Remembering John Smith: His Legacy and Lessons for Labour, 30 Years On – LECTURE

Map Unavailable
Date / time: 9 May, 10:00 am

Queen Mary University of London

Remembering John Smith: His Legacy and Lessons for Labour, 30 Years On - LECTURE


The night before John Smith QC died in May 1994, he gave a now infamous speech at the Park Lane Hotel to raise money for the Labour Party’s campaign for the next general election. To the 500 people in attendance, Smith remarked that ‘the opportunity to serve our country—that is all we ask’.

30 years on from his death, Smith is often recalled as one of the ‘best Prime Ministers we never had’ and is still viewed with affection by many people regardless of their political views. However, in his own party, John Smith’s legacy has often been more contentious. For supporters of the ‘New Labour’ project pursued by his successor, John Smith – as David Miliband told the Mile End Institute in May 2022 – failed to ‘understand that in 1992 the electorate told us, in no uncertain terms, that they wanted a different offer from Labour’.

In this event to mark the thirtieth anniversary of his death, the Mile End Institute is delighted to be welcoming a distinguished panel of historians and eyewitnesses to consider John Smith’s legacy and lessons for the Labour Party today. In addition to a keynote speech by the Shadow Home Secretary, Yvette Cooper MP, we will be hosting a panel discussion with David Ward (John Smith’s Head of Policy and Adviser from 1988 to 1994) and Dr Richard Johnson (Senior Lecturer at QMUL). We will be announcing more speakers in due course.

This event will take place in the Arts Two Building, which is number 35 on this map of QMUL’s Mile End campus. Its What3Words locator is: ///olive.universally.mass. Doors will open at 9.30am and we aim to start at 10am sharp.

Click here to register: