Labour unveils programme for online conference ‘Connected’

Sienna Rodgers

The Labour Party has unveiled a programme and timetable for its online event ‘Connected’ that is being held from September 19th to 22nd as a replacement for the usual annual conference.

The national executive committee (NEC) decided in May to cancel Labour’s September conference – due to take place in Liverpool this year – as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

The party announced last month that Connected would be organised instead. It will not allow party members to vote on policy, but will include speeches, training sessions and panel events.

Members can expect to hear from the new leadership team about how they plan to handle the challenges presented by the Covid crisis and beyond, and get a sense of the party’s direction.

LabourList understands that leader Keir Starmer, deputy leader Angela Rayner and Shadow Chancellor Anneliese Dodds will lead on the public-facing events and deliver keynote speeches.

And while Rayner and Dodds will be based in a studio at Labour HQ, the party has planned for Starmer to deliver his speech from a venue that will be attended by journalists non-virtually.

The timetable released online includes the events arranged so far by Labour, but it is expected that the party will add more events in the coming days and in the run-up to September 19th.

Connected will kick off on Saturday 19th September with ‘Women Connected’, a full day-long programme for women in the party, with deputy leader Rayner taking the lead that day.

Women and equalities frontbench spokesperson Marsha de Cordova and Starmer will first welcome members from 10am. This opening session will be followed by:

  • 10.15am-11am: Panel discussion on the Equal Pay Act 1970 and Equality Act (broadcast to the public)
  • 11.10am-12.10pm: Training on childcare sector challenges, including panel discussion and Q&A
  • 12pm-12.50pm: Policy panel on local campaigns (interactive workshop with limited capacity)
  • 12.40pm-1.40pm: Training on women and the economy, including panel discussion and Q&A
  • 12.40pm-1.40pm: Policy panel on women’s engagement
  • 3pm-4pm: Training on Equality Act
  • 3pm-4pm: Policy panel on women in trade unions, including Q&A
  • 4.10pm-5.10pm: Panel discussion on Black Lives Matter, including Q&A
  • 5.30pm-6.30pm: Rally on the impact of Covid-19
  • 6.15pm-7.30pm: Panel discussion on women’s response to Covid-19, including Q&A

On Sunday 20th September at 10am, Labour’s national executive committee (NEC) chair Andi Fox will offer the opening remarks alongside Starmer. The rest of the day’s events will be:

  • 10.15am-11am: Training to welcome new members of the party
  • 11am-11.30am: Speech by Angela Rayner (broadcast to the public)
  • 12pm-12.50pm: Training to be a party role-holder
  • 12pm-1pm: Rally on the road to May 2021 elections (broadcast to the public)
  • 1pm-1.50pm: Training on support available to members
  • 2pm-2.50pm: Training to support communities
  • 3pm-3.50pm: Training for key workers to become councillors
  • 4pm-4.50pm: Training on social media in local campaigns
  • 4pm-5pm: Policy panel on safer communities
  • 5pm-5.50pm: Training on being an equalities officer
  • 6pm-7pm: Policy panel on health and wellbeing
  • 6pm-7pm: Evening discussion on campaigning towards May 2021

On Monday 21st September, Labour’s new general secretary David Evans will open proceedings at 8.55am, followed by a coffee morning for new members until 10am. Other events include:

  • 11am-11.30am: Speech by Anneliese Dodds (broadcast to the public)
  • 11am-11.50pm: Training to be a Labour councillor
  • 12pm-12.50pm: Training on campaigning ahead of May 2021
  • 12pm-1pm: Policy panel on rebuilding communities
  • 1pm-1.50pm: Training on being a Labour council candidate
  • 1.30pm-2.30pm: Policy discussion on the future of work
  • 2pm-2.50pm: Training on understanding your local community
  • 3pm-3.50pm: Training on mobilising members
  • 3pm-4pm: Policy panel on the ‘Covid generation’
  • 4pm-4.50pm: Training on Labour campaigning
  • 5pm-5.50pm: Training on being an equalities officer
  • 5pm-6pm: Policy panel on green recovery
  • 6pm-6.50pm: Training for role-holders to meet up
  • 6.30pm-7.30pm: Policy panel on economic justice
  • 7.30pm-8.30pm: Training to be a Labour councillor
  • 7.30pm-8.30pm: Rally on health and economic recovery (broadcast to the public)

The timetable for Tuesday 22nd September includes the big keynote speech by Starmer from 11am to 12pm, which will be broadcast to the public. Other events organised so far include:

  • 9am-9.50am: Training on print campaigns
  • 10am-10.15am: Opening remarks by Ian Murray, vice-chair of Labour’s NEC
  • 10am-10.50am: Training on building a campaign team
  • 12pm-12.50pm: Training on campaigning ahead of May 2021
  • 12pm-1pm: Policy panel on foreign policy
  • 1pm-1.50pm: Training on understanding your local community
  • 1.30pm-3pm: Policy panel on 21st-century town hall (roundtable)
  • 2pm-2.50pm: Training to be a party role-holder
  • 3pm-3.50pm: Training on mobilising members
  • 4pm-4.50pm: Training on campaigning ahead of May 2021 (workshop)
  • 4.15pm-5pm: Panel discussion with policy dragon’s den
  • 5pm: Closing remarks from David Evans

Party members can sign up to Connected via the Labour Party website.

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