Labour Conference

Friday 13 October: This week, Heart of London attended the Labour Party Conference in Liverpool.

What did we learn?

The Labour Party conference took place in Liverpool this week, with the party in a buoyant mood following its by-election win in Rutherglen and Hamilton West.

The Party will consider the conference a success, especially in comparison to the Conservative conference, which was dominated by HS2. Reports that the business day activities were oversubscribed will do no harm in supporting the party’s messaging around its support from businesses. And despite a protestor throwing glitter on lead Keir Starmer at the start of his speech, he appeared unphased as he took off his jacket, rolled up his sleeves and stated “protest not power, that is why we changed our party”.

Announcements during the conference include:

A plan to deliver 1.5 million new homes across the country

Investing in local authorities planning approval teams to speed up planning applications.

Building new infrastructure, roads, tunnels and power stations quicker and cheaper

Scrapping zero-hours contracts and making work pay with a real living wage

New technical excellence college to fix skills shortages

Restore neighbourhood policing, delivering 13,000 new police officers and PCSOs onto the streets.

Heart of London Activity

As we did at Conservative conference, we held another breakfast roundtable event on the importance of culture to the UK economy. With the likes of councillors from Westminster and Newham, Society of London Theatre, London and Partners, and the Labour candidate to be the MP for the Cities of London and Westminster constituency in attendance, it was a detailed discussion on how the cultural sector should be better joined up in its advocacy work when engaging with local, regional and national decision makers. There was a focus on the importance of language, with the need to ensure that culture is seen as a hard, rather than soft, industry, given the jobs and income associated with it. The issue of whether an industrial strategy for the creative industries is needed was discussed, and if so, what should be included.

We also heard from or met with Mayor of London Sadiq Khan, several Westminster City Council cabinet members and councillors, Society of London Theatre, New West End Company, journalists, productivity economists, and political advisors to members of the Shadow Cabinet.