Conservative Party Ulster Fry event

Politicians and spokesmen from across the political spectrum spoke at this year’s Ulster Fry at the Conservative Party conference in Birmingham. Sailesh Vara MP, Northern Ireland minister, opened the event which was hosted by CHAMP CEO and founder James Winston. Other guests included Senator Frank Feighan, of Fine Gael, Theresa Villiers MP, former Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Jonathan Buckley MLA of the DUP, Robin Swann MLA, UUP leader, Matthew O’Toole a former Downing Street Brexit spokesman, and Dr Tom Kelly a media commentator and SDLP politician.  Discussions centred around Brexit and the question of its effect on the possibility of a hard border between Ireland and Northern Ireland.

Ulster Fry at the Labour Party conference

Speakers at the CHAMP Ulster Fry event, hosted by Lord Dubs and compered by Kevin Schofield, editor of politicshome.com, included Tony Lloyd MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, and Brendan Howlin TD, leader of the Irish Labour Party. Both speakers discussed Brexit and the effect that the UK’s pending departure from the EU will have on the Irish border. Mr Howlin described the Good Friday agreement as ‘incompatible with a hard Brexit’ while Mr Lloyd told the audience that ‘we cannot have a hard border on the island of Ireland’.

The second session  saw a panel discussion on the subject ‘Why is Northern Ireland out of step with equality?’ comprising Claire Hanna MLA SDLP, Conor Murphy, of Sinn Fein, Conor McGinn MP and Stella Creasy MP. Conor McGinn urged the Government to allow on to the statute books his Private Members’ Bill on equal marriage in Northern Ireland while Stella Creasy MP said Brexit was like the huge Monty Python foot squashing all other issues such as women’s rights and abortion in Northern Ireland out of political discussion.

Ulster Fry party conference events

We are pleased to confirm the details of our Ulster Fry breakfast events at this year’s Labour and Conservative party conferences.

The Panel discussions at both events will be debating the question ‘Why is Northern Ireland out of step with equality?’ and we are grateful for the support of friends from right across the political spectrum who will be speaking and discussing this and other important issues.

The Labour event will take place at the Princess Suite 1, The Crowne Plaza Hotel, Pier Head, Liverpool, L3 1QW
on Tuesday, 25 September 2018, from 8.30am to 10am.

The event will be hosted by Lord Alf Dubs. Tony Lloyd MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, and Brendan Howlin TD, Leader of the Irish Labour Party, will speak on Brexit. Channel 4 News political editor Gary Gibbon will chair a panel discussion comprising Claire Hanna MLA SDLP, Órfhlaith Begley MP Sinn Fein, Conor McGinn MP and Stella Creasy MP.
Our Conservative Party event will take place at  IET Birmingham: Austin Court, 80 Cambridge Street, Birmingham B1 2NP on Tuesday, 2 October 2018, from 8.30am to 10am.

Shailesh Vara MP, Minister of State for Northern Ireland, will make the opening speech and answer questions from the floor.

Channel 4 political editor Gary Gibbon will then facilitate a panel discussion and Q&As including:

Rt Hon Theresa Villiers MP for Chipping Barnet – Secretary of State for Northern Ireland 2012 to 2016
Senator Frank Feighan – Irish Government representative
Jonathan Buckley MLA – DUP
Matthew O’Toole – former adviser to 10 Downing Street

Robin Swann MLA – UUP
Dr Tom Kelly OBE, Irish and UK media commentator and former Chair of Stronger in Europe

As always, a full Ulster Fry breakfast will be served at both events!

CHAMP St Patrick’s Day Reception 2017

On Tuesday, 14 March, CHAMP held its annual St Patrick’s Day Reception on the House of Lords Terrace, hosted jointly by our four Co-Chairs Baroness Blood, Lord Dubs, Baroness Harris and Baroness O’Cathain.

CHAMP was pleased to welcome special guest speakers Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Northern Ireland Office Kris Hopkins MP, Ambassador of Ireland to Great Britain HE Dan Mulhall and Chair of the Ireland & Irish in Britain All Party Parliamentary Group Conor McGinn MP, who used the event to underline the importance of good British – Irish relations and relations on the island of Ireland.

CHAMP welcomed business and community leaders as well as politicians from across Britain, Ireland and Northern Ireland to the event and we were delighted that distinguished singer Peter Corry performed at the event.

Commenting on the event, CHAMP Director James Winston said:

“At a crucial time for British – Irish diplomatic relations, the CHAMP St Patrick’s Day Reception celebrates the tremendous progress that has been made in peace and prosperity across these islands.

“We must all redouble our efforts to promote good relations in the coming months and years and CHAMP will work hard to create spaces where people can come together to express their views forcefully, but with respect.”

CHAMP is very grateful to our sponsors Tourism Ireland, The Irish Post and the Financial Services Union of Ireland.

CHAMP UK Parliamentary Delegation to Dublin

CHAMP is pleased to have led its first delegation of MPs and Peers from Westminster to meet with TDs and Senators in the Houses of the Oireachtas, and to engage with the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the British Embassy in Dublin.

During the visit, CHAMP organised bilateral meetings with opposition parties in the Dáil Éireann and a meeting with An Taoiseach in Government Buildings.

CHAMP later held a reception in the Dáil Éireann, which was addressed by An Taoiseach Enda Kenny TD, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Northern Ireland Office Kris Hopkins MP, British Ambassador to Ireland HE Robin Barnett CMG, Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Ireland & the Irish in Britain Conor McGinn MP, Senator Frank Feighan and proprietor of The Irish Post Mr Elgin Loane. CHAMP was pleased to welcome business, community and political leaders from across the island of Ireland to the event.

Commenting on the visit, CHAMP Director James Winston said:

“Relations between Britain and Ireland and relations on the island of Ireland are at a critical stage, with Brexit posing enormous challenges.

“It is vital that we create opportunities for dialogue and cooperation between Irish, British and Northern Irish political, business and community leaders and that’s why CHAMP’s first event in Dublin will bring people together to celebrate our successes and debate our challenges.”

CHAMP is very grateful to Senator Frank Feighan for hosting the event in the Dáil Éireann, and also to our partner organisations The Irish Post and the Federation of Small Businesses.

Peace Process Pillars Must Stand

Our Deputy Director Josh Stephens has written a piece for Tribune Magazine about why 2017 will be a crucial year for British – Irish relations and relations on the Ireland of Ireland, and why we must continue work to support the Northern Ireland Peace Process.

2017 will undoubtedly bring more instability and uncertainty, but with this comes an opportunity to strengthen friendships and relationships, including those between Westminster, the Houses of the Oireachtas and the Northern Ireland Assembly.

You can read the piece in full here.

CHAMP Ulster Fry Breakfast at Conservative Party Conference

CHAMP held its Ulster Fry breakfast event at Conservative Party Conference in Birmingham this month. The event was hosted by Laurence Robertson MP and chaired by Gary Gibbon, Channel 4 News Political Editor.

We were very fortunate to have Northern Ireland First Minister Arlene Foster MLA, Secretary of State for Northern Ireland James Brokenshire MP and Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Northern Ireland Office Kris Hopkins MP as special guest speakers.

The topics for discussion ranged from British Irish relations following the June referendum result for Britain to leave the European Union to the future of the Peace Process in Northern Ireland, which the Conservative Ministers reaffirmed their commitment to.

We are very grateful to our sponsors Royal Mail, the Federation of Small Businesses, Bombardier, Huhtamaki and the Irish in Britain.

CHAMP Ulster Fry Breakfast at Labour Party Conference

CHAMP hosted its annual Ulster Fry breakfast event at Labour Party Conference in Liverpool this month. The event was hosted CHAMP Co-Chair by Lord Alf Dubs and chaired by Gary Gibbon, Channel 4 News Political Editor.

CHAMP was very fortunate to have Deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland Martin McGuinness MLA and Shadow Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Dave Anderson MP as special guest speakers.

During an interview with Gary Gibbon, Martin McGuinness spoke about the Brexit process following the referendum result for Britain to leave the European Union in June and Dave Anderson reaffirmed Labour’s support for the Peace Process in Northern Ireland.

We are very grateful to our sponsors Royal Mail, the Federation of Small Businesses, the GMB, the TSSA, Bombardier, Huhtamaki and the Irish in Britain.

RT @JBuckleyMLA: Interesting panel discussion @CHAMP_intl Conservative Party Conference breakfast event, discussing all things Northern Ir…
Posted on 02 Oct
RT @FSB_NI: Great to catch up with CEO of @BelfastCouncil @SuzanneWylie2 and @MatthewOToole2 earlier @CHAMP_intl event. Talking Brexit and…
Posted on 02 Oct
RT @RobinSwannUUP: Welcome clarity from @NIOgov that they will never allow a border down the Irish Sea the same message was also reinforced…
Posted on 02 Oct
RT @markdevenport: During CHAMP Breakfast discussion at Conservative conference former NI Secretary Theresa Villiers said she believes ther…
Posted on 02 Oct