Labour Party Conference 2013: The Week’s Events

The Labour Party Conference was an overwhelming success for Brighton & Hove this year.

Hundreds of political discussions took place at the Brighton Centre and surrounding hotels, pubs and restaurants.

Stephen Twigg, Angela Eagle and Harriet Harman all spoke on Sunday, highlighting the “economic mess” the nation has faced at the hands of the Conservative Party over the past three years.

Childcare and economic growth were prominent agenda topics on the Brighton Centre’s main hall stage.

The conference closed with a rousing, unscripted speech from Ed Miliband: his policy proposals to freeze or reduce energy prices in 2015 were welcomed by party members and the public alike.

Ed Miliband speaking at the Labour Party Conference in Brighton.

Ed Miliband speaking at the Labour Party Conference in Brighton.

The Labour Party also hosted a Youth Day at The Hilton Hotel, which aimed to unite young Labour members and professional panellists to debate unemployment, apprenticeships and the future of the relationship between Unions and the Labour Party.

Left-wing political commentator, Owen Jones said: “I want to see a cemented political movement [Labour Party]: not a vacuous one”.

Shami Chakrabarti, director of human rights charity Liberty, also raised concerns on EU policy, saying: “I don’t just want an EU which can protect capital, but can also protect human rights too”.

One young person at the event, Michael Taylor, said: “For a young person interested in politics, a party conference is like going to Disneyland”.

Shami Chakrabarti discussed human rights in relation to the EU.

Shami Chakrabarti discussed human rights in relation to the EU.

There was also a New Statesman hosted fringe meeting with Chuka Umunna at The Thistle Hotel on Sunday.

He took questions from members of the public concerned about employment, the tax system and the Labour Party’s image.

The Shadow Business Secretary said: “There has been a growth in high paid jobs and a growth in low paid jobs. This has caused a hollowing out of the middle.”

He blames this on a weak private sector, which does not provide enough medium-income jobs.

Umunna also wants young voters to remember at the next election that: “We are not the ones who crashed the car. We are the ones who doubled A to C GCSE grades”.

At one point, his rhetoric sounded extremely like Obama circa 2008, when he said: “We will deliver change to the country that is so desperately needed”.

Various political commentators have predicted him to be the next Labour Party leader.

The large group of journalists perched on windowsills and bystanders crowding around the Tennyson Room doorway reflected general intrigue.

Journalists and public alike were interested to hear his opinion on tax system and economy.

Journalists and the public alike were eager to hear his opinion on Britain’s tax system and economy.

Later that day, there was an informal cross-party discussion at Horatio’s on the Palace Pier.

The multi-partisan discussions hosted by the British Youth Council provide a more balanced, and potentially more progressive political discussion.

Parliamentary Under Secretary for Transport, Norman Baker announced his approval of the Government’s proposals to construct a high-speed rail line, reported to cost in excess of £50bn.

Tim Loughton and Tristram Hunt locked horns when debating the role of politicians as a representative in their constituencies.

Another controversial topic raised there was votes at 16-years-old. The BYC Chair on the panel vehemently approves allowing 16-year-olds a vote, but MPs were more sceptical.

By Ceirney Eddie

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