Labour Party Conference 2021: timetable, speakers, how to watch live on TV, and where is it being held?

Angela Rayner, Rachel Reeves and Sir Keir Starmer are among the speaker’s at Labour’s annual party conference

Labour’s annual conference kicked off in Brighton on Saturday (25 September) in what is regarded as a make-or-break moment for leader Sir Keir Starmer.

The event is the first Labour conference to be held in-person in two years and will see MPS, activists and trade union figures gather as Sir Keir prepares to stamp his authority on the party by changing leadership rules.

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Under the plans, the one member, one vote (OMOV) system would be replaced with a return to the electoral college made up of the unions and affiliate organisations, MPs and party members.

Sir Keir is understood to favour the three parts of the electoral college having an equal share of the vote, meaning Labour’s 400,000 members would have the same weighting of the vote as the party’s 199 MPs.

However, former leader Jeremy Corbyn and secretary of the Socialist Campaign Group of Labour MPs Richard Burgon said the change would be undemocratic.

Here’s everything you need to know about the party conference, including key timings and speakers.

What is the timetable and who is speaking?

Saturday

On Saturday (25 September), Labour Deputy Leader Angela Rayner opened the conference at 3pm by launching a Green Paper on employment rights.

Ms Raynor is called for improvements to wages, job security and rights at work, as well as the health of workers.

At 4.30pm, there was be a vote on general secretary David Evans’ appointment and from 5.30pm, Len McCluskey was in conversation with the Daily Mirror’s Kevin Maguire.

The former boss of Unite the union, who was a well-known supporter of Mr Corbyn, reflected on the Labour Party after stepping down as general secretary earlier this year and shared his thoughts on the party’s new leader.

At 6pm, Bernie Sanders was in conversation with John McDonnell at The World Transformed.

The former Shadow Chancellor spoke with the US Senator who ran twice to be the Democrats’ presidential candidate, but lost to Hilary Clinton and Joe Biden.

Sunday

At 12pm on Sunday (26 September), Shadow Culture Secretary Jo Stevens spoke about how culture defines Britain and how the party will tackle online harms in the age of social media.

From 12.30pm, Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham and political journalist Kevin Maguire from the Mirror were joined by Covid-19 survivors for the Mirror’s Real Britain fringe event.

The group discussed the handling of the pandemic by the Conservatives and the forthcoming public inquiry, due to start in spring.

Shadow Transport Secretary Jim McMahon spoke at 12.45pm about the failure to effectively handle the HGV driver shortage, which has led to petrol panic-buying, empty supermarket shelves and the threat of food shortages over the festive period.

At 4pm, former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn attended political festival The World Transformed, alongside Clive Lewis and Zarah Sultana to demand action on climate change.

A vote on the party’s action plan on anti-Semitism took place at 4.20pm after the Equality and Human Rights Commission found the party had harassed Jewish members, Sir Keir proscribed a number of groups and began expelling members.

At 5.45pm, Shadow Child Poverty Secretary Wes Streeting was joined by Mirror journalist Kevin Maguire to discuss how low income families are coping as the end to the £20 uplift to Universal Credit looms.

Monday

Shadow Business Secretary Ed Miliband spoke at 10.15am on Monday (27 September), offering his insights on Labour’s plan to get Britain to net zero carbon emissions.

This was followed by a speech from Shadow Trade Secretary Emily Thornberry at 11am.

The former rival of Sir Keir for the leadership will set out how the party would strike trade deals and build closer ties with Europe.

At 11.30am, Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary Jonathan Reynolds set out details on how Labour would replace Universal Credit post-pandemic.

Shadow Chancellor Rachel Reeves spoke at 12pm, setting out the party’s vision for the economy in what is expected to be one of the key speeches of the whole conference.

This is to be followed by a speech from Shadow Communities Secretary Steve Reed at 2.45pm, which will address Labour’s response to Michael Gove’s levelling up agenda and reveal plans to devolve power to local government.

Finally at 7.30pm, former Tory MP and Commons Speaker during the Brexit debate John Bercow, who is now a Labour Party member, will be in conversation with Jonathan Freedland.

Tuesday

At 10am, Shadow Education Secretary Kate Green will discuss the impact of lost learning on children during lockdown, with Shadow Child Poverty Secretary Wes Streeting also offering his insights.

Jeremy Corbyn will speak at The World Transformed festival at 1pm, discussing the Iraq War 20 years on from the conflict.

From 2.15pm, Shadow Home Secretary Nick Thomas Symonds will address the failures on policing and the immigration crisis by Priti Patel, and set out Labour’s approach to tackling crime.

Shadow Justice Secretary David Lammy will also discuss the record low rate of rape prosecutions, race inequality in the justice system and  human rights.

At 5.30pm, Liverpool Mayor Steve Rotheram will be in conversation with Daily Mirror Editor Alison Phillips, reflecting on Labour’s tumultuous history and how its city region mayors can help to rebuild the party.

Jeremy Corbyn will deliver the final speech of the day at the Rally for Socialism event at 7pm, demanding Sir Keir to back more socialist policies.

The event will feature several prominent left-wingers, including John McDonnell, Rebecca Long-Bailey and Clive Lewis.

Wednesday

Labour leader Sir Keir will deliver his first in-person address to the party at 12pm on Wednesday (29 September).

The party leader has released a document running to more than 11,500 words where he said the party cannot “wait around for the public to decide we are right” and must instead grasp the opportunities the current political atmosphere provides.

How can I watch it?

Much of the conference will not be televised, although some key moments will be shown on BBC News and Sky News, including Sir Keir Starmer’s speech on Wednesday.

You can watch clips via BBC iPlayer and on Sky News via its YouTube channel.

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