John Smith Centre Power Hours

Hosted by Kezia Dugdale


Each Power Hour seeks to examine a different aspect of power in politics and public life in the UK and beyond. From the role of special advisers to opposition backbench MPs, to Government Ministers and think tank directors. We spend 60 minutes with key decision makers looking at their early careers, the big issues they’ve grappled with and their hopes and fear for the future.

The Power Hour series is hosted by the John Smith Centre which exists to promote trust in politics and public service. For further details on the work of the John Smith Centre click here.

Below you will find a collection of the Power Hour series hosted this year. You can also click here for the full collection of the Power Hour series which the John Smith Centre has hosted.


11th February 2021: Mo Hussein


Mo Hussein was a Special Advisor in the UK Government to Amber Rudd whilst at the Home Office and at the Department for Energy and Climate Change.

He was part of David Cameron’s communications team in 10 Downing Street for four years and previously worked as Media Advisor to the British Forces in Afghanistan. He is now the Director of Public Affairs for the London based PR agency PLMR.

Mo joined Kezia Dugdale in conversation to explore his background, how he got into politics and his experiences at the heart of Government.


Watch the full Mo Hussein Power Hour OR Watch the Director’s Cut summary version


22nd February 2021: Sarah McBride


When Sarah McBride was elected in November 2020 to the first state senate district of Delaware, she became the first openly transgender state senator in American history.

She has been involved in community advocacy for most of her life, including working for former Governor Jack Markell, the late Attorney General Beau Biden, and as a White House intern during the Obama Administration. Most recently, she served as a spokesperson for the Human Rights Campaign, the United States of America’s largest LGBTQ equal rights organization.

As part of LGBT History Month, Sarah joined Kezia Dugdale in conversation to talk about her journey into politics, her campaigns surrounding healthcare, being the first transgender State Senator in American history and her hopes for the future of progressive politics. 


Watch the full Sarah McBride Power Hour OR Watch the Director’s Cut summary version


23rd February 2021: Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson


Tanni Grey Thompson is a multi-gold medal winning Olympian, disability rights campaigner and crossbench peer in the House of Lords.

In conversation with Kezia Dugdale, Baroness Grey-Thompson discusses her work in the House of Lords, looking at the Duty of Care in sport after high profile incidents of abuse, bullying, racism and discriminations, as well as her hopes and fears for the future. 


Watch the full Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson Power Hour OR Watch the Director’s Cut summary version


9th March 2021: David Lammy MP


David Lammy, the Shadow Secretary of State for Justice and Labour MP for Tottenham currently serves in Keir Starmer’s Shadow Cabinet as the Shadow Secretary of State for Justice and was previously a Minister for Culture and separately, Higher Education. He’s written several books, the latest of which “Tribes” offers some real insights on how identity is shaping culture, society and our politics.

In conversation with Kezia Dugdale, they explore David’s early life, his time in government and how he has used the role of a MP to secure justice for the Windrush Generation and victims of the Grenfell fire.


Watch the full David Lammy MP Power Hour OR Watch the Director’s Cut summary version