The Five Giants and the Ministers who Made a Difference

Hosted by LSE Festival: Beveridge 2.0

Sheikh Zayed Theatre, New Academic Building


Nicholas Timmins

Nicholas Timmins

Professor Sir Julian Le Grand

Professor Sir Julian Le Grand



Minouche Shafik

Minouche Shafik

Five tools and massive programmes were adopted to tackle Beveridge's "Five Giants": A policy of full employment; a National Health Service; a massively extended system of education; a new housing programme; and a much modernised system of social security. But in the 75 years since they took effect, who have been the "Five Giant" ministers in each of these areas? In this opening event of the LSE Festival: Beveridge 2.0, Nicholas Timmins and Professor Sir Julian Le Grand debate who, among the many hundreds of politicians who have held office, really made a difference between then and now.

Nicholas Timmins is the author of The Five Giants: A Biography of the Welfare State which tells its tale from Beveridge to the modern day, with a fully up-dated version published by William Collins in November 2017. He is a senior fellow at the Institute for Government and at the King's Fund, and has been a Visiting Professor in the Department of Social Policy at LSE and a Visiting Fellow at King's College, London, in Public Management. Before that he was a journalist, working for Nature, the Press Association, The TimesThe Independent (of which he was a founder member) and the Financial Times, where, between 1996 and 2012 he was Public Policy Editor and commentator. He is an Honorary Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and between 2008 and 2011 was President of the Social Policy Association.

Julian Le Grand held the Richard Titmuss Chair of Social Policy in the Department of Social Policy and is now Professor in the Marshall Institute.  From 2003 to 2005 he was seconded to No. 10 Downing Street as a Senior Policy Adviser to the Prime Minister.  He is the author, co-author or editor of over twenty books and has written more than one hundred articles and book chapters on economics, philosophy and public policy.  He has chaired several government commissions and working groups, including most recently the Mutuals Task Force for the Cabinet Office, and the Panels reviewing Doncaster's and Birmingham's Children's Services for the Department for Education.  He has acted as an adviser to the President of the European Commission, the World Bank, the World Health Organisation, and the OECD.  In 2015 he was awarded a knighthood for services to social sciences and public service.

Minouche Shafik is Director of LSE. Prior to this she was Deputy Governor of the Bank of England.

Twitter hashtags for this event: #LSEBeveridge #LSEFestival

This event is part of the LSE Festival: Beveridge 2.0 running from Monday 19 to Saturday 24 February 2018, with a series of events rethinking the welfare state for the 21st century and the global context.

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