UK union leader Len McCluskey to address influential O...

UK union leader Len McCluskey to address influential Oxford Union

05 February 2016

‘Jeremy Corbyn: Blast from the past or leader of tomorrow?’

WHERE: The Oxford Union, Frewin Court, Oxford, OX1 3JB.
WHEN: Tuesday 9 February, 20:00

The leader for the biggest union in the UK and Ireland will make history - and provoke some thoughts on the future of the British Left - when he becomes the first modern day trade union leader to address the world-renowned Oxford Union.

Len McCluskey, general secretary of Unite, will join the ranks of US presidents, peace leaders and government ministers when he steps up to the podium on Tuesday 8 February 2016.

Speaking on the subject of 'Jeremy Corbyn: Blast from the past or leader of tomorrow?’, the leader of the 1.4 million strong union will look at what the election of Jeremy Corbyn means not just for the Labour party but for UK politics more widely as Corbyn, among other things, dismantles the case for austerity economics.

McCluskey will challenge those working to undermine Mr Corbyn to recognise that it was not only Labour party supporters who gave establishment politics its marching orders as alienation from the political class took hold; that Labour needs wholescale renewal; and to either prove that their policies pack electoral appeal or to get onside as the party seeks to reconnect with working people let down by eight years of growing inequality.

Ahead of his address, Mr McCluskey said: “It is a huge honour to be invited to speak to this tremendous and influential institution. Throughout the generations, the Oxford Union has tapped into the prevailing political mood and will do so once more with this timely consideration of Jeremy Corbyn as Labour leader. I look forward to provoking some thoughts and debate about what this moment in the party’s history means not just for Labour but for our wider political life.”

Oxford Union president Stuart Webber added: “The Oxford Union is excited to have such a towering figure of the trade union landscape here to speak to our members. At a time when the role of Unite and other trade unions is as topical as ever in the future direction of British politics, we cannot wait to listen to Mr McCluskey on Tuesday night discussing his thoughts on the British political left.”

Media looking to attend the event must pre-register. To do so, contact the Oxford Union press officer Jack Lennard or call 07928 606 362.

News about the event can be found by following @OxfordUnion

A video of Mr McCluskey’s speech will be available after the event at


For further information, contact Pauline Doyle, Unite director of communications, on 07976 832 861 

Notes to editors:

  • Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with over 1.4 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.