Conservative Diary


17 Jun 2008 08:58:23

CF campaigning in Henley

Fresh from a successful effort in Crewe, Conservative Future is gearing up for campaigning in the Henley by-election. The Exec will be using new software to update members with the progress in the by-election:

Twitter - Using Twitter (a microblogging site) we will be able to provide constant updates of how things are going - from now until polling day. You can see the Twitter feed at the top of the right sidebar on the Exec blog (CFHenley08). We have been 'twittering' from London so far; with info and things we hear, but from tomorrow it will be from the heart of the action - the full feed can be seen here.

Flickr - Through Flickr (online photos) we will be able to upload photos directly for members to see what we are up to - these will be online minutes after they are taken. There is also a Flickr photo feed just below the Twitter feed in the right sidebar.

Details of an upcoming campaign day in Henley, and a coach being taken up by ConservativeHome...


CF National Day - Sat 21st June @ 11:00am

If you have any general questions about travel etc then get in touch with the CF National Campaigns Director, Patrick Sullivan - [email protected]

Location: Henley train station

More info: Facebook group / Exec blog


Conservative Home bus to Henley - Sun 22nd June @ 10:00am

Like with Crewe a number of CF members will be catching a ConservativeHome-organised coach up for a day of campaigning. We'll leave from central London at 10am and spend six hours in Henley including a lunch break.  The voluntary cost will be £12 per person (we say voluntary because we'd rather have poverty-stricken students' time than their money).  If you'd like to join us please email us.

The Henley campaign may not be as exciting as Crewe.  Holding a seat is not as exciting as winning a seat but we can't afford to be apathetic.  We need to maintain the momentum that has been built up over recent months by keeping the LibDems in a weak second place.  If you can't join our coach trip but would like to help in other ways please email [email protected].

18 Apr 2008 18:03:00


As well as tomorrow's CF Action Day you can help get Boris elected by making crucial Get Out The Vote calls:

For every 5 calls we make, we ensure an extra voter turns out and votes for Boris, so your calls can really make the difference. Therefore if we make 30,000 calls over the next two weeks we can help turn out an extra 6,000 votes – in a narrow contest that could determine who wins! So if you have a spare hour after work tonight please book in or if you could make calls from home let us know and we can get you canvass cards to make calls.   It can and will make the difference!

Over the next week there will be some special prizes for the most completed calls:

  1. Tea with Boris
  2. Tea with George Osborne
  3. Tea with Party Chairman, Caroline Spelman
  4. Bottle of House of Commons Whisky
  5. Bottle of House of Commons Whisky
  6. Bottle of House of Commons Whisky

Book in for a session by emailing [email protected] to win these Fantastic Prizes Today!

The Call Centre is based at 34 Bedford Row, London, WC1R 4JH and is open 5pm to 9pm Monday to Friday,10am to 6pm Saturday, and 11am to 6pm Sunday.

5 Feb 2008 15:52:53

CF recognised in Party's campaigning excellence awards

Following nominations from Mark Clarke, a CF branch and CF nationally have been recognised by the Party for their campaigning efforts.

Firstly, Exeter CF were nominated in the category of membership and actually won the National Award in the membership category, beating associations across the country. David Cameron presented the award to Christian May.

Download Exeter nomination statement

Secondly, National CF were nominated in the category of campaigning. It reached the final of the national competition but was beaten by South Ribble – an association aided by a 70 strong CF campaign day.

Download national nomination statement

31 Jan 2008 11:38:14

Christian May: CF's role is to campaign

When you’re inside an organisation it’s very easy to get bogged down in the internal politics and forget what the organisation is there to do (as any CF member will know).  But with the election round the corner it’s important to keep in mind what CF’s role is, where it fits into the battle to return the Conservative Party to power, and what needs to be done to ensure CF succeeds in fulfilling that role.   

At the very latest the next general election will take place in June 2010.  But as we learnt in autumn of last year, an election could take place at any time between now and then.  From our point of view as CF members that means one very simple thing; we have to get into fighting shape, and we don’t have very long to do it.   

As we all know there are a lot of things that could be better about CF.  But in assessing areas of potential improvement there is one simple question which must be asked; will improving X or Y better equip CF to fight for a Conservative victory in the next general election?  If the answer is no, then now is not the time to commit to that improvement.   

There’s a lot the next CF NME could do.  But now is the time to focus on what it needs to do.  The Conservative Party needs CF now more than ever, and CF needs to do what it needs to do; and that’s campaigning.   

Anything else just takes us a step further away from Downing Street. 

9 Nov 2007 12:51:01

Matthew Richardson's campaigning report

This is my ninth monthly report. I am sure that many of you will be amazed and astounded that my report has been delivered on time this month. I don't know what to tell you.

Pendle campaign

The Pendle campaign was one of the most difficult to organise of any campaign day so far. The location is remote and lacks transport links. However that did not stop the Pendle campaign day from being one of the most successful yet. Some 55 campaigners from all over the UK converged on Pendle for the day and delivered over 17,000 leaflets and canvassed the entire BNP held ward of the constituency.

I was especially pleased with the work done by GMCF who provided the back bone of the group for the day. James Dinsdale was there on behalf of the NME and it was a great day. We stopped for lunch at a Tex-Mex eatery and just so happened to all gather outside as the local press arrived.

I was slightly concerned at how difficult it was to persuade certain local branches to attend the national day rather than work on local campaigning. It is important that when National Campaign days come along that Area Chairmen in local areas put their local campaigning aside for the day and come campaign with the rest of CF.

The heroes of the day are Rob Largan and Adele Douglas who organised the GMCF contingent, Charlie Groome, who missed the London bus because his alarm didn't go off but caught the train up at his own expense so as not to miss a moment's campaigning and Paul Seery for just being a campaigning legend.

It was also nice to see some first timers including Lisa Prickett and Joanna McKay who have both promised that they will return.

Continue reading "Matthew Richardson's campaigning report" »

13 Oct 2007 07:38:00

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.

Continue reading "Matthew Richardson's eighth monthly report" »

27 Jul 2007 01:30:09

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.

Continue reading "Matthew Richardson's monthly report" »

12 Jul 2007 16:19:00

Ealing Southall video

A video of last Saturday's CF campaign day in Ealing Southall has been posted on Mark Clarke's restarted blog:

There's another this Saturday, email ealing@matthewrichardson if you would like to attend.

3 Jul 2007 10:25:04

Ealing Southall campaigning

Conservative Future is doing its bit in the impending by-election, with:

  • Telegraph_extract Daily campaigning - contact Patrick Sullivan on 07801 233 852
  • Action Days on the next two Saturdays (July 7th and 14th)
  • Mid week evening campaigning on the next two Wednesdays (July 11th and 18th)
  • As many as people as possible there on the day (July 19th)

Email [email protected] for more info and also check out the Party's CampaignTogether website to sign-up for updates on by-elections.

An analysis of last year's local elections shows that if the same votes were cast for the parliamentary election as were cast for local councillors, the Conservatives would be just 1800 votes behind Labour within the constituency boundaries of Ealing Southall. Added to this is the Tony Lit factor (who certainly has better credentials than the LibDem candidate) so it will be an exciting few weeks.


25 May 2007 10:31:51

Matthew Richardson's sixth monthly report

Matthew_richardson The more perceptive of you will have noticed that I did not make a report last month, which was largely because nothing happened in April.


There have been no NME meetings since my last report.  I have attended several CF events, including the Tooting Campaign Day and Tooting CF launch, National Convention and Spring Forum.  I also visited with Greater Manchester CF for drinks and a “getting to know you” session.  I am astounded by the good work that GMCF is doing and I look forward to their summer ball.

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 5 days with 265 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 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.

Continue reading "Matthew Richardson's sixth monthly report" »

3 May 2007 13:55:15

Calling all London CF members!

Clarke_leaflets In an echo of last year's local elections when Conservative Future members handed out leaflets at several central train stations in Vote Blue, Go Green t-shirts (I still have mine!), CF are invading Charing Cross station from 5pm to 7pm today. Obviously this time there aren't any elections in London but it's worth influencing some of the commuters.

Update: 1200 "Moon newspapers" were handed out (a few had to be recycled though, see pic!). London Conservatives also covered several other commuter stations.

19 Mar 2007 11:05:09

What would you do with your ID card?

Right_idcards Conservative Future has launched an online petition against ID cards... and it's fronted by the one and only Boris Johnson.

As well as inviting you to sign the petition a short video of Mr J asks people to suggest ideas for what they would do with their "useless" ID card.

Boris apparently plans to put his in a Moulinex food mixer - grind it up into millions of small pieces and then sprinkle it on his own or children's cornflakes!  Poor kids.

Congratulations to Mark Clarke, James Cutts and Justine Greening MP on an excellent campaigning initiative.

13 Mar 2007 16:32:00

James Wharton: Getting selected

Jw1_1 James has been selected as the Conservative candidate for Stockton South.

When I was asked to write something for CF Diary “about getting selected” I jumped at the chance and took them up on the offer.  On giving it further thought, however, I am not entirely sure what to write about. It has been such a huge experience that any attempt to go into detail could end with a novelette, yet to focus on any one key area alone would miss so many of the points that I would like to make.

Given that this is for the CF part of ConHome I am going to try to hone in on those particular hurdles which arose because of my age, in the framework of a brief canter through the actual process that leads up to selection. 

The Parliamentary Selection process is a long and complex one, starting with a Regional Director interview, application form and CV submission, Parliamentary Assessment Board (PAB), applying for seats… and that is before you are ever asked to actually attend a constituency selection process.

Continue reading "James Wharton: Getting selected" »

13 Mar 2007 15:59:00

Ten Eleven CF-aged candidates selected for winnable seats

Jonathan Isaby, a familiar face at CF events, has used ConservativeHome selection data to highlight ten eleven (list updated with Mark Formosa - one of the original fast-tracked candidates in 2005) selected Conservative candidates of CF age (under 30):

James Wharton (Stockton South) - 23
Andrew Stephenson (Pendle) - 26
Nicola Blackwood (Oxford West and Abingdon) - 27
Annunziata Rees-Mogg (Somerton and Frome) - 27
Kevin Foster (Coventry South) - 28
Charlotte Leslie (Bristol North West) - 28
Robin Walker (Worcester) - 28
Andrew Percy (Brigg and Goole) - 29
Mark Clarke (Tooting) - 29
Ian Oakley (Watford) - 29
Mark Formosa (Taunton Deane) - 29

Continue reading "Ten Eleven CF-aged candidates selected for winnable seats" »

9 Mar 2007 15:51:15

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.

Continue reading "Matthew Richardson's fifth monthly report" »

21 Feb 2007 10:47:00

Growing media interest in CF

Ucl_estate Channel 4 spent yesterday morning talking to Mark Clarke and filming some members of UCL CF campaign in a West London estate. (Update: It was actually the very estate that Mark grew up in)

They're making a documentary about Conservative Future but it won't be broadcast until after the local elections in May apparently!

There's also a very fair article on the BBC website today about the successful CF Action Day in Hammersmith a month ago, focusing on why young people were spending their Saturday's leafletting. Claire Palmer, Liza Creary, Mark Clarke, Gemma Townsend and Peter Smallwood all get a mention.


26 Jan 2007 10:23:32

Tax campaign

Cooked_breakfast18 Doughty Street is launching a highly innovative tax campaign on Tuesday, which has already secured prominent coverage in the mainstream media.

We're looking for a few young volunteers to participate in it on Tuesday morning (approx 7:30am - 9:30am). It will be in central London and we'll all go for a big cooked breakfast in a nice venue afterwards as a little thankyou.

Email Samuel.Coates[AT] if you are interested, first come first served!

26 Jan 2007 10:06:04

Breaking the mould in Wales

Good article in the Western Mail today about a teenage Welsh lad from a Labour-voting family being co-opted as a Conservative on to a Community Council:

Wales_2"I suppose I first got interested in politics at the age of four or five, when my grandmother, who was a diehard Labour supporter, used to talk to me. As I got older I would have political discussions with my mother, who also supports Labour. My father is probably the least political person in the family, although I think he also votes Labour. My mother doesn't always agree with me, but she respects my point of view.

I've always been interested in history, and from my reading it always seemed the Conservatives were in the forefront. I'm a big fan of Winston Churchill, who was a great war leader and statesman. The more I read, the more I was drawn to the principles of the Conservative Party - freedom of enterprise, freedom of choice, and freedom of opportunity for all members of society, regardless of their background."

I can't say I share his enthusiasm for youth political issues like skate parks and lowering the voting age, but it is very encouraging that his Association has over 25 members under the age of 18.

This article times well with a CF action week in Wales. They are promoting a petition against NHS cuts as part of the "NHyeS" campaign, and hoping to pick up some members and help the forthcoming Assembly elections along the way.

Paul Rogers, North Wales Area Chairman for Conservative Future, told CF Diary:

"There is a strong link between Conservative Future and the Party in Wales and we are determined to do our part to ensure our assembly members are re-elected in May and that we deliver Conservative success.  Nick Bourne's group in the assembly has shown that we can deliver a stronger government for Wales than that of Rhodri Morgan and his Labour group and CF members can help make the difference in coming months"

If anyone would like to get involved with CF in Wales and help the assembly campaign please email Paul at walesnorth[AT]

2 Jan 2007 19:10:00

Matthew Richardson's third monthly report

Mathewrichardson_2I hope that everyone had a happy and holy Christmas and a thoughtful New Year. Once again the publication of this report has been delayed, this time by the festive period. Please accept my apologies; I understand how important it is to keep you informed of my activities.

There have been no official NME meetings since my last report but I attended the CF Christmas Party and the Battersea campaigning day, both in my official capacity. I have been in regular contact with the executive via email and I am pleased that each member is fulfilling his or her individual responsibilities to the satisfaction of the chairman (such as that is.)

I have been unable to evaluate the performance of Greig Baker, our newly-co-opted member.

Continue reading "Matthew Richardson's third monthly report " »

2 Jan 2007 18:11:00

Marginal seats update

Craig_cox_2By Craig Cox, CF Exec member

Firstly, a Happy New Year to you all!

Just a quick note to share with you what is happening in my marginal seats, amongst other things. Firstly, please do all you can to support the upcoming events in Portsmouth, Solihull, Wirral West, and Pendle. These marginal seats could make all the difference at the next General Election, and so a good CF presence at that time can only do our party a world of good. It will be a great opportunity to help a CF branch grow, to meet people from all over the country, and to meet some NME members if you haven't already done so!

As you know, the Spring Forum will be held in Nottin gham this year, and so I will be organising an event for us all to attend; entry to which will be on a list. To get on, please visit my blog and enter your interest on the relevant thread. Details on the date and venue will be posted on my blog, and other Tory streams presently. It will be a fine chance to hone those skills you learned from Bournemouth once again!

Lastly, it is my intention to organise a Campaign Day in Crawley later on through my term. You may know that Crawley Council was lost during the past few weeks due to a defection to the LibDems. If we can win this vital council back, and win the Parliamentary seat, it will be a great coup for us. Please bear this in mind, and check my blog and this site for further details periodically.

Once again, can I take this opportunity to wish you all a Happy New Year, and that it turns out to be a great one for us all.   

6 Dec 2006 07:54:42

Ross Cowling: Conservative student publications in the US

Ross_cowling_copy Ross (blog) is a member of the Conservative Party and a recent graduate of the University of Kent. He has just returned from carrying out an internship at The Leadership Institute in Arlington, Virginia.

I have recently returned from the across the pond where I was interning at the Leadership Institute in Arlington, Virginia. A large part of my time at LI was spent in their Student Publication Department. This experience opened my eyes to many things that I had not previously thought about, and made me ask myself  “why do we let the left dominate student media in the UK?”

The wave of conservative student publications in the US has emanated out of The Dartmouth Review, which was founded by the likes of Dinesh D’Souza and Ann Coulter. Now, with the help of LI, almost every major college campus in the US has a conservative publication that counters the leftist bias encountered in the mainstream student dailies.

The LI has several full-time Student Publication Coordinators who travel across the country assisting conservative groups in setting up and maintaining a publication. The services they offer range from in depth workshops where students learn the skills they need to manage a publication, to guidance in using design software so they can produce a professional product. Crucially the LI also offers new publications financial assistance to help them get off the ground and get their first issue published.

Continue reading "Ross Cowling: Conservative student publications in the US" »

29 Nov 2006 15:03:00

Shane Greer: The Battle for Student Government


Shane (blog) is a member of the Conservative Party, and is currently interning at the Leadership Institute in Arlington, Virginia. In this article, the second in a trilogy, he looks at what lessons we can learn from student campaigning in the US.

It almost seems redundant to highlight the dominance leftists enjoy in student government up and down the United Kingdom.  However just as it is important to remind ourselves how privileged we are to have running water, something we often take for granted, so too is it important to remind ourselves of the travesty it is to have as the status quo a state of leftist absolutism in our university student governments. 

The sad truth is that on the vast majority of university campuses, the choice in student government elections is between different shades of the left; between Coke and Pepsi.  The net result of this of course is something each of us, in our own universities, is far too familiar with.  This being so, and without wishing to take the soft drink analogy too far, I humbly submit it is our job to ensure that lemonade is also on offer; and most importantly of all, made the drink of choice.  The question of course is how do we achieve this? 

As indicated in the first article in this series, it is my belief that victory in the battle for student government will only be achieved if young conservatives are trained in the political technology necessary to ensure victory.  It is to this technology that we now turn.

Continue reading "Shane Greer: The Battle for Student Government" »

27 Nov 2006 12:20:00

South Wales Action Day

South_west_wales Welsh Assembly Candidate Emma Greenow is organising a CF Action Day for South Wales West to be held on December 9th between 1pm and 3pm in Bridgend.

Download flyer or email Emma for further details. Contact North Wales Area Chairmen Paul Rogers and Richard Minshull to arrange transport from other parts of Wales.

5 Nov 2006 08:01:25

Swindon campaign

Message from Matthew Richardson, CF Exec member for Student Affairs

Want to actually get to know CF's young professionals and students outside the frantic five-minute networking of a London drinks party?

Want to consolidate your campaigning skills and get training and advice from one of the party's leading young candidate?

Want to defend a marginal ward represented by three Conservative Future councillors and play a key role in helping us win a parliamentary seat at the next general election?

These are just three reasons to sign up to CF's action day in Swindon North on Saturday 11 November. Just 45 minutes by train from London Paddington, we'll be able to fit in a full day's campaigning, with optional canvassing training from newly reselected parliamentary candidate Justin Tomlinson, before enjoying some well-deserved drinks.

PhilipscllrsWe'll be leafleting to help Cllrs Debbie Baylies, Phil Sharp and David Sammels defend their majority of just 23 in St Philips Ward, before heading to the town centre to promote the Tory-held council's flagship late night bus service. We'll unwind in a local pub before heading home.

Continue reading "Swindon campaign" »