“What would a Labour government do?” is the question that many business leaders are now asking, and which has led Arden to establish our dedicated Labour Directorate.  

For the first time since 2005 Labour may win a General Election. If they do, they will govern a country much changed since they were last in power and facing enormous economic challenges. It is essential that Labour and business continue to strengthen their relationships and their shared agendas. 

Arden is a non-partisan agency with a deep understanding of the Labour Party. Led by our founder Jim Murphy, the former Labour Cabinet Minister, Arden is one of only two UK agencies led by former Labour Cabinet Ministers. We provide unrivalled insight, strategy and thought leadership for both UK based and global corporate clients.  

Arden helps business understand Labour and Labour to understand business. Our Labour Directorate brings together a wealth of experience of former Labour politicians, Special Advisors in ten different departments and senior parliamentary staffers with real-life knowledge, insight and understanding of Labour.  

We support corporate clients with insights into Labour policies, priorities, and personalities. We also combine our proven expertise in corporate advisory work with our team’s combined understanding of how Labour operates and thinks. 

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Arden’s Labour Directorate Team

The Rt Hon. Jim Murphy
The Rt Hon. Jim MurphyManaging Director
Jim is Arden’s founder and Managing Director as well as one of the UK’s most experienced government Ministers. He was a Labour MP for almost two decades and has held multiple ministerial portfolios including as a cabinet minister.

He was leader of the Scottish Labour Party and was a senior member of Labour’s election winning teams. His roles included Minister for Technology and Public Service Reform at the Cabinet Office, Minister for Employment and Welfare Reform, Minister for Europe, Russia and Public Diplomacy as well as Secretary of State for Scotland. In opposition, he served as Shadow Secretary of State for Scotland, for Defence, for International Development.

Jim is also a member of His Majesty’s Privy Council.

Anna Turley
Anna TurleyAssociate Director
Anna is a highly experienced senior executive with a distinguished record of achievement as a Member of Parliament, a fast stream civil servant, government advisor and pioneering leader across local government, think tanks and Whitehall. Anna spearheads high impact projects and campaigns to bring people together, build communities and support inspiring business leaders.

Anna’s experience includes serving as the Member of Parliament for Redcar, a Shadow Minister as well as a member of two Select Committees including the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee.

Kieran Simpson
Kieran SimpsonAssociate Director
Kieran worked for Labour’s economic team helping Gordon Brown to develop the Party’s reputation for economic and financial competence and rigour. He has also served as a Special Adviser in three government departments and has extensive knowledge of Whitehall’s interactions with business and trade bodies.

Away from politics Kieran has built a career as a leading communications and strategic adviser helping clients build their corporate reputations, sectoral influence and transformative responsibility programmes. His knowledge extends across a range of sectors including the food & drink, agriculture, energy and health.

Alec James
Alec JamesAccount Manager
Alec has worked with and for some of the most senior figures in the Labour Party including the then Deputy Leader, Tom Watson. He also worked at the heart of Labour’s HQ in the General Secretary’s office giving him a ring-side seat on all major developments in Labour politics in recent years.

While working at Labour HQ Alec was responsible for stakeholder engagement and policy development. Alec has policy expertise in energy, finance and technology policy.

Ellie Miller
Ellie MillerDirector of External Affairs
Ellie is a new hire for Arden and arrives with more than fifteen years’ experience working in senior roles with Labour. Since Keir Starmer became Leader, she, more than any other senior staffer, has led the party’s engagement with corporate Britain. She is a well-known and highly respected adviser to business and senior executives.

As Head of Labour’s Business Relations team, Ellie has helped Keir Starmer rebuild connections with business after the failings of Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership. She has also worked as an advisor to a Labour Minister as well as the Deputy Speaker of the Commons. Ellie joined Arden from Make UK (one of the ‘Big 5’ business groups) where she was Head of Stakeholder Engagement.

Blair McDougall
Blair McDougallAssociate Director
Blair McDougall is regarded as one of Labour’s sharpest thinkers and strategists and has served as a Senior Special Adviser in five different UK government departments in the previous Labour governments. A former member of Labour’s National Executive Committee he was also an adviser to the Chair of the Labour Party.

Blair was also the Chief Executive of the winning anti-independence campaign in Scotland. He also spent a year working for Tony Blair’s Africa Governance Institute.

Blair provides highly valued senior counsel to Arden’s clients on their strategy and communications.

Shonagh Munro
Shonagh MunroAccount Manager
Shonagh is an experienced Labour adviser who is highly regarded by all who have worked with her. Across the past six years she has worked with Labour politicians in the House of Commons and the Scottish Parliament as well as working at the Tony Blair Institute.

Shonagh is networked across the Labour Party, particularly in Scotland where she led the office of Scottish Labour’s Deputy Leader. At Arden her policy specialisms include health, defence and technology.