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What we’re doing at the party conferences this year

Tearfund | 12 Sep 2019


Over the next month, members of Tearfund’s Government Relations team will be attending the Liberal Democrat, Labour, Conservative and Scottish National Party (SNP) party conferences.

Party conferences happen every year and are a way for the main political parties to meet with their members and share their vision for the following year. They feature a mix of speeches, events and debates.

Read on to find out why we’re there, what we’re going to be getting up to and how you can get involved.

Why are we going to the party conferences?
Tearfund engages with MPs because we want to see lasting change. This happens by not only working with those living in poverty, but by changing the circumstances, laws and systems that are keeping them trapped. Working with decision-makers who have the power to make laws is fundamental to alleviating poverty.

Party conferences are an opportunity for us to engage with party members, Peers and MPs, discussing Tearfund's work with them and building relationships that we can continue when they are back in Parliament.

Working with UK politicians, we can encourage the government to use its role as a leader on issues such as climate change. The government can then use its influence at global summits, international bodies and with other countries to push for vital changes.

The UK government has a commitment to spend 0.07 per cent of its spending each year on international aid. Tearfund has been able to work with the Department for International Development (DFID) on how some of that money gets spent.

You may remember that, through DFID, the UK government match funded our recent campaign to tackle plastic pollution across the world. DFID agreed to double all donations up to £3 million, raising an incredible £8,884,768.

DFID listen to Tearfund because of our experience and expertise, and the party conferences help us cultivate our relationships with MPs who work on this area. This can lead to further match funding opportunities.

What are we focusing on this year?
Tearfund will be taking our Rubbish Campaign to the party conferences this year. The campaign highlights the devastating link between plastics and poverty. We will be discussing with MPs the role in which the government and multinational companies can play in breaking this link.

Plastic pollution is destroying our natural environment and harming the world’s poorest people. Every 30 seconds someone dies because of diseases caused by plastic pollution and other waste. Plastic production is on an upward curve and, unless urgent action is taken, global plastic production will double over the next ten to fifteen years.

Here's how we're highlighting this rubbish issue at the party conferences:

Get involved


You can also tell your MP that Tearfund will be at their party conference this year. You can email them and invite them to one of our events. If you do not know who your local MP is, it’s easy to find out. If your MP wants to know more, you can tell them to email our team at

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