What does it mean to be a British citizen? For many years, British citizenship was synonymous with membership of a democratic, civilised society. Being subject to the rule of British law. Access to world-class healthcare and education. More recently, in light of the Windrush scandal and the Shamima Begum case, British citizenship for many has come to mean insecurity and conjures the spectre of statelessness.

Join Roger Robinson, Devyani Prabhat, Tasnime Akunjee and Aaqil Ahmed in conversation as they ask: in a ‘hostile environment’ and post-Brexit climate, how secure is anyone’s citizenship? And is the UK operating a prejudiced ‘two-tier’ system, in which some of us are considered ‘more British’ than others?

About The Speakers

Roger Robinson

Roger Robinson is a writer and performer who lives between London and Trinidad. His first full poetry collection, The Butterfly Hotel (2013), was shortlisted for The OCM Bocas Poetry Prize and his second, A Portable Paradise (2019), has been nominated for the T.S. Eliot Prize. He is the lead vocalist and lyricist for King Midas Sound.

Tasnime Akunjee

Tasnime is a solicitor working in the field of Complex Crime / Terrorism and defamation. Tasnime has also negotiated the release and resettlement of individuals caught up in the conflict in Syria , he has written papers and contributed to research and analysis academically on the subject of Isis as well as on the governments ‘Prevent’ policy.



Dr Devyani Prabhat

Dr Devyani Prabhat is a Reader in Law at University of Bristol Law School. Her book Unleashing the Force of Law ( Palgrave Macmillan) has won the Birks Prize for Outstanding Legal Scholarship (Society of Legal Scholars ). Her latest book is Britishness, Belonging and Citizenship (Policy Press 2018).


About The Chair

Aaqil Ahmed

Aaqil is the former Head of Religion and Ethics at the BBC and Channel 4, delivering many award-winning programmes, including The Life of Muhammad. He is also Professor of Media at Bolton University, Non-Executive Director of the Advertising Standards Authority and a consultant in Television production, communications and diversity.