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October 01, 2006


Jonathan Sheppard

Its worth it when you get it - a great bloggers stand with a couple of good chaps on it at the moment!

Deputy Editor

They're starting to take names and DOBs to those in the waiting area, and then delivering their passes to them if they are ready.

From talking to people it seems that most CCHQers don't have theirs, some journos and one MP has only just got one.

Still, don't think it'll be worse than Labour's.

Robin Harker

It appears the police has screwed up the security checks on delegates to the Conservative conference in Bournemouth, such that some delegates will not even make it into the conference hall today. NB This is NOT a matter of the last people to apply being the ones missing out, but appear sto quite arbitrary. My wife who applied a couple of months ago, is still waiting, and has been told her pass will not be available today, she is due to speak to conference on Tuesday, so thankfully she was not due to speak today! Conversely a colleague who applied only two weeks ago colleced his pass this morning. Good old plod

Phil Taylor

I sent my application in about a month ago. It was a bit of a fag to fill out the form, get the photos and hassle my chairman to sign. I was looking forward to my first conference.

As a consequence of not having confirmation that I could attend I have not booked a hotel and seeing the queues now I think I have better things to do with my time than to drive down to Bournemouth, hoping I have brought the right ID with me, wondering if they got the application, wondering if I need more photos, queue for hours, maybe wait around 24 hours to clear security, what?

Not impressed. These idiots better give me my £120 back.

Oberon Houston

Yes, its a great shame that many 1st timers were caught up in this. It must be especially fustrating for those who can only attend the first couple of days!

Still, in now and I've got to say its great to see Tim, Ian and Co. at their wee stand busily working away with their sleves rolled up, not too sure if they can get a great deal of work done as its also a great opportunity to say hello to them.

michael mcgough

It would appear to be much easier to enter the UK than the Conference---why?

Oberon Houston

The initial thought was... because of the terrorists. um, ok I see your point.

Deputy Editor

Well I've been at the Late Accred waiting area all day. Lots of people got angry. MEPs and MPs are among those who had trouble, although they seem to have found it easier to get it sorted out.

Robin is right, it was nothing to do with how long ago you applied. One researcher applied yesterday and got their pass this morning, whilst many who applied immediately have been trying to get their pass for a couple of days.

Apparently the Police said that they only got the July applications last week although Francis Maude, who came in at around 8:30pm to apologise, denied this.

The BBC were all over it.


I would like to know who was/is responsible for this debacle. If the police then ho hum, but if it's CCHQ then we really must get professional, (no capable) people involved. Are there too many keen volunteers involved in these positions? Remeber we live in a digital/visual/persentation lead environment, whether we like it or not!

Louise Bagshawe

I apologise to ConHome readers for not doing any education blogging. I haven't been able to get a pass! Even the fringe meetings are inside the secure zone. I met James Cleverley and many other candidates - even the Chairman of my own Association in Bexhill & Battle - who had been unable to get in either.

Mike Rouse

Hello everybody. I am writing from the Trouville Hotel where I have decided to come while I wait for my pass. I've been waiting for 44 hours now with no clear idea what is going on other than "It's still with the police". Nobody really knows what is going on and nobody really seems to care. Francis Maude came down earlier and apologised again and re-promised TV screens were going to be installed so conference could be broadcast to the auditorium. There are about 200-300 people there now. Tempers are running high. My application was late, so I might not even get a pass at all. I have loads of leaflets I wanted to hand out and am very upset about it all. Francis Maude's tiny consoloation is that refunds are available if delegates give up and apparantly the Labour conference was in the exact same situation. Oh so that's ok then!

Old Hack

I was able to collect my pass on Sunday after a 3 hour wait in the queue but my wife is still waiting 36 hours later, awaiting security checks.

As someone who countersigns applications I note that this is the first year I've been rung by the Police to confirm I know the applicant whose form I've countersigned. It strikes me that the Home Office may have imposed some new requirements for security checks?

This does not absolve either CCHQ or the Dorset Police though. This accreditation fiasco has marred the conference and is a classic example of a cluster of administrational cock-ups.

It is not edifying to listen to the Police & CCHQ indulge in street briefings of blame and counterblame, egged on by the media. It certainly does not make for a good working relationship needed to overcome this problem.....

There needs to be an inquest after the conference.But the Party MUST express its thanks to the rank and file Policemen who are guarding the conference in some pretty awsful weather.

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