YorkX to host Natalie Bennett and Moazzam Begg on campus this month

We spoke to the founders of York’s exciting, new society


The Green Party leader, Natalie Bennett and Moazzam Begg, a former Guantanamo Bay detainee, are both talking at York this term thanks to newly founded society YorkX.

This is the first time the University of York will see a former Guantanamo Bay detainee speak to students on campus.

The Tab have spoken to the co-founders of YorkX, Akul Pankhania and Ilyas Ibrahim, both first year PPE students from James College, about the newest society to take York events by storm.

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Natalie Bennet has lead the Green Party since 2012, through arguably their most popular period in British politics. YorkX are hosting her for an interview followed by an audience lead Q&A session on April 22nd at the University of York. The event is entitled ‘Leading the Greens: Akul Pankhania in Conversation with Natalie Bennett’ and tickets are available here.

YorkX’s second guest sees Moazzam Begg, one of nine British Citizens held at  Guantánamo Bay by the United States government, speaking at the University of York on April 27th. Mr Begg was held for three years without charge and since being declared innocent, has campaigned for human rights awareness across the UK. The event is titled ‘Life Inside Guantanmo:  Akul Pankhania in Conversation with Moazzam Begg’ and tickets can be bought here.

The Tab can exclusively confirm the details of their first two events, and have spoken to the team about this new project.

Akul told The Tab: “We are really excited to start this new project. A lot of hard work and countless hours have gone into this. We are overwhelmed by the support we’ve had so far and I hope everyone will be pleased with the announcements made today.

“Our vision is to attract the biggest names from popular culture and politics to York. YorkX is unique as it is the first university-based dedicated talkshow in the North of England. In comparison to the South, the North is often deprived of the same high-profile speakers coming in to Universities, and it is our aim to change that.

Speaking about the future, Akul added: “Already, with our first events we’ve set the bar high and we plan to make history here at the University. We look forward to welcoming both Natalie Bennett and Moazzam Begg here to York. It’s really exciting and I’m hoping the students and members of the public will really rally behind YorkX and drive its success.

“Starting out from scratch has been very difficult, with many people, including friends that wanted to see us do well, telling us it wouldn’t work. Many of these people have turned into ‘believers’ since learning about the guests we’ve already secured. At YorkX, we are here to prove people wrong, we are here to put on the best events, we are here to make history and I truly believe this will be a huge success.

“Finally, I’d like to make it clear that YorkX is not a rival to other societies. Our goal is to bring the biggest names to York and put on the best events for our audience. We want to work together, rather than in competition, with other societies on campus to make this happen. We are more than happy for other groups to get in touch with us to discuss collaborated future efforts.”

More information can be found on their Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts. We look forward to seeing more from YorkX in the future.