Patel and Cruddas Join Forces to “Take Back Control” of Tories

Priti Patel and Lord Cruddas have joined forces to give Rishi Sunak a major new headache. This weekend they launched a new Tory grassroots pressure group, The Conservative Democratic Organisation, aimed at “taking back control” of the party. The CDO, founded by former MEP David Campbell Bannerman, has been created to “restore democracy in the Party” after “Tory MPs ousted grassroots favourite Boris Johnson as prime minister.” Brace, brace…

“They then overthrew his successor Liz Truss, voted in by members, and installed her defeated rival Rishi Sunak as Prime Minister – this time without bothering with a ballot of party members.”

They also voice anger at the “left of centre position Rishi Sunak’s tax-raising Government has adopted.” The campaign’s being orchestrated by The Conservative Post website, who ran the petition to get Boris on the members’ ballot in the summer…

The CDO is drafting a new proposed constitution, which would give local associations the right to choose their candidates, putting an end to CCHQ interference, “which has infuriated activists when left-leaning candidates have been forced on them.” They also propose:

  • Having a directly elected Conservative party chairman
  • Replacing the National Convention with a general meeting of the Party to stop the party hierarchy rubber-stamping decisions
  • The Spring Conference becoming a policy conference for members in a more affordable location and the October party conference allowing members to submit motions with voting taking place.

Priti Patel’s backing is interesting. Guido’s old enough to remember when Boris Johnson was considering making her Tory Party Chairman…

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Grassroots Plot to “Democratise” Tory Party and “Seize Control” From CCHQ

An insurgent group of grassroots Tories is launching a campaign to “democratise” the party and “seize back control” for Conservative members in Manchester next week. The “Campaign for Conservative Democracy” is aiming to wrest back influence from CCHQ, which it condemns as “autocratic” and “over-centralised” and argues has “undermined, overruled, ignored or destroyed” Conservative associations across the country. The group is demanding CCHQ listens to the policy opinions of Tory members to “help avoid the disastrous manifesto mistakes in the recent General Election”. They are seeking a directly-elected Tory party chairman “who would represent members’ views to the government”. Its founder, Brexiter Tory MEP David Campbell-Bannerman says:

“The Conservative Party has taken its core membership for granted for far too long. Local associations should be made the boss again. There has been a complete centralisation of power away from local associations and the relationship between the two has been shown to be highly unsatisfactory, undemocratic and one sided. You can’t run a party from one London office. CCHQ has often begun to resemble the remote and unaccountable European Union in structure and inclination.”

This sort of criticism of CCHQ will resonate with Tory associations. For years grassroots Tories have felt sidelined by CCHQ in terms of candidate selections, campaigning, policy and the general direction of the party. This new campaign reminds Guido of the Labour left’s similarly-named Campaign for Labour Party Democracy, which Corbyn, McDonnell and Tony Benn used for decades to lobby the Labour leadership on behalf of their left-wing grassroots. Expect Tory MPs on the right to endorse the group and use it to pile pressure on CCHQ and Theresa May…

The group is launching on Monday of conference – details here if you want to go – with a mock election for party chairman. Eyes will be rolling in CCHQ at the thought of Tory members having their say…

mdi-timer 28 September 2017 @ 10:28 28 Sep 2017 @ 10:28 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Tories Looking at Upminster For McVey

The departure of veteran Tory MP Angela Watkinson in Hornchurch and Upminster means the 16,000 majority seat is the subject of much interest among candidates. Guido’s local co-conspirator says Esther McVey is being linked to the vacancy, with some suggestion that she has already been shown round the constituency by senior Tories. This has not gone down well with some local association members who would prefer a local candidate and do not want a government hack imposed on them by CCHQ. The Tories are determined to find seats for MPs who lost in 2015 including McVey, Lee Scott (he will run in Ilford North) and Mary Macleod.

Tory MEP David Campbell Bannerman is also being tipped to stand in Upminster – he is a big time Brexiter and the area voted 70% to Leave. Former Tory MP Nick de Bois has previously been hotly tipped but could go back to his old Enfield haunt. Former Cameron adviser Shaun Bailey wants it. Syed Kamall has also been turning up to association meetings. Big battle brewing, a lot of feathers would be ruffled if McVey made the CCHQ-imposed shortlist…

mdi-timer 20 April 2017 @ 15:40 20 Apr 2017 @ 15:40 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments