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.
A list of industry stakeholders involved can be found here.
Join engaged Parliamentarians and industry thought leaders interested in energising UK innovation. Those involved support and attend our events while contributing to the discussion to strengthen the UK’s digital economy. To learn more about the benefits of getting involved with PICTFOR, please click the link below.
Get involved in our events and discuss ideas to strengthen the UK’s digital economy. Benefits of getting involved include the following:
Play an important role in policymakers understanding of 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.
Play an active role: We facilitate a busy events programme of 1-2 events each month, providing plenty of opportunities to engage.
Meet fellow thought-leaders: Those involved 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, policy makers, and excellent universities.
Hear a wide range of views: We enjoy strong parliamentarian engagement which is constantly increasing; we have one of the highest numbers of parliamentarian officers of any APPG and 100 different parliamentarians attended at least one of our events in 2021.
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 and a high-level Annual Dinner.
Our Parliamentary Members
Dame Caroline Dinenage MP
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.
Alex Sobel MP
Anna McMorrin MP
Baroness Harding of Winscombe
Diana Mary “Dido” Harding, Baroness Harding is the chairwoman of NHS Improvement and former chief executive of the TalkTalk Group. On graduation she joined the management consultancy McKinsey & Company. In February 2017, Harding announced she would stand down after seven years as CEO of TalkTalk in May 2017, to focus more on her public service activities. In October 2017, she was appointed chair of NHS Improvement, which is responsible for overseeing all NHS hospitals, comprising foundation trusts and NHS trusts, as well as independent providers that provide NHS-funded care. In January 2018, Harding joined the main board of Jockey Club, which runs many of British horseracing’s most popular events, including the Grand National, the Cheltenham Festival and the Derby.
Bill Esterson 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.
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.
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).
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.
Flick Drummond MP
Jane Hunt MP
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.
Kevin Brennan MP
Lord Arbuthnot of Edrom
Lord Clement Jones CBE
Member (Liberal Democrat)
Member (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 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.
Lord Goddard of Stockport
Member (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.
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.
Lord Knight of Weymouth
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].
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.
Member (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 Wei of Shoreditch
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.
Owen Thompson MP
Member (Scottish National Party)
Sir Peter Bottomley MP
Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi MP
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.