Political parties and elections

Sunday 29 September 2019

Labour and Conservative party conferences

Fringe events 2019


Paying for a fairer Britain – Labour’s tax policy

Sunday 22nd September

Labour are promising a radical reform agenda – from free university education to reversing elements of the austerity that has taken place over the past decade. But radical reforms don’t come cheap and sit alongside demographic headwinds that mean the annual cost of simply maintaining the status quo for our welfare state will rise by £36bn by the end of the decade. In response the Party has set out proposals for significant increases in taxation, including higher rates of income and corporation tax. But the party has also promised to only increase taxes for the top 5% of households.

Will Labour’s tax plans bring in the revenue intended, and will they be sufficient to pay for the rising cost of our existing welfare state? How will it ensure that it’s tax policy is fair, robust and well targeted? And how will Labour’s plans contrast with those of a new Conservative leader committed to cutting taxes?

Start: 6:00 pm

End: 7:30 pm

Location: Hilton Brighton Metropole, Kings Rd, Brighton BN1 2FU

Room: Clarence


  • Torsten Bell (Chair) – CEO of the Resolution Foundation
  • Rachel Reeves MP, Member for Leeds West
  • James Meadway, former economic policy advisor to the Shadow Chancellor
  • Anneliese Dodds MP, Shadow Treasury Minister
  • Paul Johnson, Director of the Institute for Fiscal Studies

Too Radical, Or Not Radical Enough? Labour’s Economic Policy 

Tuesday 24th September

Labour’s 2017 Manifesto has been labelled its most radical on economic reform for a generation, with plans ranging from nationalisations to a bigger state. Others, however, see it as standard European social democracy, with a tighter approach to elements of fiscal policy than the current Conservative government. While many voters are hungry for significant change, others are anxious about an increasingly fragile economic backdrop at home and abroad. A future Labour chancellor could also find themselves preoccupied with a new post-Brexit agreement with the EU, or responding to a recession.

Will Labour’s economic radicalism put voters off, or is the time right for a complete overhaul of Britain’s economic settlement? Is this the right radicalism – or is it not nearly radical enough? And how can Labour make its economic radicalism a vote winner?

Start: 6:00 pm

End: 7:30 pm

Location: Hilton Brighton Metropole, Kings Rd, Brighton BN1 2FU

Room: Cambridge


  • Torsten Bell (Chair) – Director of the Resolution Foundation
  • John McDonnell MP, Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer
  • Ed Miliband MP, Member for Doncaster North
  • Frances O’Grady, General Secretary of the Trades Union Congress
  • Ben Page, Chief Executive, Ipsos MORI
  • Grace Blakeley, Economics commentator, New Statesman


The Future of Conservativism: How to win back younger voters

Sunday 29th September

Age is becoming the new class in elections, and the Conservative Party experienced a significant swing against them in 2017 among younger voters. Winning back the under-45s will be key to the Conservatives winning the next election – but winning back relatively pro-EU younger voters in a Brexit-focused election is going to be challenging.

What suite of policies should the Conservative Party adopt to win back younger voters? And how will this strategy fit with targeting the party’s core vote, who are more likely to be interested in the NHS, crime and Brexiting?

Start: 12:45 pm

End: 2:15 pm

Location: Midland Hotel, 16 Peter St, Manchester M60 2DS

Room: Alexandra Room B


  • Lord David Willetts (Chair) – President of the Intergenerational Centre at Resolution Foundation
  • Robert Jenrick MP, Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government
  • Neil O’Brien MP, Member for Harborough, Oadby and Wigston
  • Katy Balls, Political Correspondent, The Spectator