2018 – Sir John Major
28 September 2018
It was an absolute delight to welcome back the Rt Hon David Miliband with his special guest the Rt Hon Sir John Major KG CH for this year’s South Shields Annual Lecture. Sir John, of course, was our Prime Minister from 1990 until 1997 and is also a former Chancellor of the Exchequer and former Foreign Secretary (as is David).
This is the 10th consecutive year that the school (or academy) has hosted David’s annual lecture and, once again, we had an inspired choice in Sir John Major. Sir John spent a significant time in our lecture theatre with a number of our history and politics students answering questions on a range of political issues. He then mingled with numerous special guests before taking a seat in our magnificent old hall.
There, David Miliband asked Sir John a number of very pertinent questions on a whole range of current and past political issues to which Sir John answered with refreshing warmth and honesty. There was clearly huge mutual respect between the two despite them being members of different political parties.
David then opened up the questions to the audience and there were some further stimulating questions which were honestly answered by both Sir John and David. As the lecture drew to a close, David asked Robert Olley to present Sir John with the now traditional caricature which every guest receives. It was a lovely end to an inspiring event and the feedback from the guests was spectacular!
There was also immense interest from the media with the event featuring on national news that evening and the Politics Show on the following Sunday.
Once the lecture finished, we ushered Sir John and David down to Colman’s fish and chip restaurant for a magnificent supper provided by Richard and Frances Ord, family and staff.
Sir Ken Gibson