Conservative Diary

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Matthew Richardson's eighth monthly report

Clearly, once again, this report is slightly late however I hope that it has some useful information in it.  I delayed the publication pending Gordon Brown calling a general election.  Had there been a general election CF would have been ready as Mark, Michael Lunn, Karen and I have spent some considerable time making plans and putting systems in place to coordinate a nation wide short term campaign.  Luckily now we can rest easy and get back to the original campaign schedule.

Richmond campaign

I was slightly disappointed with the turn out at Richmond, only 30 people attended in total including Mark Clarke and myself.  However following a solid day’s work and nearly 6 hours of leafleting we all managed to do the work of 50 people and the association were very pleased.

I attribute the poor turn out to a series of factors including a large campaign day the week before in Tooting, the fact that many universities we still having their Freshers’ Week and International sporting fixtures on that day.  Sadly it was really the only available weekend which would have been suitable.

Other Campaign days

Lately many local associations such as Tooting, Dagenham and Rainham, Watford and Ealing have been organising their own local campaign days. I commend this activity as local activism will be the key if the Conservative Party is to be successful at the next general election.

It is sometimes difficult to balance the needs of the national party and the local party.  I have tried to limit national campaigning days to once a month to ensure that these local events are not disturbed as a result.  Neither local days nor national days are aided by overlapping campaigning sessions as divided loyalties often result in lower attendances at both days.

I must strongly praise Paul Pambakian of Ealing CF who has moved a local campaign day to take in to account the national day in Pendle on the 3rd of November.  It is my aim to send a mini bus from London to this event which will see campaigning in areas of Pendle where the BNP have a councillor and have polled strongly in the past.


Since my last report I have attended 2 of the 3 NME meetings that have been held.  At the meeting I missed no business was transacted as it was called at very short notice and only one member of the exec was able to attend.

At the other meetings the strategy for the general election was discussed and in liaison with Michael Lunn and Mark we have drawn up a strategy to assist in the event of the election.  I will include this strategy and all the associated documents in my handover pack which I will give to Michael Lunn before the close of nominations for the next election.

Since my last report I have also attended: a fund raising event for Andy Stephenson in Pendle, Cities of London and Westminster CF star Tuesday, Campaign Days in Tooting and Richmond, a fundraiser in Bedford and several other events not directly related to CF such as the YBF career day and two Bow Group discussions.

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.

The next national campaign day will be in Pendle on 3rd November we will be campaigning in wards where the BNP have polled strongly in the past and still have a councillor, there will be mini busses from Sheffield, Manchester, Keele and anywhere that can promise 10 people or more.  This is the second time that I have tried this approach to campaigning, the first time being Ribble, which was very successful.

On 1st December we will be in Brentford and Isleworth and I am hoping that we will be able to get more blue Santa hats for this event.


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.  I will be asking Anne-Marie to write a guide to setting up new branches which she should hand to Michael Lunn before the close of nomination for the next election.

Welcome to Michael Lunn

I would like to welcome Michael Lunn to CF as the new Youth Development Manager of CF, I look forward to working with him for the remainder of my term and beyond. He will be supported by two other staff who are yet to be appointed.

Manifesto commitments

In my manifesto I highlighted the need for more policy days.  I suggest that any member who wishes to attend such days look no further than the YBF conference which will be taking place in the last weekend in October it will be an excellent forum to discuss policy and receive activist training.  More details can be found on


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