Conservative Diary

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Matthew Richardson's fourth report

I have been told that my reports are too critical; I trust that this report will be sufficiently fluffy and in keeping with the preferences of CCHQ. I hope that it will continue to convey some meaningful information to the members of CF.


I have attended one meeting of the National Management Executive, held at the CF chairman’s house. He was kind enough to cook us a nice lamp chop meal. I am pleased that his chairing skills are better than his culinary abilities.

Dan_hamiltonWe co-opted Daniel Hamilton to the media position. I voted in favour of this, knowing Daniel to be a talented and experienced press officer capable of raising CF’s profile in the media. We also co-opted Paul Hayes to the position of social action co-ordinator. I voted for him as I believed that he would add geographical diversity to the NME as well as meeting the requirements of the post. We agreed on the system for selecting CF’s delegates to the National Convention which is here. I voted in favour of this as I believe it to be the best way to get a fair spread of CF activists involved in convention. The selection meeting will be 6th February.

In addition to this I attended the Hammersmith campaigning day, visited Sheffield Conservative Future where I met Paul Hayes before he was appointed, and Mark Clarke and I visited Oxford University Conservative Association for their port and policy event. I have been pleased with the professionalism of the majority of the NME and I am happy to report that my comments in previous reports have largely been taken to heart.

Campaigning portfolio

It has been suggested that I should establish a brand for national CF campaign days in order to distinguish them from local action days. I would like ideas from members of CF as to what this brand might be.

Hammersmith campaign day


We had 55 volunteers at the Hammersmith campaigning day; delivering 27,000 leaflets with the help of the association to many areas which had previously received no communication. I am told this was the most successful campaign day in CF’s history. The volunteers included myself, Mark Clarke, Claire Palmer, Karen Allen, Christian Walker (who travelled some distance to attend) and our newly co-opted member James Dinsdale. Most importantly there were several first-time attendees at a CF campaign day. I would like to thank Paul Bristow and the Hammersmith association for the welcome they extended to us.

The next campaigning event will be held in Ribble South on 3 March. Details of this event will follow shortly. Minibuses will be departing from London, Sheffield, Manchester and Lancaster and any other association that can promise 10 or more people will attend. In order to offset our carbon emissions I have suggested the NME (myself included) stop breathing for the day.


I am pleased that the branch development at Worcester continues at a pace, thanks largely to the indefatigable efforts of Anne-Marie Bray. She will be holding an event at the Three Pears Pub in Worcester at 7.30pm on 16 February. Membership of the branch is up and an executive committee has been formed. This is in line with the CF branch development policy. Very soon Worcester will be left to its own devices and only given support when it requests it.

Manifesto commitments

In my manifesto I highlighted the need for more events for young professionals, more policy days and a decision on NUS involvement. At the last NME meeting we made a decision on our NUS policy; that there would be no official candidate for any NUS position, or indeed any involvement in the NUS this year beyond an official stall for the distribution of literature and signing up at a total cost of £150. I received no submissions about our NUS policy so was guided by the comments on ConservativeHome and my own conscience that in the absence of a clear preference for involvement we were better off keeping ourselves out of the organisation. Karen Allen’s first policy breakfast went off smoothly and she will be running another.


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