Jason Cowley (Chair) - editor of the New Statesman
Jon Lansman - founder and chair of Momentum, member of the Labour Party's National Executive Committee
Jess Phillips - Member of Parliament for Birmingham Yardley
Faiza Shaheen - Director of the CLASS (Centre for Labour and Social Studies) think tank
John Bew - Professor of History and Foreign Policy, author of Citizen Clem
In 2015, following Labour’s disastrous general election defeat, Jeremy Corbyn, a leftwing backbencher with little or no public profile outside of the radical and activist circles in which he moved, was given 200/1 odds to become leader against 3 candidates from the party’s mainstream ‘soft left’ and centre. The unapologetic socialist won a landslide. Despite a rocky start, a vote of no confidence by the PLP and a failed coup, having fought a highly successful election campaign with a red-blooded, leftwing manifesto as its centrepiece, Corbyn is here to stay. Beginning twenty points ahead in the polls, Theresa May was humiliated at the ballot box by a Corbyn surge. After decades in which both parties largely conformed to free market orthodoxies, Labour has put a programme of nationalisation, taxes on the rich, state intervention and public spending at the heart of the party, and attracted hundreds of thousands of new members in the process.
How did the Corbyn phenomenon emerge? How did a mild-mannered, vegetarian Bennite, who’d spent years in backbench obscurity, manage to overcome the New Labour party machine, win two successive leadership elections and lead Labour through a general election to its sharpest increase in vote share since 1945? Is Corbyn’s success a symptom of the same global reaction against the politics and economics of the liberal centre, epitomised by Brexit, Trump, the growth of separatist movements, and the rise of the populist right and left in Europe? What does the future hold for Corbyn’s Labour? Is his and John McDonnell’s economic programme realistic? What can we expect from a Corbyn-led government?
Join us for this exciting New Statesman event, the latest in the New Times series.
King's College Waterloo Campus, Franklin-Wilkins Building, Stamford Street, Waterloo, SE1 9NH
Doors open at 7pm
Discussion will begin at 7.30pm, and will include an audience Q&A
The event will finish at 9pm