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The Vice-Chancellor's Great Debate

Elgar Concert Hall, Bramall Music Building, Edgbaston Campus
Lectures Talks and Workshops, Social Sciences, Vice Chancellor
Tuesday 18th June 2019 (17:30-19:00)
Download the date to your calendar (.ics file)
Contact or telephone 0121 414 6680 for further information.

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Do we need a new party in UK politics?

The Vice-Chancellor’s Great Debate returns for a second year and will bring together a diverse panel of commentators to debate whether we need a new party in UK politics. In the past few months, we’ve seen the formation of several new political parties. The question is, are they here to stay or will they fade away as the traditional order of British politics reasserts itself? With the fragmentation of mainstream politics, rising nationalist movements and the resurgence of single-issue parties, it is an important and timely question.


Ritula Shah, journalist and regular presenter of The World Tonight on BBC Radio 4, will again moderate what promises to be a lively debate.

Our panel of experts at present includes:

Professor Sir John Curtice
A political scientist who is currently Professor of Politics at the University of Strathclyde. A regular media commentator on UK politics, he specialises in electoral behaviour and researching political and social attitudes.

Simon Franks
An entrepreneur and creator of LoveFilm, who co-founded United for Change in 2017, having concluded that British politics was no longer fit for purpose. United for Change aims to build a grassroots movement on a mission to change politics in the UK.

Ayesha Hazarika 
A columnist and political commentator known for her insightful and witty opinions and observations on current affairs. She was Special Adviser for the Labour Party for eight years, advising on PMQs, speeches, media and policy as well as heading up initiatives on topics such as Women and Equality.

Rachel Johnson
Editor, journalist, television presenter, and author based in London.  She has appeared frequently on political discussion panels, and was the lead candidate for Change UK for the South West England constituency in the 2019 European Parliament elections.

Professor Scott Lucas 
Professor of International Politics at the University of Birmingham, and a professional journalist. A specialist in US and British foreign policy, he is a regular analyst on international radio and television outlets such as the BBC, CNN, Deutsche Welle, Al Jazeera and TRT World.

Adrian Wooldridge 
Political editor of The Economist and author of the Bagehot column; an analysis of British life and politics. He has written for The Wall Street Journal, The New Republic and The Times and has appeared on NPR (National Public Radio) and the BBC.

Please book your free ticket in advance as places are limited. 

Start time: 6.00pm

Doors open: 5.30pm (doors close 5 minutes before the event starts)

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