Online event ‘Connected’ set to replace Labour’s cancelled 2020 conference

Sienna Rodgers

Online autumn event ‘Connected’ is set to replace Labour’s 2020 conference after the annual event was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic, the party will reveal to members this evening.

Running from Saturday 19th to Tuesday 22nd September, the online programme of events will be open to all party members and free to attend. It will include interactive sessions, from policy discussions to training.

Just as conference usually features keynote speeches from the party’s top leadership figures, new Labour leader Keir Starmer, Shadow Chancellor Anneliese Dodds and deputy leader and party chair Angela Rayner will address its online replacement.

It is understood that while the members’ sessions are intended to be for party members only, the frontbencher speeches will be outward-facing.

Kicking off on Saturday with ‘Women Connected’, a full day-long programme for women in the party, LabourList understands that the online conference will then allow members to:

  • Take part in policy discussions with the shadow cabinet, trade unions, affiliates and think tanks
  • Take part in live training sessions
  • Engage with unions, charities, think tanks and businesses in an interactive exhibition area

A Labour spokesperson said: “We might not be able to get together in person this year but we’re organising an exciting programme of events to connect people and bring our movement together online.

“We’ll be looking ahead to life after Covid-19 and how we prepare for the biggest set of elections outside of a general election in 2021.”

Further details of ‘Connected’ – from timings and specific events planned to how party members will be using the technology required to host the online programme – will be revealed in due course by the Labour Party.

Below is the text of the email being sent to party members tonight from Labour’s new general secretary David Evans.

As the new general secretary, it is a huge disappointment for me that we cannot meet as normal at annual conference. But I know of countless inspiring stories of Labour members putting our values into practice, helping in communities and workplaces. Labour values are our communities’ values and a pandemic will not stop Labour members connecting, organising and paving the way for elections in 2021 and beyond.

Now, I want to invite you to Connected – our virtual event. It takes place from Saturday 19 September to Tuesday 22 September. It’s open to all members, free to attend, and it’s taking place entirely online.

From your home you can see inspiring speeches and take part in invaluable training, hear from key figures in our movement at panels and rallies, join in the debate at policy discussions and connect with a range of businesses, charities, think tanks and trade unions in our virtual expo.

Sign up now for Connected.

This event, just like our conference, is a great chance to engage with members of the party, councillors, politicians, trade unions, affiliates and the wider Labour movement.

The event begins with Women Connected, kick starting the timetable on 19 September. Then Connected, will bring our movement together from Sunday 20 September – Tuesday 22 September.

Both events are free when you sign up. Once you are registered, you’ll have the freedom to shape your own experience choosing which sessions to attend as the timetable is announced.

I can’t wait to log in and join you all at this virtual event.

Women Connected will be on Saturday 19 September. A full programme of speeches and events dedicated to women members will run throughout the day to kick start the Connected timetable.

From Sunday 20 September Connected will launch with an address from our party chair, Angela Rayner. The events will continue through to Tuesday 22 September with a packed timetable of training, keynote speeches, policy events, fringe meetings and virtual expo booths.

David Evans
General secretary, Labour Party

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