The Lord Speaker, Baroness D’Souza, visited Manchester and Liverpool on Thursday 16 and Friday 17 October, as part of the House of Lords outreach programme.
The programme aims to build greater regional awareness and engagement with the Lords and to find out which issues are concerning people in communities all over the country.
Thursday 16 October
Media and communications
Baroness D’Souza gave a short lecture on the House of Lords and the media, in an event hosted by Policy@Manchester, at Manchester University and chaired by BBC North West’s political editor, Arif Ansari. A panel discussion followed the Lord Speaker’s address looking at how the House scrutinises media and communications issues. Professor Tom Gibbons, Professor of Law at Manchester University, also took part.
Friday 17 October
Women’s engagement in politics
The Lord Speaker visited the Blackburne House Group in Liverpool, to talk about women and Parliament. Baroness D’Souza was joined at the event by:
- Louise Ellman, MP for Liverpool Riverside;
- Councillor Anna Rothery from Liverpool City Council; and
- Claire Dove OBE DL, chief executive of the Blackburne House Group.
Politics and the Arts
Baroness D’Souza then visited the Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts (LIPA), to talk about the relationship between the Lords and the arts, and chair a panel discussion featuring:
- Vick Bain, chief executive officer, British Academy of Songwriters;
- Jo Dipple, chief executive, UK Music;
- Lorna Finlayson, head of skills and training, UK Music;
- Chris Bye, music relationship manager for the North, Arts Council England; and
- Peter Hooton, lead vocalist of Liverpool-based group The Farm.
Speaking ahead of her visit, the Lord Speaker said:
'I find it so rewarding to visit different parts of the UK and am greatly looking forward to a return visit to Manchester, as well as my first visit to Liverpool as Lord Speaker.
'As well as the opportunity to talk to diverse groups of people of all ages, professions and experiences, I am expecting some lively and informative debates, questions and discussions about how people can, do, or plan to engage with Parliament and the House of Lords.
'I hope to use my visit to remind everyone of the importance of Parliament to the scrutiny of laws, which can have a direct relevance to people all over the country, in areas as varied as media, employment and the arts.'