Persimmon chief gets PM’s ear

Persimmon chief executive Jeff Fairburn has emerged as the construction industry’s most influential lobbyist after being given a place on the prime minister’s business advisory group.

Mr Fairburn is one of 19 captains of industry that will get to sit down with prime minister David Cameron, chancellor George Osborne and business secretary Sajid Javid four times a year and provide advice on business and economic issues facing the UK.

The group will provide a forum to debate the concerns and priorities facing the economy in general, and strategically important sectors in particular. Members are expected to give their personal views rather than echo a corporate line and they will not be remunerated for their services. They will be invited to contribute suggestions for the agenda for each meeting.

Jeff Fairburn, aged 48, has worked in construction since he was 17 and has been with Persimmon, a leading house-builder, since 1989.

Construction industry clients on the panel include the CEOs of Land Securities and Severn Trent, Robert Noel and Liv Garfield.