The Tory Reform Group (TRG) has a reputation as the principal independent group of Conservative Party supporters who believe in the values and promotion of moderate, liberal and One Nation Conservatism. It is for that reason that I joined the TRG as a student member earlier this year.
Despite the recent media coverage of parliament and the obvious importance of the issue, there is more than just Brexit for our policy makers, our politicians and our party to deal with. By joining the TRG, members are part of the conversation on how the Conservative Party can present policy solutions to the serious challenges our country faces, such as the housing crisis, within the One Nation tradition.
One way in which TRG members can take part in such policy debates is through the plethora of events the group holds throughout the year. For instance, in my first few months as a TRG member I have had the opportunity to attend the group’s annual One Nation Day Conference. This event, organised in association with the parliamentary Conservative Mainstream group chaired by the Rt Hon Nicky Morgan MP, consisted of a number of panel discussions on issues from the economy to Brexit and allowed for members to put their questions and policy suggestions to leading think-tankers and parliamentarians. As well as these larger, conference-style events, every few months the group hosts policy dinners with relevant parliamentarians and policy experts, where a single policy issue is discussed. This is in addition, of course, to the wide array of fringe events the TRG holds during Conservative Party Conference.
In addition to its policy-oriented events, the TRG hosts a number of social events throughout the year that allow members to meet like-minded Party members. Such an event that I have been fortunate enough to attend during my time as a student member is the TRG summer reception, which takes place on the magnificent terrace of the National Liberal Club overlooking the River Thames. This year, members were treated to a speech and Q&A session with the Education Secretary, the Rt Hon Justine Greening MP, and were able to socialise and discuss issues with fellow members and a number of other MPs who were in attendance. Additionally, the TRG hosts a number of events at the Conservative Party Conference including a traditional highlight of the conference programme: The President’s Midnight Reception.
For these reasons I would encourage all students who share the TRG’s approach to politics to take advantage of the Freshers’ offer of £1 membership and join the discussion on the future policy direction of our party and our country.