About us

TRG is an independent group which brings together members and friends of the Conservative Party to promote the values of One Nation Conservatism. First established in 1975, TRG seeks to ensure the Conservative Party governs within the One Nation tradition.

TRG advocates the benefits of a society founded on freedom, individual responsibility and community. It brings together members and supporters of the Conservative Party who share this approach to politics.

The strength of TRG lies in the breadth of its membership which is drawn from all ages, backgrounds and walks of life. Members include parliamentarians, councillors, association officers and private individuals from all parts of the United Kingdom.

TRG has a busy events calendar of round table policy discussions, drinks receptions and gala dinner events. Speakers range from leading Conservative thinkers, MPs, Peers and Cabinet Ministers. The Group also seeks to influence public debate and Government policy through a programme of campaigns and publications.

TRG is recognised as the authentic and authoritative voice of moderate, liberal Conservatism throughout the Party. It is the home of the One Nation movement in Britain.

History

The Tory Reform Group (TRG) was formally established in June 1975 through the merger of four like-minded groups: Pressure for Economic and Social Toryism (PEST), Macleod Group, Social Tory Action Group, and a group in Manchester who had already been going by the name TRG.

TRG was conceived as a national forum for ordinary Conservative Party members and MPs alike who saw the need for the application of traditional conservative values in the modern world. Firmly rooted in the philosophies of Benjamin Disraeli’s ‘One Nation’ and Harold Macmillan’s ‘Middle Way’, TRG aimed to achieve economic efficiency with the exercise of compassion. It believed in a fair society achieved through contemporary welfare reforms and mainstream policies. With an interventionist attitude towards unjust social conditions, TRG was set in the image of historical figures such as Iain Macleod, Winston Churchill and R.A. Butler.

The key figure in the formation of TRG was Peter Walker MP, a Minister in Ted Heath’s Government from 1970-1974. Once out of government, he was urged by MPs to form a parliamentary group that represented the liberal view within the Conservative Party.

The Group hoped to spread its moderate view through the publication of pamphlets, discussion with MPs, use of media, and by widening its membership. Weekly lunches were inherited from PEST which had organised a Tuesday Luncheon Club in local pubs, such as The Magpie and Stump in Old Bailey. These lunches provided a programme of speakers as well as opportunities for TRG Members to become involved in constituency campaign activities.

In January 1976, TRG released its first publication entitled Home Run by Nicholas Scott MP, then the President of the Group. It was a significant contribution to the campaign to make the sale of council houses to their tenants a key part of the Conservative policy platform, now known as ‘Right to Buy’. TRG patron Michael Heseltine would later implement this policy in Government after 1979.

The 1980s saw TRG pitched headlong into some passionate debates within the Conservative Party, notably over the direction of economic policy at home and the apartheid regime in South Africa. TRG refused to compromise on its opposition to apartheid and from time to time clashed with Lady Thatcher’s Government as a result. The annual Budget submissions of the Group reflected concerns in the wider Party that Government economic policy was sometimes too focused on ends and took insufficient account of the consequences of some of the means.

Over the years TRG has changed its approach; the confrontational battles of the early years have given way to a more thoughtful approach based on debate and the active promotion of ideas in the One Nation tradition.

TRG is an established part of the Conservative political scene, recognised as the authentic voice of moderate, One Nation Conservatism throughout the Party.

Contact

TRG
83 Victoria Street
Westminster
London SW1H 0HW

All media enquiries to:
David Fazakerley
Tel: +44 203 008 2389
Email: chairman@trg.org.uk