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Matthew Richardson's monthly report II

Mathewrichardson_1 Matthew is CF Exec member with responsibility for campaigns

I apologise for the tardiness of this report. I delayed its publication in order to include details of the second planned campaigning day in Battersea on 16 December. These details will be included later.

National Management Executive

I have attended all of the NME meetings at which I was required. 

We have appointed nine vice presidents of CF who will hold office for three years and ensure continuity in the organisation between executives. I did not have any objections to any of the proposed nine, whose names will be published on the CF website shortly. 

We have co-opted Greig Baker to the executive to handle marginal seats and improvements in new branch development. Both he and James Dinsdale, who was also considered for the post, were attractive candidates but the executive member in charge and thus the whole executive found Greig to be the more attractive of the two. I am sure he will be an excellent addition to the team.

I continue to be impressed by the professionalism and commitment of the executive. I am slightly disappointed that Craig Cox and Christian Walker have yet to meet each other. I am sure they will enjoy each other’s company when they do.

Swindon campaigning report

I was delighted with the turnout at Swindon at the last national campaigning day. 27 people attended, resulting an excellent day’s work in this key seat including the delivery of 3500 leaflets and 400 doors canvassed. The candidate, former CF chairman Justin Tomlinson, was very grateful to us for our efforts.

I regret that only two members of the executive attended the day. I am satisfied that Mark Clarke was unable to attend the full day due to other CF commitments and am nonetheless grateful that he took the time and money to travel with us to Swindon. I am certain that with more notice all members of the executive will be able to attend future campaigning days.

I have learned from this experience that the key to campaigning outside of London is advance notice and engaging nearby branches. I am convinced that the £25 return train fare from Paddington to Swindon discouraged many otherwise willing volunteers. I hope in the future that travel subsidies will be available or that a minibus will be used to transport volunteers.

I hope that holding the first campaigning day of the executive year outside London has convinced some of the critics that the executive is not entirely London-focussed.

Battersea campaigning day

I have made the following release regarding our Battersea day.


All of the fun of the last CF campaigning day… and you don't even have to leave London! (Or you've been given a bloody good reason to come to the capital.)

The Labour party's struggle to take Battersea was immortalised in John O'Farrell's "T hings Can Only Get Better: Eighteen Miserable Years in the Life of a Labour Supporter."

But in 2005 we managed to cut their majority to a mere 163 votes.

163 votes. We can win over that number of people in a day's campaigning. And that is exactly what we are going to do on Saturday 16 December.

Oh – and I've got 100 blue Santa hats for the occasion.

We'll start the day with a training session led by Justine Greening, MP for Putney. We'll have a lunch provided by the constituency association before leafleting and canvassing (and yes, there are fewer driveways to walk up in Battersea than in most places.)

At the end of it all we'll kick back with some drinks and hop on a bus or train home.

163 votes. Help us take back Battersea.

RSVP to [email protected] and secure your Santa hat.


As part of the marginal seats initiative and new branch development I have been tasked with overseeing the creation of a new branch in Worcester. I have been fortunate to work with a very talented area chairman, Anne-Marie Bray, who with PPC Robin Walker has carried out much of the hard work there.  Mark Clarke, Christian Walker and I will be attending the opening event of the Worcester branch on Thursday 30 November at Deco in Worcester from 7.30pm.

I hope you will too, if you live nearby.

Manifesto commitments

In my manifesto I highlighted the need for more events for young professionals, more policy days and a decision on NUS involvement. 

Karen Allen continues to do an excellent job organising events for young professionals and is currently putting together the Working Life conference. I am pleased to announce that with the Working Life portfolio, Karen has agreed to look into and organise a series of policy breakfasts in the City and West London with members of the Shadow Cabinet. Details of both of these initiatives will be available from Karen shortly.

I haven’t heard from anyone with their thoughts on our NUS policy, which is a little unusual given the strength of (various) opinions out there. Please do let me know, and I will endeavour to raise your concerns at the NME. Email [email protected].


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