Conservative Diary

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Matthew Richardson's fifth monthly report

I have deliberately delayed the publication of this report in order that I could make a full and detailed report of the South Ribble Campaign day and also because nothing interesting really happened in February.


I have attended one meeting of the National Management Executive; the sole purpose of this meeting was to select the CF delegates to National Convention. I will deal with this later in the report

In addition to this I attended the South Ribble campaigning day, and the new members, new MPs event in the Pitcher and Piano on Trafalgar Square.

Campaigning portfolio

In my last report I mentioned that 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 still like ideas from members of CF as to what this brand might be.

At the start of the year I was given a work plan which required me to run 6 days before the end of my term in office with a total of 200 people attending. So far I have run 4 days with 187 people attending. I do intend to run all 6 days and I hope that the total number of activists will be closer to 300.

In addition to this I am putting together a file of what I consider to be “best practice” for CF national campaign days. I will be handing this file to the National Organiser before the close of nominations of the next CF election. The quick turn over of CF officers often means that useful tips that are picked up in any given year are lost when the new batch of officers are elected. I will be encouraging each of the other members of the exec to submit such a file before the close of nominations.

South Ribble campaign day

We had 72 volunteers at the South Ribble campaigning day; delivering 20,000 leaflets with the help of the association to many areas which had previously received no communication. They also canvassed 750 households.

I am told this was the most successful campaign day in CF’s history. It is especially heartening given that it was in the North of England. I think that it is the first time that mini-buses from all parts of the country have converged on one seat for the sole purpose of Campaigning. It has certainly proved that it is possible to hold successful national campaigning days outside of London.

The volunteers included myself, Mark Clarke and our newly co-opted member Paul Hayes. Most importantly there were several first-time attendees at a CF campaign day. Special mention should be given to Manchester CF, Sheffield CF, Lancaster CF and OUCA (although the President turning up to campaign in White Tie wasn’t the greatest move).

I would like to thank Lorraine and Mark Fulbrook and the South Ribble association for the welcome they extended to us.


I am please to announce that the Worcester branch is now fully set up and ready to go on its own according to the plan the Chairman outlined at the start of the year, there are now 25 members and they have held 2 very successful events. Whilst this branch has nominally been under my supervision it is fair to say that nothing could have been accomplished without Anne-Marie Bray. I am sure that Worcester should be used as the model of a new CF branch. The NME and I will be pleased to offer any help and support to Worcester but I have a feeling there will be nothing extra we can give that Anne-Marie and her team won’t be able to do.

In addition the Chairman has secured £2000 for Worcester in order to aide with the future running and branch development. I understand that Robin Walker, the PPC, and Anne-Marie Bray are working on plans already.


The CF NME has selected 42 delegates to convention in accordance with the Chairman’s plan. Later this week the Chairman will be publishing the official list of delegates on ConHome. Overall I was happy with all of the delegates. I will be pleased to answer any individual queries regarding why I voted for each particular candidate on the discretionary list.

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 policy breakfasts seem to be going off smoothly and she will be running another one shortly.


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