On Thursday March 9 2023, the John Smith Centre proudly hosted Lisa Nandy MP as part of our Power Hour series looking at key women in public life.

Lisa has written a new book, ‘All In: How We Built A Country That Works’ looking at the problem of civil and economic powerlessness in the UK, and how this has impacted towns and smaller communities. In the book, she argues that communities should have more control to address issues that matter to them.

Lisa was elected the MP for Wigan in 2010, the first female MP for the seat. She has held various role in the shadow cabinet and is currently the Shadow Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities.

Lisa joined Centre Director, Kezia Dugdale in conversation about why she decided to stand as an MP, why she thinks greater economic powers should be devolved locally and the importance of working with political opponents.

The full 60-minute session is available to watch or listen to again here but here are some highlights from our Centre Director, Kezia Dugdale.

1) Why become an MP?

In this clip, Lisa explains why she decided to stand as an MP in 2010 with the Rt Hon Michael Gove MP as her inspiration.

2) The polarisation of politics

In this clip, Lisa and Kezia discuss why politics has become polarised and impact that is having on many women not wishing to stand for election.

3) Disagreeing better

In this clip, Lisa explains why she want politicians from different parties to work more closely together and says when this happens it can have a positive impact on many people’s lives

4) Why greater devolution is needed across the UK

Here, Lisa talks about her new book, ‘All In: How We Built A Country That Works’ with the central theme that more power should be devolved from Westminster and more economic levers used at a more local level.

5) Limits to localism?

In this clip, Kezia asks Lisa is there are limits to localism, particularly around major policy areas like housing.

6) Scottish independence

In a question from the audience, Lisa is asked if she thinks greater devolution will inevitably lead to Scottish independence.

Everyone at the John Smith Centre would like to thank Lisa Nandy MP for giving us an hour of her time with such an interesting discussion about greater devolution across the UK and how that might work.