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Tesco chairman John Allan to oversee Covid recovery commission

LaToya Harding
·2-min read
John Allan
John Allan

John Allan, the chairman of Tesco, is to oversee a new Covid-19 economic recovery commission, which will be endorsed by the Chancellor when it is launched on Friday.

The former CBI president will be tasked with generating policy ideas for resuscitating the UK economy after the pandemic, Sky News reported.

Rishi Sunak has agreed to endorse the Covid Recovery Commission, according to sources, however it will not have a formal government mandate.

Committee members will include business leaders such as Heathrow Airport boss John Holland-Kaye, Shell UK’s chair Sinead Lynch, Ruth Cairnie, chair of Babcock International, and Manjoi Badale, co-founder of technology investor Blenheim Chalcot.

Executives from pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca, telecommunications company Vodafone and landlord British Land will also be on board.

The panel is to develop “bold” policy ideas for boosting productivity, promoting innovation and encouraging business investment. 

Sky News reported that will include a focus on how the coronavirus pandemic has affected the “levelling up” agenda that was key to the Conservatives' campaign ahead of last December's general election.

Economic Intelligence newsletter SUBSCRIBER (article)
Economic Intelligence newsletter SUBSCRIBER (article)

The commission’s economic analysis will also be overseen by Matthew Oakley, a former Treasury adviser.

It comes amid fears that British economic recovery is falling behind its neighbours.

Economists have warned that the UK is facing the “worst of both worlds” in the biggest economic hit in Europe and a high death toll amid signals that activity is only picking up more slowly than on the continent.

Britons were spending the least time at workplaces and transport hubs in early June, according to movement data tracked in 12 major European economies by HSBC.

Economists at Barclays also warned the recovery was stuck in a “low gear”, with the bounce back in consumer spending slowing in the first half of June.