Conservative Diary

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Matthew Richardson's monthly report

This is my seventh monthly report. Once again I have delayed the publication of this report in order that I might report on the CF campaigning efforts in Ealing Southall.

Ealing campaigns

CF provided over 5000 man hours, and delivered just in excess of 200,000 leaflets. Needless to say, I am very pleased with the results that we delivered to the campaign.

Organising a by-election campaign was very taxing, far more so than I imagined that it would be. The main difference between a by-election campaign and a standard campaign day is the lead time. For a standard campaign day the lead time is between three and four weeks. For the by-election there was scarcely 2 weeks to organise it all. The CF campaign contribution was twofold: weekday campaigning and weekend campaigning.

Weekday campaigning

Mark Clarke and I decided that we would give Patrick Sullivan the challenge of running a key aspect of the campaign. He did not disappoint us. He was given a brief to ensure that there was always a “low level” CF presence in Ealing, and I stipulated that he should ensure at least 12 people were there on each day for the duration of the campaign. In reality at least 15 people were in Ealing each day for 3 weeks campaigning from 9am until 9pm.

My awards for valour and services to weekday campaigning go to:

Patrick Sullivan

Peter Smallwood

Sonia Chohan

Weekend campaign day 1

Weekend campaigning had a slightly disappointing start, with 55 people present for the first weekend. In order to ensure that all of the 4,000 leaflets were delivered I added an extra hour of campaigning to the end of the day. Nobody seemed to notice or mind apart from one young lady who complained loudly and frequently about her sore feet (some might contend that this was her own fault for wearing high heels to a campaign day.)

My awards for valour and services on weekend campaign day 1 go to:

Lucy Bostick – for attending the morning after her birthday party

Louise Bagshawe – for attending while heavily pregnant

Weekend campaign day 2

The second weekend campaign day saw our numbers swell, with some 80+ people attending the campaign day, delivering 25,000 leaflets and canvassing one whole ward. Thirty eight of the campaigners stayed for a post-event meal at a local curry house.

My awards for valour and services to weekend campaign day 2 go to:


Mark Clarke – who worked so far he fell asleep on me on the train from Ealing to Paddington.Your browser may not support display of this image.

The parking attendant at Ealing Broadway – who managed to clamp the car while we were still in it without us noticing.

Polling Day

The CF effort on polling day was astounding, the day started with dawn raids at 5am and throughout the day there were over 150 CF people out.  The constituency office gave us 50% of the constituency to deliverer and CF managed to cover this area 4 times during polling day.  The speed at which CF were delivering meant that we were delivering leaflets faster than they could be bundled by the office.  It truly was an out standing effort.

My awards for valour and services to the cause on polling day go to:

Mr and Mrs Ben Pickering – for dragging themselves out of bed for the 5am dawn raids despite Ben’s aversion to getting up before lunchtime on any given day.

Claire Hilley – for getting a Labour activist arrested outside the count at 3am

Ealing summary

I was very pleased with the contribution that CF made to the Ealing campaign. I would like to thank Grant Shapps MP for facilitating the entire campaign and Chris Scott and the rest of the Ealing by-election campaign team.

My super gold star mega campaign hyper award goes to:

Paul Seery – who personally delivered 13,000 leaflets during the totality of the campaign. Paul was there for the entire campaign period and never once complained about being worked like a mule.


Since my last report I have attended one NME meeting to discuss the progress of the NME to date and to make new plans regarding our extended term. I have attended the Saturday campaign days in Ealing, obviously, and also went on my own to the constituency on various occasions during the by-election. I attended the GMCF Summer ball where I gave the Loyal Toast, I thoroughly enjoyed the whole evening.

If your CF branch has an event coming up and you would like someone from the NME to be there please drop me a line and I will do my best to ensure that I or one of my colleagues can attend.

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.

Obviously the by-election in Ealing has somewhat disrupted my campaigning plan for the year. I had hoped to assist Mary McLeod in Brentford and Isleworth at the end of last month and Andy Stephenson in Pendle this month. I will reschedule these days for another time this year.

In addition to this I have put together a file of what I consider to be “best practice” for CF national campaign days. I will be updating this file with all of the information I have about helping in a by-election, so whoever is in charge of campaigning in the future will think that Christmas has come early should another by-election come along. I will be handing this file to the National Organiser before the close of nominations of the next CF election. The quick turnover 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.


I am pleased 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 two 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.

This Saturday (28 July) is the Worcester CF No2ID action day. I am sure that it will be a great day, I will be there and I hope that you will be too.

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 next NME meeting I will suggest that the NME considers a policy day be planned for the second weekend in October.


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