On 27 February 2021 leading voices in the Labour movement met together online to discuss Labour’s approach to devolution within England. The videos below include key note speeches and panel discussions.
You can also read LabourList’s summary here, or read more about what the event set out to achieve here.
English devolution is “unfinished business” for Labour, said Rachel Reeves MP, opening our virtual conference. Rachel is Labour’s Shadow Minister for the Cabinet Office with responsibility for constitutional issues. This video includes an introduction to the conference by our director John Denham.
Our first panel from our conference was “English Devolution: What’s the problem we are trying to solve?”
Panellists: Jamie Driscoll, Metro Mayor for North Tyneside and Newcastle City Councillor. Tracy Brabin, MP for Batley and Spen and Labour Candidate for Mayor of West Yorkshire. Naushabah Khan, Labour Councillor for Gillingham South on Medway Council. Chair: Jack Dromey, MP for Birmingham Erdington.
Andy Burnham – Metro Mayor for Greater Manchester, former Health Secretary and former MP for Leigh – delivered a speech where he set out the ‘moral’ and ‘political’ case for English devolution, and stated that her felt the ‘evolution’ approach to devolution was more realistic than wholesale systemic change.
Our second panel was “Principles for Reform: What would success look like?”
Panellists: Nick Forbes, Leader of Newcastle City Council, Leader of LGA Labour Group and NEC Rep. Lisa Johnson, GMB National Director of External Relations. Sharon Taylor, Leader of Stevenage Council. Chair: Polly Billington, English Labour Network founding supporter, former special adviser to Ed Miliband and former parliamentary candidate.
Our final speaker was Mayor of London Sadiq Khan who set out his views on devolution within England. “Let’s ensure that under the next Labour government cities and regions across England are finally, finally, given the tools to allow us to unlock social and economic progress,” he said.