Charles Kennedy Memorial Debate and


Friday 25th September 2015


Everyone at the Glasgow University Union was devastated to hear the news about Charles earlier this year. He was a valued member of the University's community, not just as a two-term Rector, but also as a former President and active alumnus of GUU. Charles was particularly renowned for his successes in debating, winning the Observer Mace competition during his time here in a golden era on the national and international stage.


The Union will mark his achievements and contributions by way of a memorial debate and dinner, to be attended predominantly by students and alumni. The event will take place on the evening of Friday 25th September, comprising a champagne reception, the debate taking place in our own debates chamber, and a three-course black tie dinner afterwards. The proposed motion for the debate is one that was close to Charles' heart:


“This House believes that the UK should remain within the European Union.”


The debate will be chaired by The Rt. Hon. Sir Menzies Campbell, who served as Charles's deputy, before becoming leader himself. Speakers for the proposition include the former Chancellor Alistair Darling, Scottish Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Europe and External Affairs Fiona Hyslop and Scottish MEP, Ian Duncan. Amongst those opposing the motion are John Mills, Co-Chairman of Business for Britain and Labour MP Graham Stringer MP




The judging panel will be chaired by Labour’s former Communications Director and close friend of Charles Kennedy, Alasdair Campbell. He will be joined by the former Liberal Democrat cabinet minister Jo Swinson, BBC Scotland’s political editor Brian Taylor and the Principal of the University of Glasgow, Professor Anton Muscatelli.


The event is of special significance for Alasdair Campbell who said:

“Charles was one of the best debaters in Westminster, and one of those rare politicians who managed to stand by his principles and always saw what he thought while remaining popular with all who met them. He honed many of those skills as a student at Glasgow University and he loved being Rector there and it’s a fitting tribute that the Union is staging a heavyweight debate on an issue close to his heart."


We are pleased to announce that the dinner is being generously sponsored by Brodies LLP. Christine O’Neill, Chairman of Brodies and University of Glagow alumnus herself said:

“We are very pleased to support the Charles Kennedy Memorial Debate, which not only recognises the significant contribution made to political discourse by a great parliamentarian and debater but also focuses on an issue that is going to be the subject of intense discussion in the months to come. The UK’s future in the EU is a matter of significant importance to us all and we are looking forward to a lively and informative debate on the merits of both sides of the argument.”


Tickets for the Dinner are now competely sold out but tickets for the gallery (free of charge) will soon be made available. All proceeds from the event will be donated to the University of Glasgow Charles Kennedy Memorial Fund


Any enquiries regarding the event should be directed to

Final Details

For those of you not able to be present, the Debate will be live streamed by Glasgow University Student Television


Gallery Ticket Holders
A few Gallery Tickets remain available, please contact the Porters Box on 0141 339 8697 to reserve yours. 
Doors Open 6.15pm for Debate to Start at 7.00pm

Dinner Ticket Holders
The dress code for Dinner Guests is Black Tie.
Guests are invited at 6.15pm for a Drinks Reception for the Debate to Start at 7.00pm. The Dinner will follow the Debate at 8.30pm and the Dinner and Speeches will conclude at 11.00pm


Please contact for information


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