Annual Alumni Lecture: John Longworth

“Globalisation, global debt, Brexit and beyond”


John Longworth cropped

Date: Thursday 23rd February 2017
Time: 18:00 - 20:00 (talk commences at 18:30)
Venue: Lecture Theatre 1, Chapman Building, University of Salford


About the lecture


The 2008 financial crisis plunged the global economy into turmoil from which it has never fully recovered, with the UK facing significant economic risk ever since.


In his lecture, John Longworth will explore some of those risks and discuss how this backdrop led to the Brexit referendum in June 2016 - which saw 17.4 million people voting for the UK to leave the European Union.

From his position as a leading expert in business and government, and a prominent figure in the leave campaign, John will discuss an extraordinarily tumultuous year in British politics and share his views and insight into what now needs to happen to ensure that the result of Brexit is a stronger British economy.

About John

Salford graduate John Longworth (BSc Environmental Health, 1980) is the former Director-General of the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) and one of the UKs leading business experts.


With 35 years’ experience in business and politics, John’s career has included Executive Directorships at major corporates, founding businesses of his own, leading major public bodies and business groups, and joining government bodies. He is a high-profile figure with vast media experience and regular appearances in the headlines.

During the EU referendum campaign, John resigned from his role as Director-General at the BCC, whose official position of neutrality had prevented him from sharing his own views on Brexit. He was subsequently invited to become the Chairman of the Vote Leave Business Council and is now Co-Chairman of Leave Means Leave – an influential campaign group formed to ensure that the UK’s exit from the EU is swift, clean and offers maximum benefit for the country.


John is also a Member of the Advisory Council at the Institute of Economic Affairs and a Non-Executive Director at the Vimto-making soft drinks company, Nichols plc. Previously, he has served as an Executive Director on the main boards at Asda, Tesco PLC., and Cooperative Group (cws) Ltd. More recently he spent almost five years as a Non-Executive Director on the Co-operative Food Board.

Internationally, John has been a board member at the American Chambers of Commerce, the World Chambers Federation and the UK India Business Council, and a panel member on the Competition Commission of South Africa.


His public roles have included Health and Safety Commissioner and Chairman of the HSE Audit Committee, Consultant to the Board at the Barts and the London Hospitals Trust, board member at the British Retail Consortium, economic spokesman for the Confederation of British Industry, Chairman of the CIES International Product Standards and Trade Body, and Trustee of the award winning social enterprise P3, who deliver alternative solutions to complex and chaotic people.


In addition to his undergraduate degree from the University of Salford, John holds a research MSc in Physics jointly awarded by Salford and UMIST, a PGCert in Microbiology from Manchester Metropolitan University, and Chartered Company Secretary, Law and Accountancy qualifications from the University of London. In 2013 John was awarded an Honorary PhD in Business by BPP University.

To Register

Places are limited, so please reserve your place by filling in the registration form below. 


If you have any queries please contact us at, or via 0161 295 3281.


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Event Selection
Alumnus and former Director-General of the British Chamber of Commerce joins us for our annual Alumni Lecture.
23 February 2017 at 18:00