2020 vision: Friends of Pagefield predict the year ahead

Monday 23rd December

Even Her Majesty the Queen described 2019 as a “bumpy year”. With so much political drama both at home and abroad over the last twelve months, we asked six of the UK’s brightest political and business minds what they made of it all – and what we can expect next.

Here’s what they said.


Camilla Tominey, Associate Editor, The Telegraph

  • Describe 2019 in five words: Year of Brexit and Boris
  • New Year’s resolution: Say “no” a bit more
  • One to watch: The Duchess of Cambridge – 2020 is going to be the making of Kate
  • Wildcard prediction: Dina Asher-Smith will become the heroine of the Tokyo Olympics, Jeremy Corbyn will quit politics


Deborah Mattinson, Founder, BritainThinks

  • Describe 2019 in five words: Let’s get back to normal
  • New Year’s resolution: Trust the evidence and my own instincts more (spot on in 2019 after being confounded in 2017)
  • One to watch: Rishi Sunak
  • Wildcard prediction: A Downing Street wedding!


Philip Collins, Columnist, The Times

  • Describe 2019 in five words: We didn’t get Brexit done
  • New Year’s resolution: To watch more television
  • One to watch: Would I Lie To You?
  • Wildcard prediction: Mark Francois explodes


Caroline Wheeler, Deputy Political Editor, The Sunday Times

  • Describe 2019 in five words: “Get Brexit done” and “Corbyn gone”
  • New Year’s resolution: After Boris Johnson ended up in in power with a thumping majority my New Year’s resolution is to give up making predictions
  • One to watch: How about three to watch? With a new Labour leader in position, likely to be Rebecca Long-Bailey or Keir Starmer, and an emboldened Johnson with no internal or external opposition, it’s certainly not going to be boring
  • Wildcard prediction: Brexit will finally happen on January 31 and then the optics of the game will change again. This was the Brexit election, the next one will deliver the country’s verdict on how good or bad that has been for this country and that has the prospect of being a game changer if Labour can reinvent itself as a credible opposition. But that still remains a big if…


James Ashton, Business Writer and Pagefield Senior Advisor

  • Describe 2019 in five words: Disruptive, disingenuous, rebellious, historic, podcastastic
  • New Year’s resolution: Don’t worry about Brexit!
  • One to watch: Rishi Sunak; Jake Berry… how to pay for all those election promises and will the north get its reward for turning blue?
  • Wildcard prediction: A bridge between Scotland and Ireland wins approval


Asa Bennett, Brexit Commissioning Editor, The Telegraph

  • Describe 2019 in five words: A rip-roaring political roller-coaster ride
  • New Year’s resolution: To not take the Tory majority for granted and assume the political drama is over
  • One to watch: Michael Gove, Boris’ right-hand-man
  • Wildcard prediction: Rory Stewart beating the Tories’ Shaun Bailey in next May’s London Mayoralty race

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