Theresa May has been warned of an "incomprehension" between UK business leaders and her government by one of her former top aides, it emerged on Wednesday 5 July.
John Godfrey, an ex-Legal & General executive who used to serve as the prime minister's director of policy, said representatives from the corporate world should meet with May on a quarterly basis in a bid to boost her knowledge of industry issues and their concerns over Brexit.
"There is a shortage of business experience at the heart of government, still sometimes a degree of mutual incomprehension," he told The Financial Times.
May disbanded the business advisory group, including Legal & General boss Nigel Wilson and Virgin Money chief executive Jayne-Anne Gadhia, in September last year.
The move came just two months after the former Home Secretary succeeded David Cameron as PM, with May and her then chiefs-of-staffs, Nicky Timothy and Fiona Hill, trying to rebrand the Conservative Party.
"It is not anti-business to suggest that big business needs to change," she said during her leadership campaign. May later proposed putting workers on company boards and introducing a cap on energy prices.
But her more interventionist approach to government took a critical blow at the election when the Conservatives lost their majority in the House of Commons. Timothy and Hill were forced to quit Number 10, with former housing minister Gavin Barwell, who lost his Croydon Central seat at the election, becoming May's new chief-of-staff.
The prime minister's precarious position will undoubtedly force her to consult more widely than ever before as the UK continues its two-year-long divorces talks with the EU. Godfrey's intervention comes ahead of a two-day-long event at Chevening, the government residence shared by Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, International Trade Secretary Liam Fox and Brexit Secretary David Davis.
Davis is expected to address the business leaders at the Kent mansion in an attempt to reassure them as the government seeks to split from the EU's single-market and customs union, in a move some have branded as a "hard Brexit".
"With negotiations underway, the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union is determined to bolster the Government's engagement with the business community on Brexit," a government source told IBTimes UK.
"That is why he recently announced an intention to coordinate activity with the Prime Minister, Chancellor and Business Secretary to ensure we tap into the wealth of specialist knowledge from businesses up and down the country."
Industries represented at the meeting will include financial services, manufacturing, science, retail, energy and transport, with discussions on a wide range of cross-sectoral topics as well as looking at sector specific issues.