2017 Labour Conference

2017 Labour Conference & Women’s Conference Reports

Pavilion Labour sent its full delegation of 15 representatives to Labour Conference 2017, or #Lab17.   You can find their written reports by clicking the links below.  Where available, links to film of Pavilion Labour delegates speaking at #Lab17 and the verbal reports given to our November GC are also provided below.

First-up is the marvellous blog compiled for us during the week by first time delegate and experienced blogger Michael Brown, a member of Withdean Labour.  Michael describes  a conference where a united Labour Party – with passionate speakers, democratic debates and progressive policies – gave hope to our country, but none for Theresa May!  You can watch Michael reflecting on #Lab17 to the Pavilion Labour GC.

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Supporters of Jeremy Corbyn gained overwhelming majorities with the election at #Lab17 of Emina Ibrahim & Anna Dyer to Labour’s National Constitutional Committee (NCC), echoing the election of Seema Chandwani & Billy Hayes to the Constitutional Arrangements Committee (CAC).


Leonie Barua was another first time delegate at #Lab17.  As BAME Officer for Preston Park Labour and Policy Officer for the Brighton & Hove Black Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) Labour Forum, Leonie’s report includes some issues of particular relevance to people from BAME communities.  Given her background in teaching and race equality, she also focused on education.

Elaine Bewley is Pavilion Labour’s Women’s Officer and Chair of Hanover & Elm Grove Branch.  Elaine was our delegate to Labour Women’s Conference, and our Women’s Delegate to #Lab17, where she made a great intervention on the issue of disabled access.  Elaine’s report primarily covers her experiences at Women’s Conference.

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Labour Women’s Conference on Saturday 23 September was packed, passionate and inspired


Jane Clarke looks after Preston Park Labour’s social media.  She worked for 25 years in TV production and press work, including seven years at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.  She now writes full time and her novels are published under the name Jane Lythell.  You can read Jane’s report and watch Jane reporting in person on #Lab17 to the Pavilion Labour GC.

Amanda Evans is Treasurer of Pavilion Labour and SPNL Labour.  She was a first time delegate at Labour Conference but that didn’t stop her asking some serious questions at #Lab17 of national Party Treasurer, Diana Holland, and winning an important future concession for our CLP.  Amanda’s report reflects on her experiences.

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Sussex Defend the NHS welcomed Labour Conference 2017 to Brighton on Sunday 24 September


Freddie Evans is a young member in Hanover & Elm Grove Branch and was our Youth delegate to #Lab17.  But he had attended Labour Conference before and, as Freddie reports, he noticed a very different conference with delegates and members fired-up and invigorated.  That requires a return to a longer conference, which the Labour Party can now afford.

Juliet McCaffery has been a Labour Party member for 40 years and was a Labour Councillor for Preston Park from 1996-2011.  She is now Chair of Withdean Labour and stood as a Labour council candidate in Withdean in 2015, substantially increasing the Labour vote and defeating the Green Councillor elected in 2011.  Withdean like all wards, needs the full support of the Labour Party.  Juliet had questions for Iain McNicol, Labour’s General Secretary, but was frustrated by CAC’s timetable for #Lab17 as she reports.

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John McDonnell MP at Concerts For Corbyn at Concorde 2 on Sunday 24 September 2017


Pam Page is a member of Hanover & Elm Grove Branch.  Pam’s report reflects how the many members at #Lab17 felt empowered by Labour’s truly participatory conference, with impressive speakers and knowledgeable, passionate delegates.

Sarah Pickett is Chair of Hollingdean & Stanmer Labour and was another first time delegate at Women’s Conference and Labour Conference.  Sarah’s report covers both conferences and also from Labour’s fringe event for Autism and Neurodiversity, where the Party’s new manifesto was launched.


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Claire Wadey (middle) sharing a joke at one of the Labour Conference fringe events with Seema Chanwani (newly elected onto Labour’s CAC), Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell MP, Laura Pidcock MP and PCS General Secretary Mark Serwotka.


Claire Wadey is Secretary of Pavilion Labour and Withdean Labour, and Chair of Pavilion Labour’s Disability Forum.  2017 was her fourth time as a delegate to Labour Conference.  Claire’s report highlights a severe lack of access to Women’s Conference for neurodiverse people and reports on the progress of Pavilion Labour’s rule change, which you can watch Claire proposing at #Lab17, and our emergency motion, which you can watch Claire advocating to #Lab17.   Claire’s comments to the GC about unanswered questions on our card votes can also be watched.  Like Freddie, Claire concludes that Labour Conference must return to being a week long event.  She also emphasises that delegates must receive conference reports more than a week in advance.

Tim Wilkinson is Campaigns Co-ordinator for Regency Labour and was another first time delegate at Labour Conference 2017.  Tim’s report focuses on the constitutional amendment which Pavilion Labour had submitted to #Lab17 and the pressure put on our delegates to remit this proposed rule change to the Labour Party Democracy Review, rather than push for a vote at Conference.  Tim explains what happened.

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Tim Wilkinson lobbying for support for Pavilion Labour’s rule change at Labour Conference 2017

All Pavilion Labour’s Conference delegates, including Eamonn Custance, Nadia Edmond (Preston Park Labour), Aidan Pettitt (Preston Park Labour) and Glory Rigueros (HEG Branch) will be happy to report direct to Branch meetings and to the November GC meeting.

Pavilion Labour’s IT Manager, Chris Webb, has also produced a Digital report from #Lab17, so branches can be prepared for the new software coming our way.  Last, but by no means least, Pavilion Labour Executive member Anne Thompson has kindly shared her short report on The World Transformed 2017.

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Packed Labour Conference 2017 closed on Wednesday 27 September with a standing ovation for Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn