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1 October 2015

Sunset views and new dawns at the New Statesman Labour conference party

On the first night of conference, a wide variety of MPs, thinktankers and journalists gathered for the annual NS party. 

By New Statesman

The New Statesman‘s party has become an institution at Labour conference, kicking off proceedings with a healthy dose of intrigue, networking and (this year at least) great sunset views over the English channel. Sponsored by Hitachi, it featured a headline speech from Chuka Umunna, one of the “refuseniks” who declined to serve under Jeremy Corbyn in his shadow cabinet. “Unfortunately the shadow business secretary can’t be with us, so I’ve been asked to say a few words instead,” he began.

Umunna also spoke emotionally about some of the tensions in the party between Corbyn supporters and the centrists. “I was very disturbed earlier at the Demos fringe which I was speaking at, to have a new member who joined the day after the general election and considered themselves to sit on one part of the Labour spectrum telling me that they feel they cannot say what they think about the future of the party, and how we should make our Labour values real for fear of being castigated and accused of being a Tory,” he said. “We have to draw a line under that kind of behaviour in our party.”

See below for a few selected pictures from the bash, which was attended by all wings of the party – and a few other familiar faces.

Copies of the New Statesman released before the Labour’s conference

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Recent issues of New Statesman analysing Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping

Leaflets advertising fringe events hosted by New Statesman

Drinks waiting to be served to guests

The Times’s Tim Mongtomerie arriving at the party

New Statesman political editor George Eaton

New Statesman Staggers editor Stephen Bush chats to Lewis Iwu

Stephen Kinnock MP and LBC radio host Iain Dale

Eddie Izzard talking to Nick Pearce, who has just left the think-tank IPPR

Former Labour MP Jacqui Smith

Labour MPs Tristram Hunt and Simon Danczuk

BBC’s Daily Politics reporter Adam Fleming

Former Labour MP Hazel Blears talks to Jacqui Smith

Eddie Izzard with shadow education secretary Lucy Powell

Labour MPs Wes Streeting (left) and Toby Perkins (centre)

BuzzFeed’s political writers Jamie Ross (left) and Siraj Datoo (second right)

BBC’s Daily Politics host Andrew Neil and Sun Westminster correspondent Harry Cole play up for the camera

Sonia Sodha, former political adviser for Ed Miliband and now leader writer at the Observer

New Statesman editor Jason Cowley with Labour’s Liam Byrne 

Guests enjoying the party

Jess Brammar of BBC’s Newsnight (centre) talks to Schools Week editor Laura McInerney (right) and reporter Freddie Whittaker

Labour’s Tristram Hunt MP (centre) and Lord Glasman (right) talk to Nick Pearce

New Statesman’s deputy editor Helen Lewis introduces the speakers

New Statesman’s editor Jason Cowley

Hans Daems, group public affairs officer at Hitachi

Labour MP Chuka Umunna 

All photos are by Philip Hardman.

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