CCHQ Maintains ‘Cultural Awareness’ Training for Staff Despite Dropping it For Candidates

At the end of January, it emerged CCHQ scrapped “unconscious bias” training for parliamentary candidates, after a backlash from Tory MPs accusing the party’s HQ of pushing “divisive nonsense”. It turned out that scrapping the training was one of the last things Zahawi ever did…

Now Guido can reveal CCHQ staff haven’t been blessed with the same anti-woke move.

On Friday, staff received an hour-long session on “Anti-Muslim Hatred Awareness”, which included a group quiz on whether something is hateful or not. Staff were taught the differences between unpleasantry and hate crimes, with the implication being that it’s difficult to prove the distinction. 

The lecture was part of a broader series of lectures on “awareness“, with staff receiving a similar session on antisemitism last month. They’re being spearheaded by the “Community Engagement Team” inside CCHQ, who also organise party HQ trips to places during religious festivals, including to a recent fireworks display for Diwali. Guido’s sure MPs and activists alike will be delighted to hear this is how staff are spending their time given the current dire state of CCHQ’s finances…

mdi-timer 6 February 2023 @ 10:10 6 Feb 2023 @ 10:10 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
CCHQ Scraps ‘Unconscious Bias’ Training for Parliamentary Candidates

Earlier this week it was revealed Conservative candidates are receiving vital “unconscious bias” training ahead of their selection, with useful lessons in “white resentment” and gender fluidity all on the menu. Would-be MPs were even advised against being alone with a member of the opposite sex…

Now ITV reports the Party has deleted the course entirely, after a fierce backlash from Tory MPs – including the Common Sense group, chaired by Sir John Hayes – warned that the training was “divisive nonsense” that needed scrapping. The Common Sense group immediately demanded a meeting at CCHQ, including with Party Chair Nadhim Zahawi, with Zahawi later writing to MPs:

“This ‘training’ was provided by a private contractor as an optional extra to our candidates. It was not commissioned or endorsed by the Party and once I found out about it I have ensured it has been removed […] I don’t believe anyone should be ashamed of who they are or their background and this ‘training’ has no place in the Conservative Party.”

That’s one mess Zahawi’s cleaned up, at least…

mdi-timer 26 January 2023 @ 08:55 26 Jan 2023 @ 08:55 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
CCHQ Scramble to Save Suella’s Seat

Guido hears the battle to save Suella Braverman ahead of the general election is causing headaches at CCHQ. As first reported in the Mail on Sunday, boundary changes mean Braverman’s Fareham constituency is set to become Fareham and Waterlooville, with Flick Drummond’s Meon Valley seat abolished entirely. A new seat, Hamble Valley, is also up for grabs. Drummond and Braverman are now heading for a selection fight over Fareham and Waterlooville, and it’s not expected to be an easy fight for the Home Secretary. The Battle of Waterlooville begins…

Guido understands CCHQ paused the selection process six weeks ago. It was supposed to be wrapped up this month – yet no new date has been set yet. A CCHQ source insisted “it’s a more complicated boundary change than most”, and not to “read too much into it”. “Complicated” is one way of putting it…

In the meantime, Suella has selected the new Hamble Valley seat as her second preference, if Drummond ends up winning in Fareham and Waterlooville. Guido, however, hears she’s not a shoo-in there either. Could Braverman really end up without a safe seat ahead of the general election? 

mdi-timer 18 January 2023 @ 13:44 18 Jan 2023 @ 13:44 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Ex-Buckland SpAd Appointed CCHQ Head of Press

CCHQ have hired Danielle Boxall as their new Head of Press, reporting to Director of Communications Alex Wild. Boxall was previously Robert Buckland’s media SpAd under Liz Truss, and before that Media Campaign Manager at the TaxPayers’ Alliance. As Guido first reported, she joins alongside the CRD’s new Head of Research, Marcus Natale. All hands on deck before the next election…

mdi-timer 17 January 2023 @ 14:18 17 Jan 2023 @ 14:18 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Priti’s Pressure Group Slams CCHQ After Kawczynski’s Association Farce

Following Guido’s report on the mass resignations at Daniel Kawczynski’s re-selection meeting last week, the Conservative Democratic Organisation – the new grassroots pressure group launched by Lord Cruddas and backed by Priti Patel – has waded in to attack the offending members of Shrewsbury and Atcham Conservative Association… and even opened fire on CCHQ:

“The Conservative Democratic Organisation is concerned about reports from Shrewsbury and Atcham Conservative Association carried by the website Guido Fawkes. We note the premature resignation of David Roberts as Chairman of the Association and have read his letter with some distress.

The role of CCHQ is to observe and guide local associations. It is local associations which are the bedrock of the party. We are particularly concerned that party members were shouted at and talked over. Members have demonstrated an extreme degree of tolerance in recent times. They are entitled to be treated with respect and basic courtesy.

We note with some delight that none of the concerning activity was attributed to Daniel Kawczynski and congratulate him on his re-selection. It is the treatment of loyal members and the question marks surrounding commitment to democracy that we as an organisation hope to improve within our party.”

The Chairman, Treasurer, and one other officer resigned last week after the meeting descended into chaos. Guido hears at least one more officer is expected to go soon too…

mdi-timer 16 January 2023 @ 11:21 16 Jan 2023 @ 11:21 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Ex-Kwasi SpAd Marcus Natale Returns as Tory Head of Research

Guido can reveal that former Kwasi SpAd Marcus Natale is to return to SW1 as head of the Tory party’s research department. Marcus transferred from CCHQ to the Downing Street briefing team in 2019. The CRD vacancy was created when Ross Kempsell decided to depart with Boris.

Unlike some of Kwasi’s other advisers who made it onto the Jeremy Hunt life raft, Natale departed Whitehall in October alongside his former Treasury boss.

The job ad – intriguingly re-upped after the initial deadline for an extra month at the end of 2022 – demanded a candidate with exceptional political judgement, attention to detail and communication skills. Going forward, Marcus will “lead and execute the Party’s day-to-day political strategy and research, offering immediate, comprehensive, strategic, consistent and effective advice to senior members of the party.” To anyone wondering, Natale is a Sicilian surname; so if any opposition shadow cabinet members wake up with horses’ heads in their beds…

mdi-timer 9 January 2023 @ 11:57 9 Jan 2023 @ 11:57 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
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