Responding to Reform’s Contract with the People

18 June 2024

Our Head of Public Policy Tim Dieppe gives his assessment of the policies in Reform UK’s Contract with the People

Reform UK released what it calls its Contract With the People on Monday. As one might expect from a party less likely to take power, it contains some radical policy proposals.


Reform proposes to introduce a 20% transferrable marriage tax allowance which would clearly incentivise marriage and benefit families. It also proposes to front load child benefit so that parents can stay at home with young children. They want to promote child friendly app-restricted smartphones and to launch an inquiry into social media harms. There is no mention of abortion or euthanasia in this contract.


Reform proposes to ban transgender ideology in all schools. It says that all schools must have single sex facilities, which also applies to public toilets and changing areas outside schools.

It promises to keep independent schools exempt from VAT, but goes further to introduce tax relief of 20% on all independent education. There are lots of small Christian schools struggling to make fees affordable and to make ends meet. Demand for Christian schools is increasing with concerns about the sexualisation of children and indoctrination in ‘woke’ ideologies. These measures would help such schools. They also propose a ‘patriotic’ curriculum in primary and secondary schools, seeking to “ensure balance” when history and social science is taught.

Free Speech

Reform proposes a “comprehensive” free speech bill, which it says will stop debanking, stop cancel culture, and stop sharia law. Many of our clients at the Christian Legal Centre have been ‘cancelled’ for expressing their Christian beliefs in the workplace or on social media. Multiple street preachers have been arrested and charged when preaching the gospel. Christian ministry Core Issues Trust had its bank account closed by Barclays Bank after an aggressive social media campaign from Pride activists. We would welcome stronger defences of free speech.

Reform also proposes to cut funding to universities that undermine free speech and to review the Online Safety Bill so that: “Social media giants that push baseless transgender ideology and divisive Critical Race theory . . . have no role in regulating free speech.” It proposes to change the definition of ‘hate crime’ so that it is not perception based.

There is no mention of ‘conversion therapy’ or ‘conversion practices’ in this covenant. Since such a ban would criminalise certain types of consensual conversations – a clear attack on free speech – it would seem unlikely that Reform would pursue such a ban.


There is no mention of ‘Christian’ or ‘church’ in this covenant. This is disappointing since an earlier version of the contract did say that “Christian values are under threat.” The contract does say that: “Multiculturalism has imported separate communities that reject our way of life” – this acknowledges that society does need some kind of consistent, stable foundation to flourish but fails to recognise that only Jesus Christ can provide it.

Constitutional Reform

Reform proposes to introduce proportional representation voting for the House of Commons. It also plans to reform the House of Lords and the Civil Service. These would be far-reaching reforms that could, in fact, alienate us from our Christian heritage.

It would leave the European Convention on Human Rights and replace the Equalities Act 2010. Most Christian Legal Centre cases, including many victories, have been argued based on these laws. They have considerable flaws but it is not clear that Reform’s proposed new British Bill of Rights would necessarily be an improvement.

It does say that the bill would stop “our entire country [being] locked down on shoddy evidence and lies”, which would mean likely that churches would be free to make their own decisions on whether to hold services during future pandemics.


Reform would introduce a new offence of “substantial possession of drugs” with heavy fines. It would also scrap Diversity, Equality and Inclusion (DEI) rules and all DEI roles in the Police. These rules and roles have substantially been used to promote LGBTQ ideology.


This is a shorter document than the manifestos of the major parties. There are many policies which we would welcome, particularly those on family and on free speech. There are few policies that we would oppose. This party is more robustly opposed to ‘woke’ and ‘transgender’ ideologies than any of the mainstream parties. Yet the omission of any reference to ‘Christian values’ raises the question as to where their values are coming from.

We need to pray for our candidates and their parties. Do join us for our weekly prayer meetings and the prayer rally on the eve of the election. Do also question your candidates on the issues that matter to you. This is your chance to make your views heard.

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