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Top speakers lined up for York Union lectures

Posted on 8 October 2014

Edwina Currie, Professor Lord Robert Winston and Jon Bird are among the politicians, journalists, authors and scientists heading to York this academic year for the student-run York Union event series.

The programme starts on 9 October with a discussion on youth apathy, featuring Martin Vander, Business Editor of The Spectator, Stephen Bush, Telegraph journalist, Chloe Smith, Conservative MP, and Will Brett of the Electoral Reform Society. They will discuss the question ‘Are young people to blame for their disengagement in Westminster politics?’.

Other topics throughout the year include ‘Boris as Prime Minister: Would Britain be safe in his hands?’ on 23 October, led by Sonia Purnell, award-winning journalist, broadcaster and Boris Johnson biographer, and ‘Has the benefits system created a culture of dependency, and not mobility?’. Featuring Jon Bird, social entrepreneur and Big Issue founder, Jo-Anne Nadler, political commentator and William Hague biographer, Patrick Butler, Social Policy Editor at The Guardian and Mark Ferguson, LabourList Editor, this discussion takes place on 20 November.

An evening with Edwina Currie is on 26 November and events with Shami Chakrabarti and Professor Lord Robert Winston are scheduled for 22 January 2015 and 3 February 2015 respectively.

Established in 2013, the York Union aims to host engaging talks, interviews and debates that contribute to the intellectual life of the University and surrounding area. The Union has attracted a wealth of high-profile speakers so far including Alastair Campbell, Jonathan Powell, Tanya Byron and Mark Lawson. It is an independent body modelled on the Oxford and Cambridge Unions.

Callum Elliott, Head of the York Union, said: “We are very excited to start off this new academic year with such a relevant and intriguing debate. There has already been a fantastic response and we fully expect for this to be another sell-out event. We encourage you to like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and sign-up to our mailing list to keep up to date with all of our announcements and ticket releases.”

All talks are open to everyone and free to attend, with a voluntary donation of £2 on the door. Tickets are available through and on the night if not at venue capacity.

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