This Year’s Lecture 2020

Delay to the Lord Caradon Lecture 2020 – A Conversation with Kim Darroch – at 7.30pm on 12 November.

Trustees very much regret that the new Covid lockdown rules will prevent them from transmitting their 2020 lecture which was planned to be delivered on YouTube.  Limits on travel for activity other than work and numbers of people from different households in the same facility etc mean that if the event went ahead they would be in danger of breaking the law. A combined Trust and Plymouth Marjon University team spent the last week or so trying to generate a technical solution to resolve this, but even the best laid plans eventually run up against practical constraints.  Thus, Trustees have taken the view that delay is better than risking the reputations of those organisations and individuals participating.

The Trustees emphasise that this is a delay – they are planning to deliver the event as soon as the way ahead is clear, and if that means two Caradon lectures in 2021 then that is what they will do.  As a small glimmer of light, the Trustees are delighted to say that the planned 2021 lecturer will be Kerry Brown who is Professor of Chinese Studies and Director of the Lau China Institute at King’s College London. A date for the lecture will be published in due course.

Trustees know that this is disappointing for everyone and very conscious that many of you have generously supported their fundraising efforts  over the last 6 months – they are working hard to ensure that normal service is resumed as soon as practicable.

A revised date for the 2020 lecture will be published as soon as a way ahead is clear.



12th NOVEMBER 2020     7.30pm


The Trustees thought that you might be wondering how we are going to deliver the lecture in a time of Covid-19, and who this year’s Caradon Lecturer might be.   We have looked into the options and have decided that the only certain way of delivering it is online.  We intend to use The Workshop, the Plymouth Marjon University facility housed inside the famous BBC Villa in Seymour Road, Plymouth. The event will be streamed live over the university’s Facebook ( and YouTube ( channels.

The Trustees are delighted to report that Lord Darroch of Kew has accepted our invitation to be our speaker this year.  You may recall that he served as the British Ambassador to the United States between January 2016 and December 2019. He resigned his post on 10 July 2019 following the leak of diplomatic cables in which he had been critical of the Trump administration, and concluded his post in December 2019 when he retired from HM Diplomatic Service.  He has since written a book – Collateral Damage: Britain, America, and Europe in the Age of Trump – which was published on 17 September and many of you will have read extracts in the Sunday Times.  It goes without saying the planned lecture date is adjacent to the US election, indeed it may still be going on if neither candidate concedes while the postal votes are counted!

We intend to run the lecture in the form of “A conversation with Kim Darroch” with Martyn Oates, BBC South West’s Political Editor and a Caradon Trustee, hosting the event.  There will be a mechanism for posing questions to Kim Darroch in advance – should you wish to do so please send them to: with the heading Caradon Lecture and including your name (rather like the current mechanism on Radio 4’s Any Questions) – this mechanism will close on 5 November but there will also be a way to pose questions on the night.  We cannot guarantee to get to all the questions but will do our best.


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