EXCLUSIVE: Ellie Vesey-Thompson launches CF National Deputy Chairman Membership bid.

Exclusive interview

Activist Ellie Vesey-Thompson has exclusively revealed to tbg her intention to stand for Conservative Future National Deputy Chairman Membership.

The sensational announcement comes as rumours circulate of a Jasmine Rahman lining up a bid to oust the Tory Youths one and only Deputy Chairman, Sarah-Jane Sewell.

In an exclusive interview with tbg Ellie says her focus is on bringing members back "as the central focus".

Ellie says - "Decentralisation is a focus stemming from this in order to establish as much widespread engagement as possible. Flexible availability of support is linked to this too. Well supported Chairmen= membership increase. Well supported members= willing campaigners.

"Creation of professional literature as well as improved Fresher's events to help encourage new members and provide potential for existing members to engage new people. Again all linked to the support.

"Creation and distribution of welcome packs for new members, to help early engagement and contributions."

Ellie Vesey-Thompson has received the endorsement from Claire Perry MP: "I am delighted that Ellie is standing as a candidate at the forthcoming Conservative Future elections. I know that she will do a fantastic job if she is elected as Deputy Chairman (Membership). In her role as CF Chair in the Devizes Constituency, Ellie has reinvigorated the branch, grown membership and organised successful social events. She is a star!"

Visit Ellie's campaign website - www.votevt.wordpress.com

Follow Ellie on Twitter: @ellie_vt #votevt

Like on Facebook

EXCLUSIVE: Robinson set to organise Downing Street Reception

tbg can reveal that candidate for Conservative Future Chairman, Matthew Robinson, has been in secret talks to hold a Downing Street reception much like the one current Chairman Ben Howlett organised last year.

A spokesperson for Matthew Robinson told tbg - "Following weeks of negotiations with Downing Street, National Conservative Future Chairman candidate Matthew Robinson can announce that he is finalising details of holding a second reception in Downing Street with Conservative Future activists."

Candidate for Leader of the Tory Youth brigade Matthew Robinson exclusively told tbg - "I am very pleased to confirm I am in the process of organising a Conservative Future reception at No. 10, Downing Street.

"For someone like myself who started Conservative Future in Northern Ireland, meeting the Prime Minister and our Party Leader was an exceptional opportunity.

"As Regional College Chairman, and if I am elected as your Conservative Future National Chairman, I shall liaise with Branch/Area/Regional Chairmen to ensure this is extended to as many industrious Conservative Future activists as possible throughout England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

"Ensuring that those who have not previously enjoyed such a reception with our Party Leader will have the opportunity to do so, will be of my top priorities."

LGBTory Chairman & members back Holmes for Tory Youth Leader.

LGBTory's AGM has resulted in Paul Holmes receiving the backing of LGBTory members including Chairman Matthew Sephton.

Backing Holmes are:

-LGBTory Patron, PPS to Cabinet Minister Francis Maude and Pudsey MP, Stuart Andrew Milton Keynes South MP, Iain Stewart

-LGBTory Chairman, Matthew Sephton

-LGBTory Policy Officer, Colm Howard-Lloyd and Trafford Cabinet Member & Treasurer, Sean Anstee

-Chairman of Camberwell and Peckham Conservative Association, Simon Fox

Matthew Sephton said - "There needs to be more links between the parliamentary party, local party and Conservative Future base, to ensure we target those crucial county elections through 2013 and of course the Better Together campaign in 2014.

"Paul has a proven track record of winning elections, by winning the arguments and beating Labour; therefore I feel he is the best candidate to make this happen and back him to be your next National Chairman."

Paul Holmes campaign seems to still be putting coal in its engine for the full steam ahead approach we've seen from him towards this years Conservative Future National Elections.

Holmes commented - "LGBTory, as a party affiliated organisation, has grown enormously over the past 12 months and is well regarded across the board, not least for is part in working with the government to push through the equal marriage bill, which will be voted on 5 February.

This couldn’t have been achieved without the support of the many Conservative Future members who got involved with the campaign."

Tory chairwoman slams gay marriage and warns of consequences.

The Conservative Party's Council Chair' in Surrey, Lavinia Sealy, has ripped into plans to legalise gay marriage seeming to imply an ignorance toward our "natural beings" and "history of humanity".

Sealy sensationally claimed - "It is not a question of religion, it is a question of our natural beings... It’s a question of being educated about our whole humanity, the history of humanity. Playing around with that just from the point of view of an equalisation doesn’t make sense for families and for children"

The Surrey Chairman went on - "You could go on to have more than one partner, you could marry and decide you’re gay after all and change, and people do that (already) but is (gay marriage) encouraging it?"

In the explosive article on Surrey Heath Residents blog Sealy also said that children growing up and emerging from gay couples was "very questionable indeed".

Labour Parliamentary Candidate Compares Falklands to Dale Farm.

A Labour Parliamentary Candidate has remarkably compared Dale Farm Travelers to Falkland Islanders citing that Britain's position is not one of proper legality regards the Falkland Islands.

The comments were on Skuds.org, a blog run by the 2010 Labour Candidate for Horsham.

He said - "Our (UK govt) position seems to be that it doesn’t matter what the legal ownership should be but it is all up to the what the residents want. There may be good arguments on either side, but surely this isn’t one of them.

"Look at it this way. Dale Farm had more than a third of the population of the Falklands at its peak. Should we have just said that it doesn’t matter what the law is, but we should go by the wishes of the residents? Exactly what is the cut-off in size or population for that to happen?"

It is not yet know if Skudder will fight the 2015 seat in Horsham.

EXCLUSIVE: Crozier warns North East Tories could be 'Entirely Obliterated' in 2015

Callum with Martin Callanan MEP, and Anne-Marie Trevelyan

In an interview with tbg North-East CF Chairman candidate Callum Crozier pointed out 25 Labour MPs, 2 Liberal Democrats, and 2 at-risk Conservatives - "The Conservatives in the North East are at dangerous threat of a complete wipe-out across the region come the 2015 General Election."

If this is to happen Crozier thinks the Tories chances of covering any ground at all in the North East "will be entirely obliterated, with no foothold to make progress from".

The North-East candidate stated - "Conservative Future is going to be a crucial instrument in ensuring the future for the North East is a bright, positive one."

Callum told tbg - "We urgently need to begin working on uniting the region under one strong banner, and working together in one strong mandate for change - to push the Conservative message through every postbox, and to knock on every door, and rouse every mind".

Retaining & gaining Councillors and MPs, "Is not Callum's only priority", says a supporter - "As can be seen throughout his cleverly constructed and varied manifesto, but it is certainly a crucial one".

"Callum's passion and hard work for the North East shines through he should provide the perfect office of leadership to take the region forward", she added.

Cash-strapped Council pays PR guru £66,000 per year as services are cut.

Gold Star PR from Matthew Finnegan

A leading Labour Council has caused uproar by paying a P.R consultant £66,000 a year with taxpayer money whilst essential services are cut.

Salford Council, which includes the constituency of Hazel Blears, is paying Mayor Ian Stewart's P.R. man Matt Finnegan the sum with effect of October 12th last year.

Conservative Group Leader Karen Garrido said his pay is "appalling" and has called for his resignation.

Mr Finnegan worked for Tony Blair in the run up to the 1997 General Election.

Salford Council is scheduled to cut its services to the tune of £18 Million next month and 150 jobs are at risk.

Mr Finnegan used to do the same job for Liverpool Council and has been dubbed "the Alastair Campbell of the north".

The wage bill now seems to be inflated as in November the Labour Council in Liverpool, whom are also cutting essential services blaming cuts to funding from Central Government, hired a PR guru at £90,000 per year.

EXCLUSIVE: Jasmine Rahman set to enter Tory Youth National Executive race.

Earlier this month tbg reported on a mysterious female candidate set to swoop Sarah-Jane Sewell for Deputy Chairman Membership in this years Conservative Future National elections.

Jasmine Rahman has set up an event for a #CFelects announcement on Monday 4th February at Jewel Bar in London. Jasmine is still personally keeping her announcement under wraps but it is expected that she will announce her intention to challenge for a Tory Youth National Executive position, possibly Deputy Chairman Membership under the #TeamJasmine brand.

tbg also reported that the mystery candidate had picked up some support, and looking at the event page, this seems to be the case.

Could Jasmine be the mysterious female candidate?

UPDATE 13:43

Is Jasmine stalking her prey...

Removed Facebook comment

Where's Tory?

Tory pops up in Crawley Labour campaign shot, looking ever so pleased with himself.

Zionist Federation slam MPs 'anti-Semitic' comments.

The Zionist Federation have released an official response to comments made on Friday by the MP for Bradford East, David Ward MP.

The Lib Dem MP caused uproar during the signing of the Holocaust Educational Trusts Book of Commitment in the House of Commons, stating:

"Having visited Auschwitz twice-one with my family and one with local schools - I am saddened that the Jews who suffered unbelievable levels of persecution during the holocaust, could within a few years of liberation from the death camps be inflicting atrocities on Palestinians in the new State of Israel and continue to do so on a daily basis in the West Bank and Gaza."

"It appears that the suffering by the Jews has not transformed their views on how others should be treated."

The Zionist Federation say Ward's comments incite antisemitism and that:

"Many believe are anti-Semitic, as it conflates Israel's defence of itself against those who seek to destroy it with the persecution and terrible mass slaughter of the Jews of Europe during World War two. To compare the two is crass, wrong and trivialises the suffering of Jews in World War Two.

With HMD (Holocaust Memorial Day) taking place today Paul Charney, Chairman of the Zionist Federation said - "Whilst Mr Ward has apologised for his remarks, the damage has already been done. Mr Ward should realise the dangers of antisemitism, not encourage it."

UKIP in crisis as 'bad boss' Farage faces the boot.

Conservatives up 5 points today to 33%, UKIP down 4 points to 10%. David Cameron's speech on EU has definitely had an impact on this week's polls, as Labour's lead narrows to only 6% - a poor result for the mid-term of Parliament.

Meanwhile sources from UKIP HQ suggest there are rumours of a plot against Nigel Farage. However, according to our sources, this is only due to lack of internal management, and not Cameron's EU speech.

Unconfirmed Party officials are said to be preparing for a major opposition against Farage's leadership; something which could divide UKIP and its voters.

Poll boost for Cameron at UKIP's expense.

Conservatives are up 5 points this morning.

Com Res for Independent on Sunday and Sunday Mirror

Labour 39%
Conservatives 33%
Lib Dems 11%
UKIP 10%

Mail on Sunday

Labour 38%
Conservatives 31%
Lib Dems 11%
UKIP 14%

EXCLUSIVE: Policy and Social Action are CFs' Future.

By Stephen Canning

This week I attended two very enjoyable CF events, the first of these was a social action project held at CCHQ where we were packing care packages for British soldiers and the second a London CF Policy Forum where the topic for discussion was schools and the education system.

The social action event was a great way to try and do my bit and the debate offered up some fantastic and frank discussion about the topic and some excellent fresh perspectives at the policy form. But what I took most from the two events was that this was what the future of Conservative Future, in my eyes, should be.

For a long, long time general thinking around CF has been how best to maximise the ‘ground troops’ for election day as it were and how to use the fantastic campaigning resource at our disposal to best effect for the party. With the rising popularity of the policy forums, and similarly social action projects, across the country I see it as the first step in a big change in the relationship between CF and the main party.

Of course we should make no bones about it - at our core we are there to leaflet, to campaign and to door-knock. That’s what we excel at, that’s where we are needed and that’s what will help the party win elections. However that does not mean that we have to exclusively be leaflet fodder.

The CF policy forums, under the brilliant direction of Sam Emery and Rory White-Andrews as Joint Directors, have quickly become a way for us to build a more two way relationship with the party which I feel can only get stronger.

This coupled with the serious way that CF branches across the country have taken social action represents a transformative move in our organisation. We are now grappling with a range of new resources from which we can make real impact, deliver real change and of course have fun, meet new people and enjoy being part of a group of like minded souls who challenge and develop each others ideas.

Ultimately I believe that all the candidates currently fighting for the position of National Chair, those challenging for regional positions and those just setting up their local branches should challenge themselves to deliver CF into a stronger and even greater future.

One that builds on our existing successes such as our fantastic record over the Boris campaign, the superb work of the Northern Partnership. As well as the countless social action projects and our ever growing blogosphere, but that also takes into account new opportunities that could help propel CF forward.

Mole Valley, Epsom & Ewell CF to hold national hustings.

More Tory Youth election hustings are being announced today. Mole Valley, Epsom & Ewell CF are set to hold a hustings debate this coming week.

Conservative Future Deputy Chair' (Political) of Mole Valley, Epsom & Ewell CF, Helen Davies, has announced the branch - "plan to hold a National CF hustings".

Helen was put in charge of organising the event by Chairman Ross Butcher and she has confirmed to tbg that it will take place this Friday, 1st February, at Epsom Conservative Club.

Paul Holmes, Matthew Robinson and Oliver Cooper have all confirmed their attendance. However, Helen says that they are still waiting to hear back from James Deighton, fueling speculation that he is about to quit the race.

Further details can be found on Facebook.

Follow Mole Valley, Epsom & Ewell CF on Twitter - @MVEECF

Peter Smallwood launches NUS President manifesto.

EXCLUSIVE: James Morton wants to Lead Tory Youth into 2015.

This week tbg caught up with James Morton, who is currently South East Regional Chairman as well as Surrey Area Chairman, to talk about his future plans within the Tory Youth wing and the wider Conservative Party.

Morton talks about his battle for selection to face the local Surrey Lib Dem Leader in County Council elections, his views on gay marriage and reveals to tbg who he is backing for Conservative Future Chairman.

tbg hears that you are hoping to run in the County Council elections later this year. Where do you want to stand, and how far along the selection process are you?

"The division is Dorking Hills which is one of the biggest patch in Surrey. If selected I would be running against the current leader of the Liberal Democrats in County Hall, Hazel Watson. I’m fairly confident of my chances against her due to my experience fighting Lib Dems when I was in the South West on a Parliamentary level and on a local level.

"I’ve had my interview with the executive and this weekend I will give a presentation to and be asked questions by members. The other applicants hoping to be selected include a current local councillor and an ex- County councillor; there is certainly competition there!"

Do you think being a young candidate is an advantage?

"Many may perceive that because I’m young I may be inexperienced. However, I have held numerous positions both in Conservative Future and the Conservative Party including sitting on Regional Party Boards both in the South East and the South West, and being a member of the Surrey, Devon and Cornwall Area Executives.

"Being young also means I have no baggage. I’ve got a clean slate; no record of office unlike the current and former councillors who I am hoping to be selected over. There is little that Watson could throw at me besides personal attacks. My family have a local business, I drink in the local pubs and was brought up within a 4 mile radius of the division – I know the locality perhaps better than Watson herself."

You are also standing again in the upcoming South East regional CF election. What do you feel have been your greatest achievements in this position to date? And what do you hope to achieve if re-elected?

"When I started in this position in December 2011 we had 53 branches across 51 constituencies and we now have 62; we had only 4 elected or appointed area chairmen and we now have 7 proactive area chairmen who all sit on area executives whereas we only had one sitting on an executive in December 2011.

"We also held no regional events or campaign days and had zero funds at regional level. Even by June 2012 we had held 2 regional events and 1 regional campaign day, as well as having money in a regional bank account. With any organisation at a regional level, there has to be close team work and the area Chairmen were not always on top of their game, none of the area chairmen from December 2011 were still in post by December 2012. We have a great team now which I really enjoy working with.

"Conservative Future is now fully entrenched in the region. We have turned it from a defunct, disreputable, thorn in the side of the Party to something that I am proud of: we are functional, holding events at all levels, bringing in new members and fit for purpose.

"However, the job’s not finished. By 2015 South East Conservative Future needs to be a serious campaigning force which will turn seats, particularly in Sussex and Hampshire. We achieved this in the South West in 2010. My regional management team can and will deliver this in the South East."

What’s your take on Cameron’s Europe speech this week?

JM: "It is right to give Britons the choice. A third of Parliament’s time is taken up debating and passing European law – this is fundamentally wrong. The status quo is not an option. Renegotiation is paramount but it needs to ensure we can keep European business in London and the wider UK.

I believe that we are stronger within the EU and that Europe is stronger with us in it. It’s now down to Cameron to deliver his promise.

What’s your view on gay marriage?

"It’s dangerous for politicians to get involved with religion. That said, I believe that religions should be able to have the freedom of choice and not constrained by legislation; this includes preventing gay marriage in any faith. It is right that there should be the ability for any faith to marry gay couples.

"However, an elected politician should not be deciding whether that ability should be there. With the Queen as Head of the Faiths, and signing every law, is this not a moral dilemma for her?

"It needs to be made clear that faiths don't have to marry gay couples but they can should they decide to. It has got to be down to individual faiths to decide and it is wrong for politicians to take that decision away from the leaders and practising members of that faith. We are just facilitating the path for faiths to decide.

"The people who oppose gay marriage shouldn’t be annoyed with politicians paving the way for the opportunity but instead be focussing their anger with the leaders of their faith if they were to allow it."

Are you backing anyone for any of the CF National Executive positions?

"Matt Robinson. He gets the way CF and the Party work. It’s also really clear that he is anti - negative campaigning; there has been no finger pointing directed at him. He’s got the utmost integrity. I’ve worked with him for the past year and I’ve never disagreed with him. He is the right pair of hands to lead CF for the next year as he has a unique perspective.

"Bare in mind that this is coming from the person who lost by 1 vote to him in the election for Regional College Chair!

"I am also backing Sarah-Jane Sewell and Rob Manning for the two Deputy Chair positions as well as Ben Corbridge for Best Practice Officer, I genuinely think that they are the right people."

Would you consider running for National Chairman?

"I’m only 24 so I’ve got 6 years left in CF to run. I will not rule out the opportunity of leading CF into 2015 General Election, in fact I would love to. However I will only run if a chairman is stepping down or if I think the person re-running has not done a good enough job.

"I intend on re-running for Regional College Chairman, I understand that I am one of the few regional chairmen who are running for a second term so I hope I stand a good chance based on my experience."

EXCLUSIVE: Jacob Wilkinson launches East Midlands CF Chairman bid.

Leicestershire and Rutland Area Chairman Jacob Wilkinson has officially joined the race to succeed James Poland as East Midlands Regional Chairman.

Jacob was recently unanimously re-elected as Leicestershire and Rutland Chairman.

He exclusively told tbg - "I am standing to become Chairman so that I can bring Conservative Future to the heart of each and every local association across our region.

"I am currently working as the Area Chairman in Leicestershire and Rutland and have been involved in Conservative Future since 2008; I believe that I have the experience and attitude to be an effective Chairman for our region carrying on the excellent work which has been carried out by James Poland over the last year."

Jacob has lived in the East Midlands all his life and has received wide ranging support from his bid including Nottingham Area Chairman Luc Chignell, who told tbg - "Jacob is an excellent guy to work with. He’s down-to-earth, approachable and knows how to get the best from CF. He knows that progress isn’t made in committee rooms by self-important executive committees but that it’s made on the street by members.

"It’s important the Regional Chairman for the East Midlands is dynamic, fast-thinking and, above all, has his feet firmly rooted in the membership. After having campaigned with Jacob for several years now I can comfortably say that he has all those qualities. Jacob will be an asset to the East Midlands."

[READ] Jacob Wilkinson manifesto

Follow Jacob on Twitter - @JacobWilkinson

EXCLUSIVE: Hayden Walmsley enters West Midlands CF Chairman race.

Deputy Chairman for Nuneaton CF and Secretary to the University of Westminster CF, Hayden Walmsley, has revealed to tbg his intention to stand for Regional Chairman of West Midlands Conservative Future.

Walmsley, an active member of the Conservative Party since he joined in 2009, told tbg - "I am pleased to announce my candidacy for the position of West Midlands Regional CF Chairman."

"I truly believe that the West Midlands Region can be a productive and proactive Region in CF, and I believe that I am able to achieve this.

Hayden revealed to tbg he will be launching an initiative he calls the 'Common Courtesies Checklist' which he says - "Will include my commitment to reply to emails, provide updates and support all branch, and area events and requests where possible. The exact details of this will be released shortly, along with my full manifesto."

[VISIT] Hayden's campaign website and support on Facebook

[READ] Haydens' announcement

EXCLUSIVE: Simon Warren launches Northern Ireland CF Chairman bid.

tbg can exclusively reveal that Simon Warren has launched his campaign to become Northern Ireland Conservative Future Chairman.

Deputy Chairman of NI CF Simon will go head-to-head with South Down and Armagh Conservative Future Chair', Eimhear MacFarlane. Simon graduated in Law from Queen’s University, Belfast in 2010.

Simon told tbg - "I bring to the role experience at all levels of the Party, from the doorstep to the Party Board. I have served two terms in NICF, first as Chairman of the Down area, then North Down & Strangford."

"We must show that Northern Irish youth rejects the ‘old order’ of NI politics. We are the entity to do just that."

Current Northern Ireland Chairman and candidate for National Tory Youth Leader Matt Robinson had this to say to tbg about the announcement:

"I am of course enthused to see the Northern Ireland Conservative Future Regional Chairman election as competitive as it is, with two highly competent candidates so far, Simon Warren and Eimhear Macfarlane, confirmed in their respective bids to succeed myself as Regional Chairman.

"The organisation has travelled a long road since my election nearly two years ago, and I am confident its future is secured whoever is elected as Regional Chairman."

You can follow Simon on Twitter @SWarrenCF

Simon Warren launches CFNI bid. by

UKIP has become a 'Cult' says its ex-Deputy Leader.

UKIP's former Party Chairman and Deputy Leader has attacked the Party for being a one man band. David Campbell-Bannerman MEP told London Loves Business:

"What is concerning about UKIP is it has become very much a one-man band and a bit of a cult. There is a followership and even the constitution has been changed to favour pro-leader candidates. I don’t think that’s healthy" [sic].

Campbell-Bannerman rejoined the Tories in 2011. His comments to London Loves Business came soon after David Camerons' EU speech that promised a referendum on EU membership.

Campbell-Bannerman went on to savage UKIP saying are a "pressure party", they use "votes to bring pressure on the single issue of the EU". Campbell-Bannerman praised Cameron’s move for "taking the EU issue away from UKIP, saying "it will make life difficult for UKIP".

"There are a number of UKIP MEPs who should be deeply worried about the future" - said the MEP whilst adding that UKIP should stop "getting in the way" and give the Conservatives their support.

[READ] Exclusive: UKIP has become a cult to Nigel Farage, says ex-deputy leader

North-East CF announce national election hustings.

Conservative Future hustings are to be held in the North-East on Saturday 23rd February in Durham with the exact location yet to be confirmed.

The healthy contest has three candidates so far vying to become the next North-East Tory Youth Chairman, they are Callum Crozier, Josh Geddes & Scott Holmes.

tbg has learned that invites are set go out to all standing for National Executive roles too.

Current North-East Regional Chairman Shane Moore told tbg - "I believe that if national candidates say that they will support our region then the opportunity to come to the north east and convey that message in person will be welcomed and we will gladly welcome them all."

Twitter Teddy wants to be Tory Youth Leader.

A teddy bear has announced his intention to run for Conservative Future Chairman.

Teddy Lawsons first pledge is free sweets for all members of the Tory Youth brigade. With an already stretched budget, it'll be interesting as to see how Teddy can deliver on this pledge.

Teddy's second pledge is to campaign to leave the European Union, pictured on twitter wearing "Better Off Out" bracelets.

tbg isn't sure where the Conservative Future constitution stands on allowing teddy bears to stand at it's Leader however, one young Tory commented:

"If a teddy bear wants to stand the National Executive should amend the constitution to liberate teddy bears everywhere and welcome them the political field."


EXCLUSIVE: 'Let’s get CF out of the political playground'.

Oliver Cooper is a candidate for Conservative Future (CF) Chairman and has recently been subject to what he calls fabricated attack ads by his colleagues in the Tory Youth movement.

Writing for tbg, Oliver appeals to the Tory Youth over the use of attack ads, underhanded tactics and tells tbg he believes youth politics is so nasty because the stakes are low. Cooper says CF need to increase the stakes by becoming a "truly open organisation, not run by one gang in one pub in one city."

This year’s national CF election campaign has quickly become embittered. It’s always a sad state of affairs for any organisation if its elections become why your opponents deserve to lose, rather than why you deserve to win. That’s negative campaigning.

But there’s also been something more malevolent. Smears and ideas – including out-and-out fabrications of so-called ‘attack ads’ purporting to be from one campaign or another – are being used in place of ideas. Recent revelations that fake profiles have been used to hide the source of smears only exacerbates this.

It’s right that members look down on negative campaigning. To paraphrase Ronald Reagan’s Eleventh Commandment: Thou shalt not speak ill of any fellow Conservative. Reagan always followed that advice; instead of lowering himself to attack back, it inspired him to bring people together even more.

Alas, the tone of this CF campaign is no mistake or exception. It’s the culmination of years of bickering, bitching, and backstabbing. It’s the culture of the clique. It’s also the culture of national CF and it needs to end.

No more attack blogs. No more Anonymous vs Anonymous comment wars. No more smears and lies and fake ads. All that playground politics puts off would-be members, as well as would-be leaders. It certainly diminishes CF in the eyes of the party and the public.

Youth politics is the most vicious and bitter form of politics, because the stakes are so low. National CF needs to increase the stakes by becoming a truly national, truly open organisation: not run by one gang in one pub in one city.

Instead of dishing dirt, we need to be discussing ideas. How to improve CF, our party, and our country. How do we make National CF relevant to its members across the country? How do we give members skills training more effectively? How do we win the battle of ideas on campus? How do we increase opportunities for members at home and abroad? Most importantly: how do we help Conservative candidates and Conservative ideas win?

When I proposed a few answers to these questions last month - opening up skills training by delivering more for free online, opening up events by having regional conferences, and opening up campaigning with more joined-up priorities - I received support from members across the country. Yet the CF inner circle launched an offensive to shut down constructive criticism. We need a national CF leadership that is open and transparent – driven by democracy, not controlled by a clique.

If you’d rather bicker and think of new ways to help CF members, why would members trust you or an organisation you run? CF needs to grow its base and fight Labour, not shrink its base by fighting each other. To do that, we need to get CF out of the political playground.

Tory Youth first election hustings announced.

A date and location has been set for the first Conservative Future hustings in partnership with the charity, Help for Heroes and news site London Spin.

Date: Friday, 15th of February, 2013
Location: Old Bank of England, London
Time: 7pm - 9.30pm

The first debate will be for the position of Deputy Chairman - Political. Both candidates have been informed and the chairman for this debate will be announced in due course.

The second will be the debate for the election of the next Conservative Future Chairman and will be chaired by legendary CF'er Robert-John Tasker, all candidates have been informed.

In a communique to all candidates the group organising the event said - "Unfortunately, not all candidates have been forthcoming with e-mail addresses".

"Obviously if candidates don't turn up or are unable to make it then the 'Empty Chair' tag will inevitably follow. February is a prime month for hustings and debates and there should be no excuses for diary clashes or otherwise - previous candidates in years gone by have had to abide by this unwritten rule."

Returning to the Common Market.

David Cameron's speech on Europe today is not just the most defining moment of his Premiership to date but the speech that I believe will lead the Conservatives to outright victory in the 2015 General Election.

I have argued time and again how disgraceful it is that people who have paid their taxes for years have never had a say as regards the EU.

And even those who did only voted for a Common Market.

And that is exactly what it should be.

People are fed up with being told how to run their lives by unelected Brussels bureaucrats, fed up with businesses being held up and sometimes held to ransom by EU directives, and fed up with the actions of the European Court of Human Rights when we have our own legislature called the House of Commons.

Which is exactly why we need change for the better and for businesses alike by returning to the Common Market approach rather than following a road that would only lead to our loss of sovereignty and further dismantling of the British way of life.

Cameron announces EU referendum: the view from China.

EXCLUSIVE: The Curious Case of 'Gavin Cook' & The Tory Youth Smear Campaign.

Tweets & email expose malicious campaign tactics

More Tory Youth election material attacking Oliver Cooper for his 'links' to UKIP have been circulating online for the past 24 hours.

tbg can reveal, with evidence obtained and sources protected, the attack ad email seems to have originated from somebody named as a 'Gavin Cook'.

'Gavin' was busy with his new Twitter account on Sunday night/Monday morning attacking Oliver Cooper and wishing Paul Holmes well in his quest to become Leader of the Tory Youth Brigade.

Today, after London Spin announce they will reveal new attack ads...

Tweets show that 'Gavin Cook' interacted with Paul Holmes and Oliver Cooper, even had time to tweet Louise Mensch, Harry Cole, Guido Fawkes, The Blue Bulletin, DASHTory, The Old Lion, London Spin and tbg. 'He' did not interact with CF Chairman candidate Matt Robinson, who was flirting with Twitter during the same hour, just minutes apart in fact according to the respective time stamps.

Another candidate in the Conservative Future elections who is said to be close to Robinson and signed his 'binding principles' document was using Twitter during the same early hour and also had no interaction with 'Gavin'.

'Gavin Cook' says he didn't want theblueguerilla or London Spin to know that it was his identity that released the latest attack ad in an email to the new start-up blogs, whom said only last week they wouldn't publish such material.


Note the different text size going on. Written as the first person, the first paragraph is a poor slap-dash copy & paste job, from another document or chat-box perhaps? In any case this evidence points toward the wording of the accusations having been prepared elsewhere therefore a possible conspiracy.

The theory as to why this would help Cooper is rather amateur, and muddled as Oliver Cooper has soaked up attack ad after attack ad this month and it has not improved his assumed standing in recent polls of 2nd spot.

How 'Gavin' "got hold" of this attack ad is unclear. However, it is not a forwarded (Fw:) or chain email, which might indicate the attached attack ad file had been uploaded by 'Gavin' from his computer.

All this evidence further indicates dirty tricks campaign tactics in an already explosive race to become the next Leader of the Tory Youth movement.

[READ] Holmes under attack in new viral ad campaign.

UPDATE 23/01/13 14.40pm -

Holmes under attack in new viral ad campaign.

Paul Holmes' recent resurgence in the Tory Youth election race has prompted another attack advert as revealed on dodgy news-site London Spin.

Unphased Holmes' campaign member Adam Honeysett-Watts told tbg - "Quite amusing . You never know, Paul & Charlotte might even name their Coffee Lounge at #CPC13 'The Hive'".

[READ] EXCLUSIVE: The Curious Case of 'Gavin Cook' & Tory Youth Smears.

[POLL] The Old Lion are conducting a survey on Tory Youth attack ads.

Rochdale estate labelled as Britain's welfare ghetto capital.

It comes as absolutely no surprise to me that once again the Falinge area of Rochdale is being highlighted in the national media as Britain's welfare ghetto capital.

This in itself simply underlines how the last Labour Government failed this area of Britain.

The fact that there are 902 jobs in the local job centre at the same time as so many people's talents are rotting away is a disgrace and just shows how the poverty trap has really taken a grip.

I moved to the same area of Lancashire two months ago yet with only my postal experience to my name yet it took me two days to get a job.

In Falinge seven per cent of people have never worked, 72% are unemployed and 82 per cent claim benefits.

This is a national disgrace and underlines how people who do not work have got it too easy living off the state.

For the last two years I have personally been advising David Cameron how to deal with this sort of thing in the national media and through Conservative Party forums.

And believe me, Mr Cameron is on the right road with the right policies but needs to go much further.

He is absolutely right to re-assess everyone claiming sickness benefits because as figures have shown, the vast majority of them are capable of some kind of work.

He is absolutely right to keep a check on every job seeker through the internet because the something for nothing culture must end.

But we must do more like make all benefits claimants pay 20 per cent of their rent and council tax out of their benefits and pay the remainder of social security payments in the form of vouchers instead too so that it cannot be wasted on beer, fags and take aways.

True, life is tough on benefits but far from making it easier like Labour did, the answer is making it tougher and pay to work too.

[READ] Falinge estate the most deprived area in England

Howlett gay marriage pop reveals the YI's not so libertarians.

UKIP'er Alexandra Swann responded to more questioning her Party's gay marriage policy today.

Tory Youth Leader Ben Howlett had a pop at the former CF Deputy Chair', Swann, after joking with sacked YI Chairman Olly Neville about standing in the upcoming young Tory election to which Olly replied - "Should go for it, shake everything up, everyone loves a youth politics storm or so I've learned."

Swann seemed to distance herself with Olly Neville's views that marriage should be freely available for all, creating equal footing in law for relationships gay or straight.

The view that marriage should be available to all regardless of their sexuality is clearly not taken by the supposed 'mainstream' party even though polls show that amongst the under 35's nearly 80% agree this should be the case.

A deeply concerned CF member told tbg - "These comments are clearly anti-Libertarian as she is saying that the state should have a role in who should marry who. That means the state is regulating society. That puts it in conflict with libertarian doctrine. Shows Swann has sailed Olly Neville down the river!"

Though Swann does state, regards #OllyShambles:

Howlett says that CF - "Never sacked their Chairman over policy. Shames democracy really!"



In an exchange with tbg Swann attempted to clarify her personal opinions on gay marriage.

Conservative Future National Executive announce election timetable.

Conservative Future election nominations will open on Monday February 11th the Tory youth National Executive has announced.

The full timetable is as follows:

Monday 11th February - Opening of nominations
Monday 25th February - Close of nominations at noon
Wednesday 27th February - List of valid candidates published at noon
Friday 1st March - Last time for a candidate to withdraw at 5pm
Monday 4th March - Opening of online ballot
Friday 15th March - Close of online ballot at noon
Friday 15th March - Declaration of ballot at CCHQ at 5pm

The race seems to be hotting up for CF's top job as two recent polls have shown Matt Robinson and Paul Holmes the favourites with Oliver Cooper being squeezed, but could still very much emerge victorious.

[READ] Nomination papers can be downloaded from the website on February 11th.

[READ] UPDATE: Tory Youth national election ballot put back 7 days.

Council set to wipe out culture budget whilst continuing to fund unions.

Dominic McDonough is former Conservative Party Campaign Manager in North Scotland and a supporter of the Young Britons' Foundation (YBF).

YBF was founded by former Tory Youth Leader Donal Blaney and is a political activist group that offers a variety of training at home and abroad to young Conservatives.

Being from the North East I'm used to being surrounded by inept Labour councils, using local politics as a political football and ignoring the real needs of the people to score political points against the ruling government.

The current situation in Newcastle council is no different. Last week we saw an 'emergency' debate called by North East MPs to speak on the "draconian cuts" to Newcastle Councils budget. We have recently seen a budget proposal published which would wipe out the culture budget of the council, some £2million. This has lead to accusations of library closures and the closing of Newcastle City Hall, a major music venue that has hosted bands from The Beatles to Status Quo.

Being a culture vulture myself and having an artistic background, this surprised me but I agreed that key services must always be protected towards the arts.

This has resulted in a backlash from groups across the city, with the council blaming 'evil government cuts'. This of course totally ignores the fact that councils decide how they cut their budgets and the new powers they have to raise more money. It also ignores the perilous economic situation of the nation.

I have since received a reply from a Freedom Of Information request which has shown that in the recent financial year Newcastle council spent £166,124 on Union officials. These are union workers paid for by you and me to conduct union business.

Furthermore the council has recently voted to give nearly 3000 workers a pay rise at a cost of over £2 million to the council.

Is this right in a time when the council are blaming the government for cuts?

Newcastle and its neighbour Gateshead recently merged resources and ran a very impressive campaign to be capital of culture. Resources were shared and various departments merged. Newcastle, and many other councils across the country, must follow the lead of some councils who are now merging and sharing resources to get more for less.

Unfortunately this is not an exception. Councils up and down the country are blaming the government for cuts to services while waste is going on in front of them. Working for the council should not be a job for life, it should be like any other job, only existing if needed and you are only employed if you're doing a good job.

Many years of plenty have left an attitude of 'money is no object'. Unfortunately money is an object, councils must realise that the money they bring in is our money and must spend it responsibly. They must get more for less and cut the huge waste that I have outlined above.

Councils do not need to cut vital services, simply cut the waste that has accumulated over years or even decades.

The blaming of the government is wearing a little thin.

You can follow Dominic on Twitter - @torydom

Holmes takes the lead in Tory Youth election race.

The Blue Bulletin blog has conducted a poll over the past 48 hours surveying 250 Conservative Future Youth members and their opinions and tendencies regards the internal Tory Youth elections in March.

When members were asked who they'd vote for to become next Conservative Future Leader, the results were:

Holmes 35%
Cooper 33%
Robinson 27%
Deighton 5%

It's a big turn around for Paul Holmes who seemed to be lagging in previous polls. However the Holmes campaign has picked up pace in the past week and has managed to stay away from negative campaigning.

[READ] Poll results.

Mystery candidate set to swoop Sarah-Jane Sewell.

Sarah is currently unchallenged in this years Conservative Future elections

tbg has learned that apparently a mysterious candidate is set to launch a bid to challenge the current Tory Youth National Deputy Chairman (Membership), Sarah-Jane Sewell, for her position in the upcoming Conservative Future elections in March.

tbg can reveal there are whispers the female candidate is from the South and has recently gained some backing within the Conservative Youth movement.

EXCLUSIVE: Tory Youth Leader warns 'those that run nasty campaigns often lose'.

Ben Howlett is currently on a 'goodbye CF' tour

Ben Howlett has today broken silence on the recent campaign antics shown by youth members of the Conservative Party, a wing which he Leads and has done as their Chairman for two-terms.

Ben also talks to tbg about his goodbye tour, where he buys his underwear, his love life and who he's backing to become the next Leader of the Tory Youth brigade.

What did you have for breakfast?

"I had a low fat granola yoghurt with strawberry compot, healthy and filling at the same time!"

How's your goodbye tour going? Where next will you set foot?

"My goodbye tour seems to be going well, I've headed to the North West and Wirral to help with Ian Lewis' campaign to oust the Labour Party. Without North West CF's support Ian would have found it even harder to win, so well done to them on the great victory!

"I was also at UCL watching their 7th President since I moved to London debate against Will Hall who has since become a Cllr after being UCL President in my first term. A fantastic branch!

"I am off to Reading and Saffron Walden in the next few weeks as well as attending the South West Regional Conference on 2nd Feb in Dorset seeing all the CF'ers down there. So much fantastic activity is going on its hard to keep up with it.

"It shows where CF have come from, and gone to in the last 2 and a half years!"

"I am doing this trip around the UK to say thank out for all their hard work. It has been a truly amazing experience. As tbg knows, one of my favourite songs is 'the only way is up...'"

What are your opinions regards recent questionable campaign efforts by some CF Chairman candidiates?

"I've seen and personally received much worse, but that's part of politics. If you can't handle what CF'ers throw your way, well, you wait until you start having Labour MPs throw muck at you.

"First piece of advice is ignore it! Second piece of advice is stop reading anonymous comments and third, rise above it.

"Listen, I've put a lot of time into rebuilding this organisation's reputation over the years, I've had a lot of utter rubbish thrown my way over the years, but you get on with the job, because you know you are making a huge difference to the Party, getting more Cllrs elected and more MPs elected in future years.

"Without CF members hard work Boris would have struggled to win, we may be living in a PR electoral system and have even more Lib Dem and Labour Cllrs. I am proud of members' records and I am pleased with what CF has achieved in 2.5 years."

Who are you backing for the top job at CF?

"I do not endorse candidates and I don't disclose my vote. However, I will say those that run nasty campaigns often lose. We ought to remember we are in the same party and take that fight to Labour. My door is always open to any candidate who wants advice."

Where's your fav' place to buy underwear?

"Debenhams do some really good deals in the sales!"

Can we expect Ben Howlett MP in 2015?

"All I can say is that I hope to fight a seat where I can champion core Conservative values of aspiration, bringing back powers from the EU, lower taxes, entrepreneurship and responsibility.

"Janan Ganesh once said to me these were lefty nouns that we should steer clear of. I call those values which underpin the beliefs of the population, these are conservative values and it is our job to ensure the mainstream, centre ground, of public opinion attributes that to the Conservative Party.

"I hope members will join me on the campaign trail if I am lucky enough to be selected to fight a seat in 2015!"

Tea or coffee?

"Tea or a decaf skinny latte from Nero, other brands are available..."

You got a boyfriend?

"You flirt...! I have a wonderful boyfriend who I met at Boris' celebration party, we are very happy together!"

#OllyShambles fallout - Howlett inundated with UKIP defections.

It did seem as though #Ollyshambles had split UKIP. Well, tbg can reveal that there have been a flurry of defections today from their Youth Wing, Young Independence, to Conservative Future according to their Leader Ben Howlett.

Holwett told tbg that he has - "Seen alot of twitter traffic regards people defecting to Conservative Future".

One UKIP'er tweeted that there were - "More leaving the Tories than joining I'm afraid Ben!"

Howlett said - "I speak only of the youth wing and that's not the case since #ollyshambles I'm afraid, see you back in CF soon".