8 March 2019
Time: 6:30 - 7:30pm
Speaker: Mike Gapes
Venue: Queen Mary University of London, Mile End Road, London, E1 4NS
Mike Gapes is one of eight (and counting?) Labour MPs who recently left the party to set up the Independent Group. First elected to Parliament in April 1992, he worked in both the Northern Ireland Office and the Home Office, and from 2005 to 2010 was Chair of the Foreign Affairs Select Committee, on which he serves to this day. Mike is very much a local lad: born in North East London, he grew up in Essex, and has been MP for Ilford South for getting on for three decades – and a West Ham fan for even longer. Mike was also very much a Labour man, having worked in the party’s HQ for fifteen years before taking his seat in the Commons – first as a Policy Research Officer and National Student Organiser, and then as Labour’s International Secretary. Mike’s forthright views on both domestic and foreign policy led to frequent and increasingly bitter clashes of opinion, not least on Twitter, with supporters of Jeremy Corbyn. But few, least of all Mike himself, imagined that one day they would lead him to quit the party to which he had devoted so much of his adult life. Interviewed live on stage by Queen Mary’s own Prof. Tim Bale, Mike will be talking about all this and more, as well as responding to questions from the audience.
Entry is free (though booking is essential) and you are welcome to join us for a drinks reception afterwards.