Liz Jerrard and Emily Thornberry seated on stage

An Audience with Emily Thornberry

Our fund-raising Christmas Social held in the Brentwood Theatre this year was a big hit, featuring our Women’s Officer, Liz Jerrard, in conversation with Labour cabinet member and shadow Attorney General, the Rt Hon Emily Thornberry MP, Labour MP for Islington South and Finsbury.

Topics ranged from Emily’s own upbringing in some poverty, to her rise to becoming a cabinet member, encouraged by Harriet Harman and other female colleagues. Emily discussed her views on the current state of the Tory government and vitally, Labour’s offer to the country in advance of an election next year.

Liz invited Emily to discuss issues relating to women’s equality and how to deal with violence against women, and in response, Emily showed her legal experience regarding the role of police, the Crime Prosecution Service and the courts, and how Labour would hold the system to account when in power.

audience members seated

In response to audience members’ questions, Emily made the case to move towards free school meals for all, based on her own life experience and the observation that overweight children may still be malnourished, explaining Labour’s policy to introduce breakfast clubs. She agreed with Liz that this tackles the systemic, long term problem of poor nutrition which can can affect their education.

Her exasperation regarding suffering 13 long years under Tory austerity and incompetence was clear, and her advice was that we cannot afford factionalism, infighting, nor overpromising on spending if we are to end their disastrous rule. She declared that the economy had tanked under the Tories and that the first priority for Labour would be to make the economy strong again.

After a vote of thanks to Emily, to Liz for chairing, and to Alison Wingfield for organising, we retired to the foyer for a bite of supper and the raffle. Many thanks to George Hipwell, who donated several raffle prizes in remembrance of his late partner and Labour activist Michelle Wigram. Thanks also to Mark Strathearn who brought a bottle of Scotch for the raffle on Unison’s behalf.

Finally thanks to the Brentwood Theatre for their professionalism and willingness to make it all work.


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