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Lord Bates speaks to Suffolk business leaders

The Rt Hon. the Lord Bates spoke to Suffolk business leaders on 13 June at an Ipswich Suffolk Business Club event, replacing Esther McVey MP, who pulled out at the last-minute due to her Tory leadership bid. The event was supported by Milsoms Kesgrave Hall, Greene King and Genesis PR.

With excitement mounting over the first ballots in the leadership race which took place on the day of the lunch, the Ipswich Suffolk Business Club was delighted to have Lord Bates speaking at this popular event.

Mr Bates spoke about the Suffolk business community and how vital it is to the wider UK economy, saying: “Despite the leadership election and questions over Brexit, the job Suffolk businesses are doing, in terms of wealth creation, is phenomenal and as a result, this country has a bright future.”

Having recently resigned as Minister of the Department for International Development over Brexit and the ‘toxicity’ of parliament, Lord Bates continued, stating: “the crucial thing is that Brexit needs to be resolved. Once Brexit has been passed, businesses will be looking for a competitive economy and for corporation tax to decrease further, to have a competitive free trade liberal economy, and to invest in skills and infrastructure, which is a very important issue here in Ipswich and Suffolk.”

When asked who he would like to see run as Tory leader, Lord Bates answered: “divided parties don’t win elections and divided countries don’t win in the economic race – unity and common purpose are absolutely critical.

“We need an absolute leader who can make this country believe in itself and that is the most important test.”

Lord Bates also spoke passionately about the fundraising work he carries out with his wife, Xuelin Bates. The couple has walked over 8000 miles for charity, raising over £900,000 for a variety of causes, including Save the Children, Unicef and the China-UK Technical Education Scholarship Fund.

Luke Morris, Chairman of the Ipswich Suffolk Business Club, said: “Lord Bates stepping in to speak amidst Esther McVey’s Tory leadership bid was an exciting change and members commented on how engaging and interesting the talk was. The upcoming events we are hosting this year is a real testament to the club’s ability to attract speakers to Suffolk who is at the very top of our public, political and business life.”

Ipswich Suffolk Business Club membership is made up of local business owners, leaders and decision makers who share the Club’s vision in promoting business growth and accelerating Suffolk’s business reputation in the UK. 

The Club attracts high quality speakers, giving members the opportunity to hear from and question exceptional business entrepreneurs and political influencers. For information please see

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Toby Kramers

Committee Chair

Toby was brought up in Suffolk and, after a brief spell at University and working in London, returned to Ipswich to work in a legal practice in Ipswich in the 1990s where he has worked ever since as a solicitor specialising in Commercial Property.

Outside of work, Toby enjoys politics (he was Chairman of and remains involved in the South Suffolk Conservative Association), singing (he has performed with the Essex University Choir) and country sports. He is involved in a number of local charities.