Jeremy Corbyn, Armando Iannucci and Jackie Weaver to appear at Sheffield Festival of Debate

Former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and satirist Armando Iannucci will be among the star speakers at this year's Festival of Debate in Sheffield, it has been announced.

Mr Corbyn is to appear at the Octagon Centre on May 16 where he will discuss his long political career.

The event will involved "a discussion and Q&A on his decades in Parliament, years as Labour leader, his role in the UK’s anti-war movement and the work of the Peace & Justice Project, and the campaigns it has created for social, economic and climate justice in the UK and around the world", organisers have announced.

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He will be supported at the event by South Yorkshire poet Gaz Roberts.

Former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn is to headline the Sheffield Festival of DebateFormer Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn is to headline the Sheffield Festival of Debate
Former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn is to headline the Sheffield Festival of Debate

This year’s Festival of Debate will include 60 events from April 19 to May 31. There will also be an additional keynote talk from environmental journalist George Monbiot on June 23.

Armando Iannucci is to appear on May 26 at The Leadmill for a show focused on his latest creation, epic mock-heroic poem Pandemonium which is about the Covid-19 crisis.

Jackie Weaver, who shot to fame after calmly presiding over a chaotic meeting of Handforth Parish Council, has been booked to host an Question Time style event about local democracy on May 21 at Sheffield Town Hall.

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Others booked to appear throughout the festival include writer and trans rights campaigner Shon Faye, feminist journalist Gloria Steinem and human rights activist Baroness Shami Chakrabarti.

Further headline events will involve creative campaign group Led By Donkeys, Turkish journalist Ece Temelkuran, and David Wengrow, co-author of The Dawn of Everything: A New History of Humanity with the late David Graeber.

Festival of Debate programmer Joe Kriss said: “The Festival of Debate is a reflection of the most pressing movements for change. At a time when things look so polarised and trust in institutions of all kinds has reached rock bottom, it’s important that we make space for improving our collective understanding of the problems we face as a society—and what solutions could look like.

We work with a cross section of community activists, publishers and the voluntary and community sector to create a platform that seeks to connect people to new ideas and campaigns.’

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Grassroots events include an Environmental Hub Day, which will bring activists and campaign groups in Sheffield together for the city’s biggest-ever event on the future of our planet, and talks highlighting Covid misinformation and the criminalisation of the UK’s Gypsy and Traveller communities.

To see the full programme and book tickets, visit

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