Howlett's first media appearance.

Ben Howlett has made his first media appearance as National CF Chairman. He praised Michael Rock and the new NME, as well as Peter Smallwood and fellow former candidate Craig Cox.

Howlett did however negate the 1% voter turnout and did not allude to how many ballots may have been distributed by CCHQ. Last nights total vote count was 173, CF apparently has a membership of up-to 18,000.

Ben said: "I am extremely pleased to have been elected as your National Conservative Future Chairman and with our new executive committee we will continue to build membership at a grassroots level and make Conservative Future a strong campaigning force.

I am incredibly proud to be following in the footsteps of Michael Rock. He had a vision of a CF that empowered the regions through a clear strategy and it is now my job to carry on his good work. On behalf of CF, I want to thank Michael for his work and wish him, Sophia and the forthcoming family the best in the future.

I would like to thank all those that have voted for me and helped me through the election campaign from those across the country. In particular I would like to thank my Campaing Manager Peter Smallwood who has had four months of my rants and anecdotes; he has been a real pillar - thank you.

I would also like to make a special mention to Craig Cox. From the start of the race I was pleased to have a friend challenging me for the position and he fought a strong challenge and his expertise at a hustings was truly brilliant and I look forward to working with him in the future.

Well done to our Regional Chairman and New Executive Alexandra Swann, Clare Hilley and James Deighton, I look forward to working with you in the future. To those of you that unfortunately lost out I would love for you all to keep involved and I hope to work with everyone in the future.

I said from day one that I would be laying the groundwork for a successful year and we have no bigger issue at the moment than membership. I will be meeting with Clare Hilley our new Deputy Chairman Membership to begin to sort out some of the challenges that face our membership. I am also working on Conference as well as an urgent matter.

We are going to have a great year and I have already started to get Conservative Future running again. Thank you again and I look forward to working with you over my term.