Disability and UK politics: What to look out for at the Labour and Conservative Conferences 2018

24 September 2018

Labour and the Conservatives are launching their party conferences, setting the political agenda and influencing policies that affect everyone in the UK.

We look at the two main parties’ events relating to disabled people, health and social care in the UK.

Firstly, when and where are these conferences?

The Labour conference runs from Sunday 23 September to Wednesday 26 September at the Liverpool AAC.

The Conservative conference runs from Sunday 30 September to Wednesday 03 October at the Birmingham Hyatt Regency.

I don’t have a pass to attend the conferences. How can I keep up to date?

There will be TV coverage across the BBC, with BBC Parliament broadcasting live events from the main halls. Check out our website, Twitter and Facebook to stay up to date.

So Leonard Cheshire has a fringe event at both conferences: what’s this all about?

Hosted by Leonard Cheshire and Microsoft, our event is:

‘Tackling the disability employment gap: how assistive technology can close the employment gap, boost productivity and deliver the modern workplace’.

Our CEO Neil Heslop and Assistive Technology Director Steve Tyler will be giving Leonard Cheshire’s lowdown on assistive tech in the workplace, alongside fellow experts in the industry.

Our event at the Labour conference is on Monday 24 September, 09:30-10:30 at Liverpool AAC (Concourse Room 4.) This event will also include Shadow Minister for Disabled People, Marsha de Cordova MP.

Our event at the Conservative Conference is on Monday 1 October, 16:00-17:00 at Birmingham Hyatt Regency (Soprano Room). This event will also include the Minister for Disabled People, Health and Work, Sarah Newton MP.

What other fringe events deal with health, social care and disability?

As well as our flagship event, there are a range of discussions connected with health, social care and disability. See our handy list of the fringe events at the party conferences 2018.

When are the politicians dealing with health and social care giving their key speeches?

At the Labour Conference, the Shadow Health and Social Care Secretary, Jonathan Ashworth MP, will give a speech on Wednesday 26 September at 14:00.

Labour also have a policy seminar specifically on health and social care (Monday 24 September, 08:15)

At the Conservative Conference, the Health and Social Care Secretary, Matt Hancock MP, will talk at an event called ‘High-Quality Public Services’ on Tuesday 2 October at 14.00.

The rumour flying around is that on 1 or 2 October, Matt Hancock will have an important announcement about social care. Could it relate to the long-awaited ‘green paper’ on social care? We shall see. Keep checking our channels for updates.

What are the big events connected with Leonard Cheshire campaigns?

For our social care campaign, we will hear speeches from the major politicians in health and social care. See the fringe events for more information.

Both parties have events relating to our employment campaign, Untapped Talent, our transport campaign for disabled people and our accessible housing campaign.

Labour will have a policy seminar on work, pensions and equality (Sunday 23 September, 12:45) and housing, local government and transport (Tuesday 25 September, 08:15).

Additionally Labour has some big general events on Public Investment and Ownership (Monday 24 September 10:05) and Tackling Inequalities (Wednesday 26 September)

The Tories seemingly focus on big general events, with Work and Pensions Secretary Esther McVeigh MP and Transport Secretary Chris Grayling MP speaking on the morning of Monday 1 October. Housing, Communities and Local Government Secretary James Brokenshire speaks on Tuesday 2 October at 14.00.

What are the big events connected with our international work?

International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt MP, who launched the Global Disability Summit with us this year, addresses Conservative conference at the Global Britain event (Sunday 30 September, 14.45-16.30)

When are the party leaders and chancellors speaking?

The leaders speak on the final day of their conference. The Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn will speak on Wednesday 26 September at 12.15. Conservative leader and Prime Minister Theresa May will speak on the morning of Wednesday 3 October. The event begins at 10.00.

Labour Shadow Chancellor Jon McDonnell will speak on Monday 24 September at 12.15.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond, will address the Conservative conference on Monday 1 October, closing the morning session (10.00-12.30).

How will Leonard Cheshire get involved in the conferences? How will they influence the agenda?

As well as our fringe event, key Leonard Cheshire staff will highlight major issues affecting disabled people and keep us all informed. Joining Neil and Steve will be great people from the Public Affairs and Campaigns Team (PACT), who work hard to boost the voices of disabled people — influencing politicians across the UK.

Our CEO Neil Heslop has a great piece week in the Huffington Post: Party Conference season is a reminder we need greater inclusion in politics.

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