With conference season fast approaching Guido thought he’d try and get the LibDem gathering over and done with sooner rather than later. Whilst combing through their programme for this year’s motions, the timetable reveals the party is set to spend almost an hour debating the most LibDem policy of all – whether or not their party constitution is not inclusive enough of gender-neutral people. Ed Davey’s Clause 4 moment?
So far 17 LibDem members have signed up to back the motion called “Updating the Constitution’s Language on Equality and Inclusion”, which hopes to see the party agree to amend the constitution so the words “he or she” are scrapped throughout, in favour of “they”.
Throughout the Constitution:
- Where the words ‘he or she is’ occur, replace with ‘they are’.
- Where the words ‘his or her’ occur, replace with ‘their’.
The group of woke warriors behind the motion also call for the preamble of the constitution to be updated, by replacing the phrase “men and women” with “people”. It also calls for the list of marginalised groups to be widened to include “caste”, “class”, specifying gender as different to the already-included “sex” as well as replacing “colour” with “ethnicity”. LibDems gonna LibDem…
In 2009, then-party chairman Eric Pickles banned Tory conference-goers from drinking champagne, saying the party had to avoid offending voters with extravagant lifestyles. Times change, however, and this year’s conference attendees will now be able to enjoy a brand new champagne bar in the newly-refurbished Manchester Midland Hotel.
The iconic – and infamously expensive – venue has finished undergoing a £14 million renovation project during lockdown, now featuring a new restaurant as well as a £3 million facelift to the grand foyer.
The new champagne bar, overlooking the main reception, will also have a space to host live music. Jamie Njoku-Goodwin is itching to try it out…
Shadow Cabinet ministers are to attend a host of anti-Brexit events at Labour conference as the party continues to backslide on leaving the EU. Shadow Home Secretary Diane Abbott is due to speak on a panel organised by the Alliance of Free Movement group titled “Why Labour Must Support Free Movement”. Is Labour’s policy about to shift to backing free movement after Brexit?
Shadow Cabinet member Owen Smith is speaking at an event hosted by Sinn Fein titled “Standing Against Brexit”. We know Owen hates Brexit and wants to reverse the result, though this is pushing collective responsibility to its limits. Not sure what Irish republicans are doing at another party’s conference in Brighton.
Shadow Brexit Secretary Sir Keir Starmer will be at the “View From the EU” event hosted by Brexit-hating Eurocrat Glenis Willmott. He will be joined by European Commission vice-president Frans Timmermans and French ambassador Sylvie Bermann. Later on Sir Keir is joining ultra Remainers Hilary Benn and Chuka Umunna on a panel organised by the pro-EU think tank Centre for European Reform. Then to cap it all Gina Miller’s anti-Brexit group Best for Britain is turning up for an event called “No Brexit is Better Than a Bad Brexit”. Shadow Cabinet members will be openly discussing opposing Brexit and supporting free movement, is Labour now the pro-Remain party?
Tory members will vent their election campaign frustrations at senior party officials during a post-mortem scheduled for the first hours of conference. The agenda for the meeting of the National Conservative Convention, the most senior body in the voluntary party, centres on the “General Election Review”, which insiders say will deliver a heated and withering verdict to party chairman Patrick McLoughlin and CCHQ colleagues. An email to party activists said:
“The Convention will receive a presentation from the Rt Hon Sir Eric Pickles on the feedback gathered from Party Members over the three months since the General Election in June.”
A Tory source who contributed to the feedback said: “I don’t know of anyone who wrote anything positive”. The NCC, slated for Sunday 1 October, is usually attended by the party leader and chairman. It consists of association chairs, local officers and youth and women’s representatives. Worth reading Mark Wallace today for a taste of what they can expect to hear. Winning Prime Ministers have previously attended post-election reviews, will Theresa May?
Labour MPs are shunning their party’s conference in Liverpool this weekend after deciding there is not much point in being there. Guido has spoken to some Labour MPs who aren’t even bothering to make the trip at all, and several more who only plan to show their face for a day. It is a four day event – five if you include Jezza’s victory celebrations – and unsurprisingly they don’t want to spend that long with a bunch of nutters who want to deselect them. Fringe event organisers have been ringing round MPs’ offices asking for speakers, but are being told MPs are not available. Can you blame them?
Crunch talks to solve Labour’s conference security crisis have broken down, leaving the party with six weeks to sort it out or risk the whole thing being cancelled. The Guardian reports talks between GMB and union-busting firm Showsec ended in impasse, the GMB have gone straight to Labour’s NEC with demands to block Showsec and talk to other security providers (including G4S, who Labour are boycotting).
“There is no right to representation, no right to collective bargaining, no right to negotiate pay, anything at all like that. There has not been any real relationship at all, and they don’t recognise any other trade union.”
Labour’s conference is just six weeks away on 25 September, it risks cancellation if they don’t find a provider in time. Momentum are holding a rival conference next door, they could always enlist their support to keep order…