Conservative leader David Cameron today announced the establishment of an economic recovery committee to devise policies to help Britain out of recession.
Meeting fortnightly, the committee will bring together senior Shadow Cabinet members with figures from the worlds of finance, industry and business.
Mr Cameron said that it would act as an "executive committee" rather than an advisory body for the party.
Among the figures who have agreed to serve on the committee are Google chairman Eric Schmidt, Sir Christopher Gent - the former chief executive of Vodafone, and the former permanent secretary to the Treasury Sir Peter Middleton, who was responsible in 1976 for drawing up the paperwork for Britain's bailout by the International Monetary Fund.
Speaking at a press conference in London, the Tory leader said: "These are clearly extraordinary times. They are very difficult times for the British economy.
"I think it is important to look beyond Whitehall and Westminster and try to draw together the top talent available to help us come up with the right policies and the right answers for Britain's difficulties."
Mr Cameron said that the committee will include shadow cabinet members with economic responsibilities, including shadow chancellor George Osborne, shadow business secretary Kenneth Clarke, shadow innovation secretary David Willetts and shadow work and pensions secretary Theresa May.
Other members from outside politics will include Next chief executive Simon Wolfson, former Lloyds chairman Sir Brian Pitman, Gordon Brown's former City envoy Sir James Sassoon and former corporate executive Baroness Noakes.
Tory aides said the committee's remit will be to review and analyse the economic situation, both domestically and internationally; to discuss immediate policy proposals to deal with the current crisis; and to co-ordinate strategy for the long term reconstruction of Britain's economy.