vicky Ford MP
Vicky was elected as the Member of Parliament for Chelmsford in 2017. Vicky was elected a Member of the European Parliament in 2009 and before being elected to parliament was the lead Conservative MEP for the East of England. From 2014 to 2017 Vicky chaired the European Parliament Internal Market and Consumer Affairs Committee (IMCO), focusing on digital policy and unlocking trade opportunities for services and goods.
Darren Jones MP
Darren is the co-chair of PICTFOR, the Labour MP for Bristol North West and a member of the Science & Technology and European Scrutiny Select Committees.
Additionally, he is the chair of a global network of politicians engaged in the regulation of artificial intelligence, co-chairs a Parliamentary Commission on Technology Ethics and recently served on the bill committee for the Data Protection Act 2018.
A technology and telecoms lawyer by training, Darren was most recently legal counsel at BT Group specialising in consumer and data/privacy issues, including preparation for and implementation of the General Data Protection Regulation.
The Rt Hon Lord McNally
Treasurer (Liberal Democrat)
“As we move in to the age of artificial intelligence and the Fourth Industrial Revolution it is essential that we promote dialogue and understanding between those developing and using the new technologies and those in Government and Parliament responsible for their regulation and oversight. PICTFOR provides the ideal forum for such a fruitful exchange of ideas and opinions.”
Rt.Hon. Lord (Tom) McNally is Treasurer of PICTFOR. He is a former M.P. and has been in the Lords since 1995. He served as Deputy Leader of the Lords and Minister of State for Justice from 2010-13. He has also served on the Select Committee on Trade & Industry and been a Special Adviser in both the Foreign & Commonwealth Office and 10 Downing Street as well as acting as public affairs adviser to a wide range of companies and organisations in a fifty year career around Whitehall and Westminster.
Matt Warman MP
“Technology is a defining issue for our age, and PICTFOR plays a key role in informing policy makers.”
Matt Warman MP was first elected as the MP for Boston and Skegness in May 2015. Prior to entering Parliament, he was Technology Editor for the Telegraph, where he worked for over a decade. In January 2018, Matt was appointed PPS to the Rt Hon Karen Bradley MP, Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, having previously served as her PPS in the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport from June 2017. From 2015-2017 Matt was a member of the Science and Technology Select Committee, and Co-Chaired the APPG For Broadband and Digital Connectivity.
Baroness Neville-Rolfe DBE CMG
Baroness Neville-Rolfe DBE CMG is a former Minister, business woman and senior civil servant. Lucy’s main career was at Tesco from 1997 to 2013 and she served on the Main Board as an executive from 2006-2013, the year she joined the House of Lords. She was Minister for Intellectual Property from 2014-2016 during a period of major change. She was also the Lords Minister for BIS and DCMS. She represented the UK in Brussels and overseas on the Digital Single Market and other matters. From 2016-2017 she was a Minister of State in BEIS and then at the Treasury and in 2017 joined the House of Lords EU Committee. She is a former Non Executive director of ITV plc and PwC and served in the Prime Minister’s Policy Unit from 1994-6. Lucy is a Governor of the London Business School and an honorary fellow of Somerville College. She is married with 4 sons and likes the arts, cricket, racing and gardening.
Bim Afolami MP
Bim Afolami was elected to represent Hitchin & Harpenden in 2017. Prior to this he spent ten years in the City – first as a corporate lawyer at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and Simpson Thacher & Bartlett, then as a Senior Executive at HSBC. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and a member of the Ditchley Foundation.
Lord Harris of Haringey
“I have been a parliamentary officer of PICTFOR since 2005 because I believe that it is critically important for parliamentarians to have a better understanding of the ICT issues that face us. I have a particular interest in information security.”
Lord Toby Harris has been Chair of the National Trading Standards Board, which is responsible for delivering national and cross-boundary consumer protection enforcement activity, since May 2013. He is also the UK Coordinator of the Electrical Infrastructure Security Council and chairs the Independent Reference Group for the National Crime Agency. In 2016, he conducted an Independent Review for the Mayor of London on London’s Preparedness to Respond to a Major Terrorist Incident.
At the request of the Minister for Prisons, he led an Independent Review on the Deaths of Young People in Prison Custody. The report (“The Harris Review: Changing Prisons, Saving Lives”) that was published in July 2015 and is the most substantial review of penal policy for nearly thirty years. He was also Chair of the Independent Advisory Panel on Deaths in Custody that reports to the Ministry of Justice, the Home Office and the Department of Health from 2009 to 2015.
He was made a Life Peer in June 1998 and is Chair of the Labour Peers. In 2013, he chaired the House of Lords Committee on the Olympic and Paralympic Legacy. He has been a member of the Joint Committee on National Security from 2016 and previously from 2010 to 2014. He was also a member of the House of Lords Select Committee that reported on Personal Internet Security in 2007. He is Co-Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Policing and an Officer of the Parliamentary Internet and Communications Technology Forum.
Martyn Day MP
First elected to Parliament in 2015, Martyn Day was a Councillor on West Lothian Council for 16 years. He held the Senior Councillor portfolio of Development and Transport on the Council Executive, and was a representative on over 40 committees and outside bodies. He acted as the SNP spokesperson for Development and Transport on the Council, as well as being the group Whip. He has been an active campaigner on a number of local campaigns, assisting in every election since 1992.
Gillian Keegan MP
Lord Cromwell joined the House of Lords in April 2014. His background is in a combination of financial services, business start-up/turnround/development and not-for-profit activities around the world. In recent years he has become increasingly engaged with the ways that social media and fintech are transforming the transactional world. He chairs the All Party Group of Banking and Finance and is a member of the EU Select Committee and EU Justice Sub-Committee.
Carol Monaghan MP
Carol was born and brought up in Glasgow North West, graduating from Strathclyde University with a BSc (Hons) in Laser Physics and Optoelectronics in 1993. She trained as a teacher, gaining a PGCE in Physics and Mathematics. Carol has worked in many Glasgow schools, including 14 years at Hyndland Secondary, as Head of Physics and Head of Science. She spent two years as a Glasgow University lecturer training future teachers. An SQA consultant, Carol has been involved in developing physics qualifications at a national level. After being re-elected in 2017, Carol was appointed as the SNP Spokesperson on Education, Armed Forces and Veterans.
The Rt Hon Stephen Timms MP
“PICTFOR is the key parliamentary forum for debate on IT policy. I find its events indispensable for keeping up with developments in this area of policy, with so big an impact on the economy.”
Stephen Timms has been Labour Member of Parliament for East Ham since 1994. Before that, he worked in the IT industry for 16 years, and was Leader of Newham Council. He was a Minister for twelve years, from 1998 to 2010, including a period in the Cabinet as Chief Secretary to the Treasury. As Minister for e-commerce from 2002 to 2004, he oversaw the UK roll out of first generation broadband, and received the first ever official UK 3G mobile call. Returning to that role in 2009-10, he worked on the roll out of superfast broadband. He currently sits on the Select Committee on Exiting the European Union.
Anna McMorrin MP
Alex Sobel MP
Bob Blackman MP
“I studied maths and physics before working in information technology and telecoms, joining PICTFOR was a natural step upon being elected to the House of Commons.”
Bob Blackman was elected the London Assembly Member for Brent and Harrow in 2004 and was a member of Brent Council for nearly 24 years. During that time he led the Conservative Group for 20 years and the Council for 5 years. He was first elected MP in Harrow East in 2010 and was returned in the 2015 and 2017 elections. During his time as MP, Bob has been able to bring his extensive experience in Local Government to bear on many of the issues facing the Government today through his work on the Communities and Local Government Select Committee. Last year, Bob was drawn in the Private Member’s Bill ballot which gives backbench MPs a chance to put forward a piece of primary legislation. With the support of the national charity Crisis, Bob put forward a Homelessness Reduction Bill.
Bill Esterson MP
Chi Onwurah MP
“As an MP and chartered electrical engineer I believe technology and politics are the twin engines of progress. Politicians need to understand tech better, and tech needs to engage with politics so we can ensure that everyone benefits from innovation.”
Chi Onwurah is a British Member of Parliament representing Newcastle upon Tyne Central and is also Shadow Minister for Industrial Strategy Science & Innovation.
From Sept 2015-October 2016 Chi was Shadow Minister for Culture and the Digital Economy. From Jan 2013 – Sept 2015 Chi was Shadow Cabinet Office Minister leading on cyber security, social entrepreneurship, civil contingency, open government and transparency. From Oct 2010 – Jan 2013 Chi was Shadow Minister for Innovation, Science & Digital Infrastructure working closely with the Science and business community, with industry on Broadband issues, and on the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill. Chi continues to encourage women in STEM.
Prior to Chi’s election to Parliament in May 2010 she worked as Head of Telecom’s Technology at the UK regulator Ofcom focussing on the implications for competition and regulation of the services and technologies associated with Next Generation Networks.
Prior to Ofcom, Chi was a Partner in Hammatan Ventures, a US technology consultancy, developing the GSM markets in Nigeria and South Africa. Previously she was Director of Market Development with Teligent, a Global Wireless Local Loop operator and Director of Product Strategy at GTS. She has also worked for Cable & Wireless and Nortel as Engineer, Project and Product Manager in the UK and France
Chi is a Chartered Engineer with a BEng in Electrical Engineering from Imperial College London and an MBA from Manchester Business School. She was born in Wallsend and attended Kenton Comprehensive School in Newcastle, where she was elected the school’s ‘MP’ in mock elections aged 17.
Chi is Vice President of the Party of European Socialists (PES), and a Fellow of both the Institution of Engineering & Technology (FIET) and the City & Guilds of London Institute (FCGI).
James Heappey is the Member of Parliament for the Wells Constituency in South West England and was first elected in 2015. He has recently been appointed Parliamentary Private Secretary to Chris Grayling, the Secretary of State for Transport. James is the Chairman of the UK chapter of international climate change campaign group Globe and has also chaired cross party groups on Energy Storage, Renewable Energy Technology and the UK’s Events Industry. He is a vice-president of the Association for Decentralised Energy and sits on the advisory boards of the Energy & Climate Intelligence Unit and the Bright Blue think tank’s Green Conservatism project. He is also co-chairing a cross party enquiry into the future of the gas grid. James previously served on the Energy & Climate Change Select Committee in the House of Commons. He is a committed campaigner on the rural economy – particularly broadband and fair funding for schools and local authorities.
Daniel Zeichner MP
Daniel was first elected to Parliament as MP for Cambridge in May 2015. He served on the Opposition frontbench as Shadow Transport Minister from September 2015 – June 2017, and is now a member of the Transport Select Committee. Throughout his time in Parliament, he has been an executive member of Labour’s national environmental campaigning group, SERA. Daniel founded and chaired the All Party Parliamentary Group on Data Analytics, and is vice-chair of the All Party Parliamentary Groups for Life Sciences and for Medical Research amongst others.
Kevin Hollinrake MP
“Having spent over 25 years in business, I fully realise the potential for the internet and future technologies to vastly alter the way we live and work. Politicians must legislate to provide a balance between the benefits of technological advancements andprotections such as privacy and safety. Being a PICTFOR Officer helps to stay engaged with the technology sector and up-to-date with developments around the digital economy.”
Kevin represents the constituency where he was born and brought up and now lives with his wife and four children. He was elected to Parliament in May 2015 and holds the position of Parliamentary Private Secretary to DEFRA Secretary of State, Michael Gove. He serves on the Housing, Communities and Local Government Select Committee and is the co-Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Groups on Fair Business Banking and Poverty. Kevin has a business background. He was a founder partner and now Chairman of Hunters Estate Agents, which is now one of the largest independent networks of sales and letting agents in the UK. In 2008, he founded the market intelligence software application Vizzihome, which he later sold to Zoopla.com. Kevin is a strong advocate of the small business sector and of the North.
Lee Rowley MP
Lee Rowley has been the Member of Parliament for North East Derbyshire since 2017 and currently serves on the Public Accounts Committee in the Houses of Parliament.
Prior to entering Parliament, Lee spent fifteen years in the private sector in a range of sectors including IT, financial services, energy and transport. Immediately prior to his election, Lee was Head of Change at Co-op Insurance supporting a large IT and change transformation agenda. Previous professional experience includes change management and financial services roles at Santander, Barclays and KPMG, including managing large-scale implementation programmes and supporting the introduction of agile methodologies into a number of organisations.
Since joining the House of Commons, Lee has pursued a keen interest in big data, automation and artificial intelligence. He is particularly interested in the intersection of technological innovation with society and the labour market.
A graduate of Oxford and Manchester universities, Lee’s primary policy interests, along with AI, are economics, planning and financial services
John Lamont MP
“In this day and age, connectivity is quite simply a necessity for businesses and residents across the UK. Too many of my constituents in the Borders are paying for inferior broadband. PICTFOR plays an important role developing policy to change this by driving forward technological change.”
John Lamont is the MP for Berwickshire, Roxburgh & Selkirk, in the Scottish Borders. He is Vice Chair of the Scottish Affairs Committee and Chair of the APPG on Broadband and Digital Communication. The Scottish Borders has one of the worst broadband speeds in the whole of the UK and complaints about broadband are one of the most common issues to be raised with John by constituents.
John is a strong champion for connectivity in the Borders to ensure that businesses and residents get a decent broadband connection.
Prior to election in June 2017, John was a Member of the Scottish Parliament for just under ten years. When in the Scottish Parliament he took over the role of Justice Spokesman for the Scottish Conservatives and has sat on the Justice, Rural Affairs and Standards & Procedure Committees and was also Chief Whip for the Scottish Conservatives.
Officer (Liberal Democrat)
“Whatever sectors you work in, their future is going to be shaped by the remarkable pace of change in technology. That’s why as a policy maker, and an active participant, the work that PICTFOR is involved in is so important. It’s also why I’m a part of it.”
Robin chairs the House of Lords EU sub-committee on energy and environment. He is a Liberal Democrat and previously an MEP representing Cornwall and Plymouth. He specialises in energy and climate change issues. Prior to politics Robin worked in the freight and logistics sector, and latterly financial services. He is a board member of the Marine Management Organisation, and chairs two regional commercial development organisations in the south west.
Lord Goddard of Stockport
Officer (Liberal Democrat)
Lord Goddard was born in Stockport and has lived and worked there all his life. He was first elected to Stockport Council in 1990 with a majority of over 4,000 votes, a position he held for twenty-two consecutive years. In 2002 he became a full-time councillor and was given the responsibility for Regeneration Housing and Tourism. He then took the Transportation Portfolio before being elected Leader of Stockport Council in May 2007. He was raised to peerage in 2014. Lord Goddard is a member of the Secondary Legislation Committee and a member of a number of All Party Parliamentary groups, of which he is a vice chair of several.
Scott Mann MP
“I am a supporter of the PICTFOR group because I believe that Tech innovation can help solve some of the challenges faced by rural communities. I believe we can empower individuals and their lives through the use of new technology, my particular areas of interest are NHS reform, the social care sector, food security, connecting communities and using block chain for practical purposes”
Scott Mann is the Member of Parliament for North Cornwall, having been first elected in May 2015 and then re-elected in June 2017. Raised and educated in the town of Wadebridge, Scott worked as a postman for nearly 20 years and served as a District and then Cornwall Councillor for the seat of Wadebridge West for seven years. He has been very pro-active in campaigning for better broadband in North Cornwall where many of his constituents live in hard-to-reach rural areas. He has also taken a very active interest in Parliament on new digital technology and I has a particular passion for computer programming and coding. One of the areas he is most interested in is the use of digital to provide social care and NHS services from home. He believes that the job of Members Of Parliament is to build a grid for innovation, and he is open to working with anyone who wishes to push the boundaries of the possible.
Lord Mackenzie of Framwellgate OBE
“As a former senior police officer I am aware that modern technology is both a useful tool in the investigation of crime; and also a dangerous weapon in the hands of criminal or terrorists.
It is of critical importance therefore that law enforcement and policy-makers stay ahead of the curve. PICTFOR provides the perfect vehicle for parliamentarians to contribute and learn.”
Lord (Brian) Mackenzie was a chief superintendent in the Durham Constabulary and is a former president of the Police Superintendents’ Association of England and Wales, which post he held for three years. He was vice president for the previous two years. He was awarded the OBE in the 1998 New Years Honours for services to the Police Service and the Police Superintendents’ Association of England and Wales. He initiated campaigns successfully on issues such as the setting up of the national paedophile register, modification of the law on the ‘right to silence’ and the groundbreaking change in the ancient law on ‘double jeopardy’. Lord Mackenzie was a special advisor on policing issues to the then home secretary, Jack Straw, from 1998 to 2001. As well as being patron of several charities, Lord Mackenzie was appointed president of the Joint Security Industry Council (JSIC) from 2000 to 2005. He is also a former president of the Association of Police and Public Security Suppliers (APPSS) and former Vice President of the Defence Manufacturers Association [DMA].
Officer (Liberal Democrat)
In 1997, Lord Cotter was elected Member of Parliament for Weston-super-Mare. Throughout his time in Parliament he served as Small Business Spokesman for the Liberal Democrats. In April 2006, it was announced that Cotter would be created a life peer to join the Liberal Democrat ranks in the House of Lords, and on 30 May he was created Baron Cotter, of Congresbury in the County of Somerset. He delivered his maiden speech in the Lords on 29 June. He takes an interest in a number of areas, and on various issues as they arise. Specifically, before the coalition government was elected he led for the Liberal Democrats on Small Business issues and vocational education, specifically apprenticeships. Within the coalition he still concentrates on business and vocational training issues.
Lord Patel KT
Formerobstetrician, Patel received a knighthood in the 1997 Queen’s Birthday Honours, and was created a life peer on 1 March 1999, as Baron Patel, of Dunkeld in Perth and Kinross. He has served as Vice-President of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Maternity Services since 2002 and of the group on Infertility Services since 2003, as well as being Chairman of the Stem Cell Steering Committee since 2003. He has been a member of the Science and Technology committee since his elevation and is now its Chair. In 2006, Lord Patel was appointed Chancellor of the University of Dundee.