29 September 2023

Party conferences: What are they and why are we attending?

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Written by By Peter Whitehead, Policy Officer

Home > What we do > News and views > Party conferences: What are they and why are we attending?

As an organization dedicated to making sure no child is too hungry to learn in the UK, Magic Breakfast understands the importance of engaging with policymakers and advocating for change at every possible opportunity. One such opportunity is the UK party conferences, where key decision-makers from different political parties gather to discuss and shape the nation’s policies. In this blog, we’ll delve into what a party conference is in the UK and why Magic Breakfast is actively participating in them.

This Conference season, our Policy and Public Affairs team is excited to be heading to Labour, Conservative, and Scottish National Party (SNP) party conferences.

First things first: what is a party conference?

Every year, all the main political parties hold a conferences to discuss their policies, strategies, and to engage with party members, activists, and the wider public. There’s slightly different elements at each – for instance, at Labour’s there’s more voting on policies at e than at the Conservative Conference. But overall, conferences serve as a platform for political parties to showcase their vision for the country and engage with a diverse audience, including members, delegates, journalists, and interest groups.

So why are we going?

 We’re very proud of our political work. We know how important breakfast provision is, and we know how important it is to get it right, and ensure that it reaches the children and young people who need it most. That’s why we work across the political spectrum to ensure that politicians of all parties understand how they can help to ensure no child is too hungry to learn in the morning. And party conferences are a great place to have these conversations.

It’s a unique opportunity to have large portions of political parties in one place, alongside many other charities, campaigning organisations, and think tanks. And it’s great to come together to discuss how parties can rise to the challenges that our country faces.

This brings me to what we’ll be doing when we’re there.

Conferences are unique because with so many people in one space, there’s really interesting conversations sparking up everywhere, especially around improving the lives of children and young people.

We’ve already got an exciting diary for both conferences. We’re hosting some events this year, with help from our fantastic friends at Heinz. At Conservative Conference, we’ll be helping to host a panel event alongside the Centre for Social Justice and the Fair Education Alliance, called ‘Beyond the School Gates’, which looks at how we can break down barriers for children and young people.

At Labour, we’ll be hosting the same discussion, with different panellists, and also have a stall, where we’ll be speaking to party members, MPs, and anyone who wants to come over and discuss the incredible impact that we know breakfast can have.

At SNP Conference, our team will be attending, and discussing how the Scottish Government can make good on their promise to deliver breakfast to children and young people in Scotland – which, as our latest campaign pointed out, they are yet to do.

We’ll be updating our supporters on how conference went afterwards, so look out for our next blog. But after a really strong year for the Magic Breakfast political team, and as the country heads towards a general election, we’re really looking forward to conference season.

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20 December 2023

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