Humanists UK success at party conference fringes

5 October, 2022

Humanists UK has enjoyed a successful party conference season. Staff attended the Conservative and Labour Party conferences, organising an informative and impactful fringe event at each, and were due to take part in similar events at the Liberal Democrats conference prior to its cancellation.

Humanists UK is not party-political but we attend party conferences in order to meet with parliamentarians and other influential stakeholders to advocate for humanist issues, and to engage with our party-political members and supporters.

At our fringe at the Labour Party Conference in Liverpool, we welcomed speeches from All-Party Parliamentary Humanist Group (APPHG) Treasurer Lord Alf Dubs, Vice Chairs Jeff Smith MP and Rachel Hopkins MP, and members Dame Nia Griffith DBE and MP Angela Eagle MP, chaired by Andrew Copson, Humanists UK’s Chief Executive. The panel covered a range of topics important to humanists – from the need for an inclusive education system to assisted dying, from humanist marriages to blasphemy laws.

Left to right: Lord Alf Dubs, Dame Nia Griffiths DBE, Andrew Copson, Jeff Smith MP, Rachel Hopkins MP

At the Conservative Party Conference in Birmingham, we co-hosted a ‘Humanist Wedding Reception’ with Conservative Humanists. Guests enjoyed cake and bubbly as they listened to speeches from Andrew Copson, humanist celebrant Zena Birch, APPHG Secretary Aaron Bell MP, and James Baird, Chair of Conservative Humanists.

Left to right: Andrew Copson, Aaron Bell MP, humanist celebrant Zena Birch, James Baird, Chair of Conservative Humanists

At both fringes, we collected signatures to demand legal recognition of humanist marriages in England and Wales. Humanist marriages are already legally recognised in Scotland, Northern Ireland, Ireland, Jersey, and Guernsey.

Humanist and Secularist Liberal Democrats (HSLD) had also arranged a fringe at the Liberal Democrats’ Conference. However, the party cancelled their conference following the death of the Queen. The event will now take place virtually at HSLD’s AGM on 8 November. It will be on the theme of illegal religious schools, with speakers including Humanists UK’s Education Campaigns Manager Robert Cann.


For further comment or information, media should contact Humanists UK Director of Public Affairs and Policy Richy Thompson at or phone 020 7324 3072 or 020 3675 0959.

Humanists UK is the national charity working on behalf of non-religious people. Powered by 100,000 members and supporters, we advance free thinking and promote humanism to create a tolerant society where rational thinking and kindness prevail. We provide ceremonies, pastoral care, education, and support services benefitting over a million people every year and our campaigns advance humanist thinking on ethical issues, human rights, and equal treatment for all.