Professor Matthew Flinders – Professor of Politics and Founding Director of the Sir Bernard Crick Centre for the Public Understanding of Politics at the University of Sheffield. In addition to writing and presenting a number of documentaries for BBC Radio 4, Matthew is also Vice Chair of the Political Studies Association of the United Kingdom.
On the panel:
Justin Audibert – freelance Writer and Director for Film and Theatre and the current Artistic Director of the Unicorn Theatre, the UK’s leading theatre for children. In 2012, Justin was the recipient of the Leverhulme Award for Emerging Directors from the National Theatre Studio and was one of the Guardian’s 12 Theatre Stars for 2020. He is a trustee of Told By An Idiot, Invisible Flock, the JMK Trust and the Peggy Ramsay Foundation. Justin also sits on the Education Advisory Committee for the Royal Shakespeare Company and on the advisory councils of the Children’s Touring Partnership and the Cultural Learning Alliance.
Gavin Esler – Award winning television and radio broadcaster, novelist and journalist. He is the author of five novels and four non-fiction books, most recently How Britain Ends – English Nationalism and the Re-birth of Four Nations. It’s a forensic examination of the way in which resurgent English nationalism is pulling the United Kingdom apart. It follows Lessons from the Top, a study of how leaders tell stories to make other people follow them, based on personal encounters with a wide variety of leaders, from Bill Clinton and Angela Merkel to Tony Blair, Margaret Thatcher, and even cultural leaders such as Dolly Parton.
Baroness Helena Morrissey DBE – Helena has over three decades’ experience in financial services, including 15 years as CEO of Newton. She is lead NED at the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office and Chair-designate at AJ Bell, the FTSE250 firm whose mission is to help people to invest. In 2010, Helena founded the 30% Club. Since then, the representation of women on FTSE350 boards has risen from less than 10% to over 30% and there are now eighteen 30% Clubs throughout the world. Helena chairs the Diversity Project, to improve diversity across all dimensions in the investment industry. Helena entered the House of Lords in September 2020 and was appointed a Dame in 2017. Her second book Style and Substance, a career guide for women, is published by Little, Brown Books on 14th October 2021.
Ella Whelan – Co-convenor of the 2021 Battle of Ideas festival. She is a journalist and author of What Women Want: Fun, Freedom and an End to Feminism. Ella is a columnist for spiked and one third of the weekly spiked podcast Ella regularly appears on TV and radio, including Question Time, Today, Times Radio, Sky News, GMB, GB News, Any Questions, Moral Maze, Politics Live, Channel 4 and others. She has written for The Critic, New Statesman, Telegraph, Sunday Times, The Economist, the Irish Times, the Sun, Conscience, Spectator, City Am, IBT, Grazia, Standpoint and others. Ella is one half of Lobster Films – a new production company making political documentaries about thorny issues that others shy away from. Ella is co-convenor of the Battle of Ideas Festival – the place to be if you’re open to being part of civilised and passionate debate – which will take place on 9 and 10 October at Church House in Westminster.