"A small but significant anniversary in modern Conservative politics is celebrated on Wednesday evening: Policy Exchange, the most influential thinktank in Britain and the policy seedbed of compassionate Conservatism, marks its 10th anniversary. No champagne will be consumed. Instead, Francis Maude, the Cabinet Office minister and one of the thinktank's founders, will make a speech recalling how, back in 2002, Policy Exchange, under the aegis of its first director, Nick Boles, was conceived to fill an intellectual void on the centre right.
"Probably more than any other organisation, the well-resourced brains trust has shaped Tory thinking – on elected police commissioners, Michael Gove's school reforms and the pupil premium. A small, influential pamphlet entitled Compassionate Conservatism, written by Jesse Norman and Janan Ganesh, tried to give the movement a philosophical base through the idea of a connected society. "Everyone in politics discussed the state and the market, but had neglected what lies in between – civil society and community," Ganesh recently said. "We thought the new battleground of politics would take place on that turf."
Watch our tenth birthday video below