Former Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice Michael Gove was the speaker at this year’s Longford Lecture, held at Church House Westminster last night.
A capacity audience packed into the Assembly Hall for the 15th Longford Lecture, sponsored by Unilink Technology Services, to hear the politician talk about “What is really criminal about our Justice System?”.
During his speech, Mr Gove said executive clemency should be granted to release prisoners who had served far longer than the tariff for their offence and had now – after multiple parole reviews – served even longer than the maximum determinate sentence for that offence.
The annual event is organised by The Longford Trust, working in association with The Prison Reform Trust, and aims to tackle questions of social and penal reform on the national stage. It has been held at Church House Westminster since its inception in 2002, and was once again chaired by renowned broadcaster Jon Snow.
The event has attracted a host of high profile speakers – the first lecture was delivered by Cherie Booth QC, and 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, and Archbishop Desmond Tutu with Michael Palin being the speaker in 2015.
“We were delighted to work with Church House Westminster to deliver the 15th Longford Lecture,” 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 the venue’s facilities to ensure that our lecture has become an event of national significance. Once again the event was a sell out, a testament to the importance of the topics being discussed.”
Robin Parker, General Manager of Church House Westminster, comments: “Our partnership of working with The Longford Trust to host its annual lecture makes them one of our longest standing clients. The lecture touches on important issues and continues to attract internationally renowned speakers. We are delighted to continue the tradition of working with the Longford Trust to deliver a thought provoking evening.”