‘Welsh Labour Together’ online conference programme unveiled

Elliot Chappell

The Welsh Labour Party has unveiled a programme of events for its online conference ‘Welsh Labour Together’ that is being held between October 15th and 23rd as a replacement for the usual annual gathering.

The Labour conference in Wales was cancelled as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, but Welsh Labour has instead organised a package of panels, meetings and rallies for party members to attend remotely.

Labour members will be invited to hear from party leaders and activists from across the labour movement, and engage and discuss policy ideas ahead of the Senedd elections due to take place next year.

The party has published a timetable of events for members as well as a guide to the online conference, ahead of a launch event planned for Thursday evening with the leader of the Welsh Labour Party and First Minister.

Mark Drakeford will kick off the conference with a question and answer session at 6pm on Thursday, and he will be joined by former Labour Prime Minister Gordon Brown on Saturday to discuss their campaign to protect jobs.

Commenting ahead of the events, the Drakeford said: “I hope the next few days of events will give Welsh members an opportunity to catch up, listen to a wide range of speakers and feel energised about the future we are building together.”

He added: “We are holding this virtual event against the backdrop of the coronavirus pandemic. It continues to cause disruption to our daily lives and many families in Wales will have lost a loved one to this highly infectious virus…

“We want to act now to prevent long-term damage from the pandemic. We face many challenges ahead and the next few months will not be easy.

“The Tories’ failure to get a grip on the crisis highlights how much we need Labour in government in the UK. Keir Starmer and I are united in our commitment to save jobs and show there is a better way with Labour.”

Welsh Labour general secretary Louise Magee said: “Even in these most challenging of times, it is still hugely important for us to all come together to discuss, debate, share and learn, and prepare ourselves for the electoral challenges ahead.”

She added: “Welsh Labour stands on the cusp of an election that will define our party – and our country – for generations to come.”

A recent survey on the upcoming elections in May 2021 suggested a three-way fight for the Senedd between Labour, the Tories and Plaid Cymru. The Welsh Labour Party was shown to be polling last month at 34%.

Deputy Welsh Labour leader Carolyn Harris said: “I’m confident that with Mark’s leadership, and the recognition and understanding that Keir has already demonstrated of the importance of Wales and Welsh Labour, we will be able to preserve our election-winning tradition.”

The programme of events will begin on Thursday with a ‘Women in Politics Q&A’ at 1pm, followed by the launch event for the online conference later the same day with the First Minister. These opening sessions will be followed by:

Friday 16th October

  • 1pm: Spotlight on: Wales and the world
  • 6pm: Policy roundtable one: Environment
  • 7.30pm: Policy roundtable two: Education and lifelong learning

Saturday 17th October

  • 11am: ‘In conversation with’ former Mark Drakeford and Gordon Brown
  • 1pm: Training session: Campaigning to win
  • 3pm: Miliwn o siaradwyr Cymraeg erbyn 2050
  • 4.30pm: Young Labour: Turning ideas into action

Sunday 18th October

  • 11am: Policy roundtable three: Economy and transport
  • 1pm: Policy roundtable four: Welsh taxes, finance and EU transition
  • 3pm: Spotlight on: Welsh Labour working hard in local government

Monday 19th October

  • 11am: Spotlight on: Senedd 2021
  • 7pm: Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales fringe event
  • 7pm: Communities and local resilience | Building communities trust
  • 7pm: Leave no-one behind: Making change happen | Older people’s commissioner for Wales
  • 7pm: Work and employment in a post-Covid world | Unite Wales

Tuesday 20th October

  • 12.30pm: Lunchtime training: Dialogue
  • 6pm: TULO event: Why unions matter
  • 7.30pm: Lots done, lots more to do: Black, Asian and minority ethnic people leading our movement

Wednesday 21st October

  • 1pm: Spotlight on: Crime and community safety
  • 6pm: Policy roundtable five: Health and social services
  • 7.30pm: Policy roundtable six: Equalities, housing, Welsh language & local government

Thursday 22nd October

  • 6pm: Winning in 2021
  • 12.30pm: The future of social security in Wales | Citizens Advice Cymru
  • 12.30pm: Owning the future: A Co-operative agenda for Wales / How we shape the post-Covid Welsh economy in everyone’s interests
  • 12.30pm: GOOOOOOOAAAAAAALS! in sustainable development | Hub Cymru Africa
  • 12.30pm: ‘Back the bill’ – a right to housing for all | Tai Pawb, Shelter Cymru and CIH Cymru
  • 12.30pm: Youth unemployment: Tackling the coming crisis | Wales TUC

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