The McWhirter Conference, Oxford 2017: 'Brave New Britain?'


The 2017 McWhirter Conference, Oxford was at Trinity College, Oxford on Tuesday 14th and Wednesday 15th March:

Inspiring young people to debate topical issues and to think about their future role in society


With previous speakers including Baroness Chakrabarti, Sir Richard Dearlove and Sir Roger Bannister, the McWhirter Conference provides a unique, and sometimes life-changing, educational opportunity for bright sixth formers from both state and independent schools.  Small syndicate groups follow each of the four talks and 'Dicey' culminates in a ‘Question Time’ plenary session.

The McWhirter Foundation and its supporters host the Conference at Trinity College Oxford, with no cost to those attending. The conference encourages students to think about their own role in society and to think about how they might get involved with shaping Britain's future. Since 1975, more than 2,500 sixth formers have attended a McWhirter Conference.

Lucy Thomas was Deputy Director of Britain Stronger In Europe, the campaign to remain in the EU in the recent referendum. She was one of the campaign's main spokespeople and was part of the core team working with senior government ministers and business leaders. Before setting up Stronger In, Lucy was Campaign Director of the pro-European business group Business for New Europe. Lucy is an EU policy expert and former BBC journalist, covering the EU institutions and politics in the BBC Brussels bureau for four years, before returning as a producer on BBC Newsnight and Deputy Output Editor on Radio 4 News programmes. She served as Head of Communications for the World Dementia Envoy & Council, appointed by former Prime Minister David Cameron and G8 leaders to speed up drug discovery and investment in dementia research.
She has degrees in European Politics and Economics with French from King’s College London, The London School of Economics and Sciences Po Paris.

Rory Broomfield is Director of The Freedom Association and the Better Off Out campaign. He has written a number of books including his latest, co-authored with Iain Murray, Cutting the Gordian Knot: A Roadmap for British Exit from the European Union. He has previously worked in the City of London and in Westminster for a number of Members of Parliament, including the current Prime Minister, Theresa May; the current Chairman of the 1922 Committee, Graham Brady; and Sir Richard Shepherd.


Miles Saltiel is a former investment banker and now serves as a Senior Fellow of the Adam Smith Institute. On their behalf, he led teams whose competition entry on Grexit was short-listed for the Wolfson Prize; and on Brexit was shortlisted by the IEA. He currently operates, a pro bono website hosting material circulated earlier to a restricted number of selected Parliamentary, industrial and City figures, together with other interested parties. A million years ago, Miles read PPE at Oxford.

Victoria Hewson is a Senior Associate at CMS Cameron McKenna LLP, currently seconded to act as counsel to the Legatum Institute Special Trade Commission. In practice, she advises banks and financial institutions on technology, outsourcing and fintech. She has an LLB from University College London. Before becoming a lawyer, she worked for Procter & Gamble in Frankfurt and Newcastle upon Tyne on finance and employee services projects.

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Syndicate leaders

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