By Powerscourt on 29/09/2022

Sadiq Khan, Emily Thornberry headline Powerscourt sponsored events at Labour conference

Powerscourt’s political team sponsored two packed events at the Labour Party’s annual conference in September.

Around 200 delegates filled the room for a fringe discussion about the future of the Good Friday Agreement – there were seats for 80. Emily Thornberry and Peter Kyle – Shadow Attorney General and Northern Ireland Secretary respectively – headlined the event, alongside the Irish Ambassador to Great Britain, Martin Fraser. 

Thornberry noted that “freedom of trade is the cornerstone of the relationship” between the UK and Ireland, while Fraser hailed the nearly 25-year-old Good Friday Agreement for being “about respect and tolerance”. 

Senior political editors from The Independent, Sunday Express and Press Association were among those in attendance, while Politics Home’s Adam Payne chaired the panel. The Northern Ireland Tourism Board was a co-sponsor. 

The second event is one of the highlights of any Labour Conference: the Irish Society’s reception. Speakers included London Mayor Sadiq Khan, Liverpool City Region Mayor Steve Rotherham and Powerscourt Chief Executive and founder Rory Godson, who has built the business into a leading communications group in both London and Dublin. 

There were more than 500 attendees, including some of the biggest names in the Westminster Lobby and senior MPs, including Shadow Transport Secretary Louise Haigh and Domestic Violence Spokesperson Jess Phillips. Jameson’s was a co-sponsor, laying on the whiskey for which this event is so well known. 

Powerscourt’s sponsorship of these events reflects our long-established presence in Ireland and our growth in public affairs. The team was formally launched at the start of last year and has already worked on a number of high-profile campaigns, such as the reform of the Official Secrets Acts and, with Primary Health Properties, the modernisation of the GP estate. Broadcast media and select committee training are among the political team’s specialities. 

The team is headed up by Mark Leftly, a former political journalist and adviser to former Business Secretary and Liberal Democrat leader Sir Vince Cable. Simon Petar, who has more than 20 years of experience in public and corporate affairs, recently joined the team as a Director.