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Labour Blog

Inaugural Connolly Café at Labour Party Conference huge success

Posted on March 06, 2015 at 03:22 PM

Connolly Cafe

Heretofore fringe events at the Labour Party Conference have concentrated on Party sections delivering workshops with panels of guest speakers on topics associated with their area of work or party staff delivering training. While these will continue to be the backbone of conference between plenary sessions, this year the Connolly Café was launched.

[ Listen to the Connolly Cafe on Audioboom. ]

Taking place on the Friday night, an impressive panel was moderated by Irish Times political journalist Fiach Kelly, our nighthawks version of a late night panel discussion began on the topic of ‘how social democrats deal with populism’.

The guests included Minister Brendan Howlin, Mona Sahlin, former deputy Prime Minister and former leader of the Social Democratic Party of Sweden. Mona currently holds the position as The National Coordinator to safeguard democracy against violent extremism.

Patrick Diamond is lecturer in Public Policy at Queen Mary, University of London, Gwilym Gibbon fellow at Nuffield College, Oxford, and a visiting fellow in the Department of Politics at the University of Oxford. He is no stranger to being involved with the Irish Labour Party through his role as vice-chair of Policy Network. He is the former head of policy planning in 10 Downing Street and senior policy adviser to the prime minister. Patrick has spent ten years as a special adviser in various roles at the heart of British government, including 10 Downing Street, the Cabinet Office, the Northern Ireland Office.

They were also joined by Roger Sahota, a Labour Party councillor on Haringey Council London and a human rights lawyer.

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