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New Statesman at Party Conferences 2014

Highlights from fringe events at Labour party conference.

Xavier Rolet, Chief Executive, London Stock Exchange Group at the New Statesman Labour fringe event in partnership with ACCA ‘Does business care about politics?’ 2014
Left to right: Xavier Rolet, Chief Executive, London Stock Exchange Group; John Cridland CBE, Director-General, CBI; Sarah Hathaway, Head of ACCA UK; Jon Bernstein, Chairperson, Former Deputy Editor, New Statesman; Rt. Hon Margaret Hodge MP, Chair, Public Accounts Committee; John Longworth, Director General, British Chambers of Commerce at a New Statesman Labour fringe event in partnership with ACCA ‘Does business care about politics?’ 2014

Audience at New Statesman Labour fringe event in partnership with ACCA ‘Does business care about politics?’ 2014

 

Sarah Hathaway, Head of ACCA UK at New Statesman Labour fringe event in partnership with ACCA ‘Does business care about politics?’ 2014

Rt. Hon Margaret Hodge MP at New Statesman Labour fringe event in partnership with ACCA ‘Does business care about politics?’ 2014

Melanie Leech, Director General, Food and Drink Federation; Vicki Hird, Senior Campaigner, Land Use, Food and Water Security Programme, Friends of the Earth; Nick von Westenholz, Chief Executive, Crop Protection Association; Jon Bernstein, Chairperson, Former Deputy Editor of the New Statesman;  Huw Irranca-Davies MP, Shadow Minister for Food and Farming; Richard Reeves, Chairman of the Northwest Crop Board, NFU; at the New Statesman Labour fringe event in partnership with Crop Protection Association ‘Is food security in danger unless we change our attitudes to technology and innovation?’ 2014


Huw Irranca-Davies MP, Shadow Minister for Food and Farming at the New Statesman Labour fringe event in partnership with Crop Protection Association ‘Is food security in danger unless we change our attitudes to technology and innovation?’ 2014

Huw Irranca-Davies MP and Richard Reeves, Chairman of the Northwest Crop Board, NFU at the New Statesman Labour fringe event in partnership with Crop Protection Association ‘Is food security in danger unless we change our attitudes to technology and innovation?’ 2014

 

Melanie Leech, Director General, Food and Drink Federation; Vicki Hird, Senior Campaigner, Land Use, Food and Water Security Programme, Friends of the Earth; Nick von Westenholz, Chief Executive, Crop Protection Association; at the New Statesman Labour fringe event in partnership with Crop Protection Association ‘Is food security in danger unless we change our attitudes to technology and innovation?’ 2014.

 

Anthony Painter, Director of Institutional Reform, RSA; Stella Creasy MP for Walthamstow, Shadow Minister for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS); Anooush Chakelian, Acting Editor of the Staggers, Chair, New Statesman; Verity Harding, Public Policy Manager, Google UK; at the New Statesman Labour fringe event in partnership with Google ‘Can a progressive Britain be downloaded? What does tech offer social justice?’ 2014
 
New Statesman Labour fringe event in partnership with Google ‘Can a progressive Britain be downloaded? What does tech offer social justice?’ 2014

Stella Creasy MP for Walthamstow, Shadow Minister for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS); Anooush Chakelian, Acting Editor of the Staggers, Chair, New Statesman; at the New Statesman Labour fringe event in partnership with Google ‘Can a progressive Britain be downloaded? What does tech offer social justice?’ 2014

Audience at the New Statesman Labour fringe event in partnership with Google ‘Can a progressive Britain be downloaded? What does tech offer social justice?’ 2014

Anthony Painter, Director of Institutional Reform, RSA; Stella Creasy MP for Walthamstow, Shadow Minister for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS); Anoosh Chakelian, Acting Editor of the Staggers, Chair, New Statesman; Verity Harding, Public Policy Manager, Google UK; at the New Statesman Labour fringe event in partnership with Google ‘Can a progressive Britain be downloaded? What does tech offer social justice?’ 2014

Rt Hon Liam Byrne MP, Shadow Minister for Universities, Science and Skills, at the New Statesman Labour 2014 fringe event in partnership with FSB ‘Small business question time: small businesses as generators of growth and jobs’

Mike Cherry, National Policy Chairman, FSB, Jon Bernstein, Chair, New Statesman, Hon Liam Byrne MP, Shadow Minister for Universities, Science and Skills, at the New Statesman Labour 2014 fringe event in partnership with FSB ‘Small business question time: small businesses as generators of growth and jobs’

Mike Cherry, National Policy Chairman, FSB, at the New Statesman Labour 2014 fringe event in partnership with FSB ‘Small business question time: small businesses as generators of growth and jobs’

Mike Cherry, National Policy Chairman, FSB, Jon Bernstein, Chair, New Statesman, Hon Liam Byrne MP, Shadow Minister for Universities, Science and Skills, at the New Statesman Labour 2014 fringe event in partnership with FSB ‘Small business question time: small businesses as generators of growth and jobs’

Graeme Fisher, Head of Policy, FSB, Jon Bernstein, Chair, New Statesman, Hon Liam Byrne MP, Shadow Minister for Universities, Science and Skills, at the New Statesman Labour 2014 fringe event in partnership with FSB ‘Small business question time: small businesses as generators of growth and jobs’

 

Roberta Blackman-Woods MP, Shadow Minister in Communities and Local Government; Becky Slack, Chair, New Statesman; Mark Henderson, Chief Executive, Home Group; at the New Statesman Labour fringe event in partnership with Home Group ‘Regeneration, revenue and thinking: The future of housing’ 2014

Roberta Blackman-Woods MP, Shadow Minister in Communities and Local Government at the New Statesman Labour fringe event in partnership with Home Group ‘Regeneration, revenue and thinking: The future of housing’ 2014

Mark Henderson, Chief Executive, Home Group; at the New Statesman Labour fringe event in partnership with Home Group ‘Regeneration, revenue and thinking: The future of housing’ 2014 @MarkGHenderson @homegroup #rethinkinghousing

Hywel Jarman, Director of External Affairs, EEF; Lee Hopley, Chief Economist, EEF; Rocky Lorusso, Head of Government Affairs, EEF; at the New Statesman Labour fringe event 2014 in partnership with EEF A balanced recovery: Will Labour prioritise manufacturing after 2015? with Chris Leslie MP’
Is that victory he's pointing to? Photo: Getty Images
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Just how good are Jeremy Corbyn's chances?

Jeremy Corbyn continues his remarkable surge. But how worried should his opponents be?

Jeremy Corbyn continues his remarkable campaign. Our rolling tally of constituency nominations has him at 28 - ten behind the bookmakers' favourite Andy Burnham and six ahead of Yvette Cooper. Liz Kendall, the modernisers' candidate, is in a distant fourth place.

It's spooked Labour First - the independent organisation of what used to be called Labour's "old right", into calling for a joint line against Corbyn from supporters of Burnham, Cooper and Kendall. Are they right to be worried? 

It looks increasingly likely that trade unionists will make up just a tenth of the total - well short of the third of the vote they made up under the old system, weakening Corbyn slightly (he has the endorsement of Unite, which makes up the bulk of those trade unionists). My initial instinct is that CLP nominations would help the party's left and old right slightly, boosting Corbyn and Cooper's soores. They are, after all, as one sympathetic MP observed, "the ones who really like meetings". 

But from checking the figures last time it appears that my instincts may be wrong. David Miliband got 40 per cent of CLP nominations - close to his final share of 44 per cent among party members. Ed Miliband got 38 per cent from CLP nominations and 30 per cent from party members. Ed Balls got four per cent of CLPs and 10 per cent from members. Diane Abbot secured just four per cent of CLP nominations and seven percent of the vote. And Burnham got 11 per cent of the vote and four per cent from members. 

So while it's not a perfect guide - and my hunch is that the hostility towards Kendall on social media will mean her supporters eschew these meetings, meaning she will outperform her nomination total - recent history suggests that it is a half-decent one. I predicted shortly before Corbyn made the ballot that he would "surprise a lot of people" with how well he did in the race. I still don't think he can quite make the winning post - but the prospect of a Corbyn victory should be taken seriously.

Stephen Bush is editor of the Staggers, the New Statesman’s political blog.