Tories Finally Increase Membership, CCHQ Officials Complain About It

After years of decline, The Sun is reporting that Tory membership is finally on the up again, with 30,000 new members joining in the last twelve months to push the numbers to a seven-year high of 150,000. Labour are still estimated to have over half a million…

Naturally, senior Tory officials are stoking fears of ‘entryism’ rather than celebrating the fact that the Tories finally have slightly more than a quarter of Labour’s membership numbers. One panicked CCHQ insider told The Sun: “We’re not going to be able to stop people joining up just to vote for a new leader now… the danger is it will become a free for all.” How will CCHQ deal with the horror of taking £25 each from people who support Tory Party policy?

There has been no evidence that a ‘Purple Momentum’ actually exists, in fact Tory Remainers have been just as overt at trying to encourage entryism among their own supporters – who don’t even support Tory policy. Where deselection bids have occurred they have been led by longtime disgruntled Tory members, not new arrivals…

As Prof Tim Bale notes, “leadership contests make brilliant recruiting sergeants”. Over 13 million people voted for the Tories in the last election. Why are paranoid CCHQ officials so sure that the relatively tiny number of 30,000 joiners aren’t simply natural Tories who allowed their memberships to lapse in the past but are determined to have a say over who the next leader is now? Particularly after how disastrous the current one has turned out to be…

UPDATE: One Tory source tells Guido: “Not only are CCHQ annoyed there’s so many people joining, they seem keen to see the back of members as well”. Existing members are reportedly just being unceremoniously dumped off mailing lists when they write in to say they’re considering quitting, rather than being persuaded to stay as would have happened when membership was managed locally in the past. How not to run a voluntary party 101…

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