U.K. Conservatives Tap Google CEO as Adviser

Eric Schmidt, the chairman and chief executive officer of search engine Google Inc., has been recruited to help Britain's main opposition political party going into next year's expected general election, the Conservative Party said Monday.

Party leader David Cameron said Schmidt will be the international business adviser to his new Economic Recovery Committee, which will meet every two weeks to discuss the economic crisis and policy responses.

Cameron has appointed other high-profile business leaders, as well, including Christopher Gent, the former chief executive of mobile phones operator Vodafone PLC.

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The committee will also include former civil servant Peter Middleton, who was in the Treasury in 1976 when Britain had to go hat in hand to the International Monetary Fund.

The external members of the committee — those who are outside the front-line of Conservative Party politics — will serve in their personal capacities, Cameron said.

"I think it is important to look beyond Whitehall and Westminster and try to draw together the top talent available to help us come up with the right policies and the right answers for Britain's difficulties," said Cameron.

The committee will also include Conservative Party spokespeople with economic responsibilities, such as former Treasury chief Kenneth Clarke.

Prime Minister Gordon Brown has to call a general election by June 2010 and if current opinion polls persist, then the Conservative Party could well return to power.