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Claim the Future, with John McDonnell and Special Guests

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Join us for a panel event of special guests curated by John McDonnell, former Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer and MP for Hayes and Harlington.

The ‘Claim the Future’ project led by Mr McDonnell aims to ask and answer questions that the pandemic has raised about the economy and the kind of society we want to live in. We anticipate a lively and thought-provoking event covering a range of issues from the upcoming cliff edges for Universal Credit and the Furlough Scheme in September, through to climate action, and new thinking around citizenship, policy reform and resolving the structural inequalities of class, gender, race and income so highlighted by Covid-19.

John McDonnell will bring together a panel of Labour thinkers and activists to discuss the future of employment, the position of women, education and the constitutional issues we will need to confront in the future.


  • Lord Prem Sikka
  • Jo Grady, General Secretary, UCU
  • Daniela Gabor, University of the West of England

John McDonnell was born in Liverpool and raised in Norfolk. On leaving school John worked on the shopfloor as a production worker. After studying at nightschool he went to University and subsequently became a trade union official with the NUM and later with TUC.

In 1981, he was elected to the Greater London Council as the member for Hayes and Harlington. John became Chair of Finance, responsible for the GLC’s £3billion budget. After the abolition of the GLC he became Head of Policy at Camden Council and was Chief Executive of the Association of London Government before being elected in 1997 as the Labour MP for Hayes & Harlington, West London.

In September 2015, under Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership, he was appointed Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer.

Claim the Future was initiated by John McDonnell MP, with the support of the Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung London. The project aims to ask and answer some of the questions that the pandemic has raised about the economy and society we want to live in and what future there should be for our planet and to link new thinking with campaigning and action on the ground.

Part of our 2021 festival strand

Solving Poverty

Strand sponsors

Sheffield College

At Sheffield College our mission is to transform your life through learning. We aim to build diverse skills, talents and experiences for our all our students, helping them to shape their future.

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