Co-op Party gets ready for major Northern Ireland conference

The event, in Belfast on 22 June, includes a manifesto launch and sessions on food justice and parental leave

The Co-operative Party in Northern Ireland hosts its “most ambitious conference ever” on 22 June, where it will launch its manifesto for the region.

Members and supporters who gather in Belfast will also debate the Party’s UK policy platform for 2019 and hear more about its Food Justice campaign.

Speakers include author and journalist Paul Gosling, who will launch the Co-operative Manifesto for Northern Ireland.

Anna Birley, policy officer for the Party, will lead a debate on climate change, energy and the environment, and in another session will discuss the Food Justice campaign.

Jim McMahon, Labour/Co-op MP  for Oldham West and Royton and chair Co-op Party’s UK parliamentary group, will give a keynote address.

There will be networking opportunities over lunch, breakout workshops and discussion of ways to build a new co-operative movement, looking at successful examples of co-operation in Northern Ireland.

The Party’s Women’s Network for NI also hosts a session, with network members Anna Birley, Anna McAleavy and Mary Sheen looking at the campaign for shared parental leave.

Tony McMullan, chair of the Co-op Party in Northern Ireland, says the conference is the most ambitious the Party has ever mounted in the region. He will give the opening welcome to delegates and wrap up the day with a speech looking at the next steps for the movement.

After the conference, there will be a dinner with speech from Senator Ged Nash of the Irish Labour Party.

The event opens at 10am on 22 June, at the Mac, Exchange Street West, Belfast BT1 2NJ. Day entry is free, while the evening reception and dinner is £10 for registered conference participants, and £20 for non-registered / evening only guests.

It is open to non-members, and organisers want people to share details “with friends, Labour Party and trade union colleagues”.

Delegates must register in advance to secure a place, they add.