University of Sussex Students' Newspaper

Labour Party Conference comes to Brighton

Freya Marshall Payne

ByFreya Marshall Payne

Oct 19, 2015

Thousands of Labour Party activists headed to Brighton’s Hilton Metropole for the party’s annual conference from 27 – 30 September.

The conference saw speeches from Labour MPs, including their newly elected leader Jeremy Corbyn.

Mr. Corbyn used his first leader’s speech to attack “right-wing” newspapers.

Since his election, the media have fixated on his reported relationship with Diane Abbott, as well as criticising him for failing to sing the national anthem at a remembrance event and not attending the Men’s Rugby World Cup.

“You might have noticed in some of the newspapers that they’ve taken a bit of an interest in me,” he joked.

“I haven’t read them all but some of the things I’ve read are this: According to one headline ‘Jeremy Corbyn welcomed the prospect of an asteroid wiping out humanity’.

“Now, asteroids are pretty controversial and it’s not the kind of policy I’d want this party to adopt without a full debate in conference, so can we have the debate later in the week?”

He addressed the Daily Express’s report on “the evil monster haunting Jeremy Corbyn’s past”.

“My great-great-great-grandfather, who I’ve never heard of before, was a very unpleasant sort of chap who apparently was involved in running a workhouse,” he said.

“I want to take this opportunity to apologise for not doing the decent thing and going back in time and having a chat with him about his appalling behaviour.”

Mr Corbyn used his speech to declare that he loves his country, and said that his values are shared by most people in Britain.

Over 2,200 people joined the Labour party as members in the 24 hours fol- lowing the speech.

Labour held a separate women’s conference on Saturday 26 September, before the start of the main event.

Yvette Cooper, the failed leadership candidate, warned that internet trolls who are posting sexist and abusive comments directed at women are putting off women from joining the Labour Party.

She said that the Opposition needed to do more to challenge online misogyny and argued that online harassment needed to be included in party rules on tackling bullying and sexism.

The former shadow home secretary warned that sexist abuse is ‘increasingly masquerading as political activism’, in- cluding in the general election, Scottish independence referendum and Labour leadership contest.

She outlines plans to create a Commission on Women and Technology.

She said that the party needed to prevent women from being “drowned out by vitriol and hate.”

Leadership contest runner-up Andy Burnham used his first speech as Shadow Home Secretary to open up a debate on immigration, in a speech that deviated from his leader’s pro-immigration stance.

He said that Free movement of people in the EU has made life more difficult for low paid workers in the UK.

Some see his speech as an attempt to win back Labour voters from UKIP.

UKIP said it was a “welcome recognition of the blindingly obvious.”

By Pete Humphreys

Freya Marshall Payne

By Freya Marshall Payne

Editor-in-Chief. Freya also works on a radio show for Platform B, "Off the Fence", and has freelanced for local newspapers. Freya was previously the Badger's News Editor, and while at sixth form college she founded a student newspaper, The Cymbal. Twitter:

Leave a Reply