Data analysis and artificial intelligence key industrial strategy missions for Labour

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The use of data would take a central role in a Labour government’s industrial strategy, according to shadow business secretary Jonathan Reynolds

A council would also be set up on a statutory footing to oversee the strategy and ensure it isn’t abandoned at a later date.

The opposition party said if it were to win the next general election, it would make “harnessing data for the public good” a key mission in its industrial strategy.

Reynolds announced Labour’s industrial strategy at the Labour Party conference in Liverpool. “It’s a real industrial strategy – with ambition and the means to achieve it,” he said.

A key part of this, according to Reynolds, is using data. “We will harness data for the public good, ensuring it isn’t just held by corporate gatekeepers, but used to benefit us all,” he said.

In a policy foreword, Reynolds stated: “We also know that economic strength needs partnership. State and market. Business and worker. Bringing together the everyday economy and the technological frontier to transform challenge into opportunities.”

Tweeting from the conference, Chi Onwurah, Labour member of parliament for Newcastle upon Tyne, and shadow minister for science, research and innovation, said a Labour government would “use new capabilities in data analysis and artificial intelligence [AI] to deliver better public services and improve people’s quality of life”.

She added: “We will stand up for the democratic, privacy and security rights of UK citizens.”

Labour plans to ensure its industrial strategy does not get cut later – the fate of recent Conservative industrial strategies – by creating an industrial strategy council and putting it on a statutory footing, according to Reynolds, who added: “This would help end the farce of long-term plans that do not survive the political cycle.”

As well as increasing the use of data, the industrial strategy would attempt to deliver clean power by 2030, the social care of the future, and build a resilient economy.

The Conservative-led UK government scrapped its 2018 industrial strategy in March 2021.



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