The Durham Union to host Jeremy Vine and debate organised religion as first events of the year


As the first events of the year, the Durham Union will host an address by Durham alumnus Jeremy Vine, and debate the motion “This House Welcomes the Decline of Organised religion.”

In anticipation of the release of the Union’s Michaelmas Term card on Sunday evening, Palatinate can reveal the first events planned for the academic year. All events held by the Union in the first week of term following Freshers’ Week are open to all students, regardless of membership.

Jeremy Vine, Palatinate Editor in 1986, will address the Union on Friday 11th October. The veteran broadcaster and journalist graduated from Hatfield College before starting his career at the BBC in 1987.

He is best known for hosting the BBC Radio 2 show, as well as time with Newsnight and Panorama.

Thursday 11th will see the first debate of the year. The Union will play host to international experts, academics, activists, a student and journalist debating the motion “This House Welcomes the Decline of Organised religion”.

Those involved in the evening are as follows:


Inna Shevchenko: Leader of FEMEN, the worldwide movement of topless activists that protest against the patriarchy. After being tortured by the KGB in Belarus and having the President of Ukraine call for her arrest, she received asylum in France.

Maddy Copley: Outreach Officer for the Durham Union, Maddy has previously served as Debates Competitions Secretary, convening the Durham IV, the Durham Open and Durham Schools, the world’s largest residential schools debating competition.

Sadia Hameed: Spokesperson for the Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain and an award-winning campaigner for women’s rights, focusing on ending honour based violence and casework for asylum seekers.


Professor Richard Swinburne: One of the most influential religious philosophers of the last fifty years, receiving academic and popular acclaim for his work arguing for the existence of God. He is a prominent Christian Apologetic.

Abdullah al Andalusi: Founder of the Muslim Debate Initiative and an Islamic scholar. He has spoken internationally on theology and philosophy, defending the belief systems of the classical Sunni schools of thought.

Balvinder Sidhu: ITV Presenter, as seen on Good Morning Britain. Balvinder is an award-winning journalist, having been crowned Asian Woman of Achievement in 2018 and Journalist of the Year, and is committed to making the media more diverse.

One thought on “The Durham Union to host Jeremy Vine and debate organised religion as first events of the year

  • Perhaps specify it’s the Belarusian KGB, rather than the KGB in Belarus, because most people associate ‘KGB’ with the Soviet Union (although the latter is of course the preceding organisation); ‘the’ KGB has been gone since 1991, and Shevchenko was born in 1990.


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