18 October 2019


In late September and early October Magic Breakfast attended Labour and Conservative Party Conference in Brighton and Manchester respectively.

Party conferences are annual gatherings where party members, activists, businesses and third sector groups convene to discuss policy. They typically include speeches from Ministers containing new policy announcements as well as a packed programme of fringe events on all sorts of topics.

For Magic Breakfast they were a great opportunity to continue to build parliamentary support for school breakfast provision. We brought along a photo board that parliamentarians could take a picture with to support our new campaign, Fuel Their Future.

Labour Party Conference

At Labour Party Conference, we attended several fringe events on education, hunger and wider social justice. We were particularly pleased to hear the Chair of the APPG on School Food, Sharon Hodgson, call on her party to make a commitment to school breakfasts at a Lead Association for Catering in Education (LACA) and New Statesman event. We also met with the Labour Hunger Campaign who, at a Co-Op Party rally to tackle hunger, called on the party to back school breakfasts. At the conference, Shadow Secretary of State, Sue Hayman, announced that if elected Labour would establish the right to nutritious food in law, would halve food bank use in a year, and would set up a National Food Commission. You can read more details on this announcement here.

Dawn Butler MP, Gareth Thomas MP, Baroness Young
Kerry McCarthy MP, Laura Pidcock MP and Emma Hardy MP

Tracy Brabin MP, Mike Amesbury MP, Sharon Hodgson MP,
Lord Bassam, Stephen Timms MP and Mike Kane MP

Conservative Party Conference

Next up was Conservative Party Conference. We attended a number of fringe events on welfare reform, child poverty, social mobility and inclusive economic growth. The conference was quieter than normal as many MPs chose not to attend because Parliament was still sitting at the same time as conference.

At a Joseph Rowntree Foundation event, long time Magic Breakfast champion Alan Mak voiced support for school breakfast provision highlighting it as an example of what matters to low income voters.  We also had the chance to listen to Secretary of State for Education Gavin Williamson and Minister for School Standards Nick Gibb speak in the plenary. They voiced support for making schools fairer and for levelling up opportunities for children from all backgrounds, across the country. You can read the Secretary of State’s full speech here. Lastly we caught up with Magic Breakfast friends and supporters including People’s Postcode Lottery and Lexington Communications.

Alan Mak MP, Jack Brereton MP, Ross Thomson MP and Ben Bradley MP

Nicky Morgan MP, John Glen MP, Lord Willetts, 
George Freeman MP and Stuart Andrew MP

We are so grateful to the parliamentarians from both parties who took the time to show their support for school breakfasts and we look forward to following up with all of our wonderful supporters back in London and in their constituencies.