Why we secretly love party conferences

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It’s time for the weirdest few weeks of the British political calendar: conference season.

Host Ailbhe Rea takes us on a whistle-stop tour of the speeches, fringe events, champagne receptions and bad karaoke parties that happen at the annual Conservative and Labour conference, with the help of Emily Thornberry, Labour’s shadow attorney general and a conference veteran. Two former advisers to Conservative cabinet ministers, Tim Smith and Jamie Njoku-Goodwin, tell the inside story of some of their party’s best and worst speeches and some of their own conference memories.

Mikey Smith, the Mirror’s Whitehall correspondent, discusses the conference “gaffe” — and how he derailed Labour conference when he recorded the party’s Deputy Leader Angela Rayner calling the Tories “scum.”

What’s it all for? Why do insiders love it? And does any of it really matter?