Cameron appoints new business advice council

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The Independent Online

David Cameron will today announce the membership of a new business advisory group that is set to meet quarterly to provide what Downing Street will describe as "high-level advice on critical business and economic issues facing the country". Its membership is made up of 17 leading businessmen, and two women.

"The Deputy Prime Minister and I want to make sure the Government is getting really good high-level advice from some of Britain's leading businessmen and women," Mr Cameron said. "Having an advisory group with a range of experience and expertise should ensure that there is real interaction and discussion.

Nick Clegg, the Deputy Prime Minister and the Business Secretary Vince Cable will also take part in the meetings.

Among the members of the new committee is James Cameron, the vice-chairman of the Climate Change Capital group, the environmental investment manager and advisory group. He will be joined by Dick Olver, the chairman of defence group BAE Systems and a range of other senior business figures from companies including BT, GlaxoSmithKline, HSBC and WPP.

The panel will be made up of three bosses of foreign companies, including Eric Schmidt, the chief executive of Google. The two women on the committee are Angela Ahrendts, the chief executive of fashion group Burberry, and Helen Alexander, who heads Incisive Media and the Port of London Authority.

The appointments come less than a month before the Coalition Government introduces a range of public-sector spending cuts that some economists fear could tip the economy back into recession. "It is vital that we get these policies right as we take forward our plans to drive down the deficit and transform our economy," said Mr Cameron.