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Emma Pidding: The Party's Board has full confidence in Lord Feldman

Pidding EmmaEmma Pidding is Chairman of the National Conservative Convention.

As Chairman of the National Convention and Deputy Chairman of the Conservative Party Board, I was dismayed to see the reports over the weekend about the comments allegedly made by a senior member of the party about our activists.  I was even more shocked when it emerged that Andrew Feldman was supposedly the author of the comments. 

At the Conservative Party Board meeting yesterday, the Board was unanimous in its support of Andrew Feldman as Chairman of the Party. I have known and worked with Andrew since 2008, and I would like to personally put on record that he has been the Chairman who is the greatest champion of the voluntary party I have known. 

Andrew has made it his mission to ensure the voluntary party is heard at every level of the party organisation – and that includes the leadership.  Whenever we’ve had comments about a piece of government policy, he has made extremely effective representations to the team at Number 10.  Obviously, we are a broad church and there are always going to be some disagreements, but I know that Andrew always puts our side across. 

He has also introduced a number of changes in CCHQ to make it far more orientated to the needs of the voluntary party.  He has established, for the first time, an Office of the Voluntary Party and given it enough power to guarantee its influence is felt across CCHQ.  He was instrumental in revitalising the Conservative Policy Forum and giving it the resources it needs to succeed.  He has revamped Conference to ensure the membership is further involved.

Finally, he has always been unfailingly courteous to the voluntary party.  He goes out of his way to address association dinners, and attend numerous supporters’ events. He has always made time for me, my colleagues in the National Convention, regional officers, area chairmen and party members.

He has driven through significant change in the relationship between CCHQ and the voluntary party, and my fellow Board members and I are grateful for all that he has done and continues to do.


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