Tory Youth National Deputy Leader wants Party to 'fully commit to social and moral responsibilities'.


Sarah is committed to the Big Society

Hot on the heels of a brutal national election hustings in London this past Friday, Conservative Future's (CF) one and only National Deputy Chairman Sarah-Jane Sewell has been in an exclusive Q&A session with tbg.

Sarah talks about what she has to offer the Tory Party grassroots over the next 15 months and reveals her opinions on the race for National Tory Youth Leader. Sarah also gives us more information about her CF Red Nose Day plans, her love life and a new found love for Italian coffee.


What was for breakfast?

"This morning, because it's the weekend, I had a smoked mackerel toasty using wholegrain bread with a cup of tea in my favourite Eeyore mug. Got to look after our hearts! All the omega 3 and low GI.

"I don't usually have time for breakfast during the week though, because I'm up and answering emails and doing work and then reading for my degree so I usually just make do with a cup of tea or glass of fruit juice."


What are your opinions on the race for Chairman so far?

"Well they've certainly been interesting. If I were to win my election, I know I would be very happy to work along side any of the chairmen candidates. I've already worked with James Deighton, and particularly Matt Robinson as Regional College Chairman.

"I think it's crucial to have someone elected who can really relate to everyone, not matter where they sit on the 'political line' within the party, how old they are, gender etc. We need someone who will really work as a team with the national exec' and regional chairmen, in order to really strengthen the voices and campaigning forces of the grassroots.

"I've heard mumblings from various people about location etc, I personally don't think it matters where the candidate lives, or where they have lived previously, what does matter, is how they can use their present and previous geographical locations to understand that each individual Conservative Future branch is completely unique, and has very different needs. It's easy to say 'oh well we'll put a national event on here, here and here', but the reality of doing that it actually very hard.

"I think the candidates should truly consider the power of actually giving the support and guidance to let area and branch chairmen organise events tailored specifically to the needs of individual branches and areas, and no one knows what they need better than the actual branch and area chairmen themselves."


Fav’ fizzy pop beverage?

"Don't really drink fizzy drinks to be perfectly honest but I don't mind a bit of Dr Pepper or Dandelion and Burdock."

Can you tell us anymore about this Red Nose Day thing?

"Well Red Nose Day is a part of Comic Relief and has been running for 25 years now. It helps so many people, and by getting involved, we’re really contributing to the Big Society.

"In the UK, the money raised helps young people living on the streets, dealing with mental health, where research suggests that as many as 1 in 12 young people self-harm, or alcohol problems, it helps those who have suffered domestic and sexual abuse, young carers and older people too.

"But it’s not just in the UK that the money is put to good use to help people. Across the world money is spent to help bring fresh water to whole communities, provide lifesaving vaccines, helping people living in urban slums and those affected by HIV and AIDS, and this is only a few ways help is provided. More info can be found here.

"It’s really important that we fully commit to our social and moral responsibilities, and by getting involved with something such as red nose day and doing 'something funny for money', we can really ENJOY raising money. In all the charitable work I’ve done in the past, I’ve always found that by doing something more active to raise money, more money is collected in the entirety, than by simply doing something such as a raffle or just a collection.

"Boris Johnson told us at Party Conference in October 2012 that he and David Cameron had danced Gangnam Style together, and what’s good enough for Boris and Dave is certainly good enough for us as well. There have been so many spoof and spin off videos of the song that it’s about time we did it TORY STYLE - and raising LOTS of money for good causes whilst having fun."


Tea or coffee?

"Nothing beats a good cup of tea, although my Italian flat mate has proper Italian coffee and that is pretty darn good I must say!"

What do you want to bring to CF over the next 15 months?

"Well I will be publishing my manifesto next week, so you’ll see my full proposed plan for the next 15 months then. I’ll be looking to carry on the work I’ve been doing for the past 14 months, in increasing membership, helping to further develop branches in the target seats. Nothing happens instantly when creating a branch, it takes time and a year is really not a very long time.

"I’ll be putting a focus on strengthening rural branches, particularly those that become dormant during university term time.

"I’ll be continuing to support CF Women, CF Post Grads and CF Young Professionals and will also be proposing a 'universities council' much like the regional college, but somewhere that all of the university branch/association chairmen can come together to talk about and support issues specific to students. This will include supporting conservative candidates in University and college student unions as well as the up and coming NUS elections.

"I will also be continuing the behind-the-scenes work of the social media and social action awards that have been running for the past year or so. I spoke to “#thingselliotsays’ in January about my proposed plans for the re-introduction of CFTV and CFradio, these plans which are currently awaiting the final thumbs up from CCHQ.

"Watch this space for my manifesto to be launched next week."


Are you single at the moment?

"I don't really have time to not be single really. CF takes up so much time, and I have university and charity commitments among other things as well. I did go on a VERY lovely date yesterday though. At the end of the day, I'm only 19, and unless I get unfortunately hit by a bus tomorrow, I have a very long time to not be single in the future."

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