The 14th Longford Lecture on November 17 will be given by the actor, writer and broadcaster Michael Palin. His theme is “Collateral Damage: the effects of prison sentences on offenders' families”. It will be the first time that Palin has spoken in public about his own long-term interest in helping and supporting prisoners' families.
The Longford Lecture – which aims to tackle questions of social and penal reform on the national stage - is held annually at Church House. The first Longford Lecture was delivered in 2002 by Cherie Booth QC. Other speakers have included Bianca Jagger, Martha Lane Fox, Lord (Ian) Blair, Sir Hugh Orde, Mary McAleese, Clive Stafford Smith, Baroness Hale of Richmond, Will Self, Nils Öberg and Archbishop Desmond Tutu.
The evening will once again be chaired by renowned broadcaster Jon Snow and includes the awarding of the annual Longford Prize, which recognises the contribution of an individual, group or organisations working in the area of penal or social reform.
In line with the aims of the Longford Trust, catering at the lecture will be provided by The Clink Charity. Through its outside catering project – Clink Events – prisoners training at The Clink Restaurant at HMP Brixton and HMP High Down will prepare 4,000 canapés for the 665 guests after they have heard Michael Palin’s lecture.
“We are delighted to be working with Church House again this year,” says Peter Stanford, the director of the Longford Trust. “It is the continuation of a long and very happy partnership with the team there, which has enabled us to make best use of Church House’s fabulous facilities to ensure that our lecture has become an event of national significance.”
Robin Parker, General Manager of Church House Conference Centre, comments: “Michael Palin’s appeal and the powerful message of the lecture has once again seen the Longford Lecture attract a capacity audience. We are delighted to continue the tradition of working with the Longford Trust to put on a thought provoking event. The partnership with The Clink has continued for a sixth year - The Longford Lecture was one of the very first outside events Clink Events catered for – and their involvement with such a high profile event not only fits in line with the aims of the lecture but also highlights the good work being done in prisons.”