Rob Roberts’ Old Association Placed into Special Measures

The Delyn Tory association, formally of disgraced MP Rob Roberts, has been placed into special measures after going into significant debt. At last year’s AGM the problem with the North West East Association’s finances was flagged, however there was no subsequent indication that the party’s officers were urgently tackling the matter. Guido has a feeling the Tories might be on course to lose Delyn to Labour…

The problems with the local association were taken to the national Conservative Party Board, who met a fortnight ago to save the branch. As part of the emergency medicine, the board has sacked all the officers of the Delyn Conservative Association, as well as placed the Delyn Conservative Association into ‘Supported Association’ status.

An email sent to local members makes a point of clarifying none of this was orchestrated by CCHQ, which does not have the power to remove association officers, nor put local branches into special measures. Having a suspended MP for so many years probably doesn’t help with donations or membership retention…

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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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Farage Hints at Political Return as Reform Membership Surges

Reform UK have been quick to capitalise on the growing dissatisfaction amongst Tory Members over the coronation of Rishi Sunak. The party has gained over 1,056 members in the past 36 hours in addition to 6-figure donations over the last week. It also boasts over 500 vetted candidates and claims to be election-ready. Quite the headache for the new Prime Minister…

Guido spoke to Reform’s founder and sole shareholder Nigel Farage. When asked if he would step in and help lead the party, he responded:

“That’s the great mystery. All options are open”

Watch that space…

Even without one of the most successful political campaigners of recent British history as an opponent, Rishi faces significant internal problems. The Prime Minister was far from the favourite of Tory grassroots supporters and they’re not letting the absence of a contest prevent their grievances being heard. Not least in Guido’s inbox.

There was yet more evidence of a membership mass exodus as the page for membership cancellation on the Conservatives’ website went down due to high traffic yesterday. One fiery activist was especially keen to convey their discontent to Guido, even going so far as to tape a piece of paper to a rusty bin. Co-conspirators are clearly harbouring some burning resentment…

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Ben Elliot Resigns as Tory Co-Chairman

Ben Elliot has stepped down as co-chairman of the Conservative Party. In a statement this afternoon, Elliot said:

“Serving as co-chairman of the Conservative Party has been a huge honour and privilege. I would like to thank my various co-chairmen, colleagues on the Party Board, the National Convention, the excellent senior staff at CCHQ and of course all our professional staff, members and volunteers across the country. I would like to thank Boris Johnson for appointing me, and wish Liz Truss every success in leading our great country, particularly given the challenges of the winter ahead.”

Guido hears this may not be the last resignation before Liz enters No.10 tomorrow…

Hat-tip: Glen Owen

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Labour Membership Down 91,000, LibDems Down by 25,000

Both Labour and LibDem membership numbers have taken a hammer blow, according to their accounts published today by the Electoral Commission. Labour is down by 91,000 members, from 523,332 in 2020 to 432,213 as of 31 December 2021. In August 2021, Labour’s membership had only fallen by 1.7%.

LibDem membership had already plummeted between 2020 and 2021. Last August, Guido calculated numbers had fallen by 22.5%, from 126,724 in 2019 to 98,247 in 2020. Today that number makes for even grimmer reading: down from 98,246 to 73,544. A 25% fall from last year, and down by 42% since Sir Ed took over. 

The Labour Party’s accounts, partly thanks to declining membership, are also deeper into the red. The party made a £5 million loss last year, with the Treasurer describing 2021 as a “difficult and demanding year”. Sir Keir’s first year as leader in 2020 saw a party deficit of £1 million – already a massive fall from the surplus of £17,000 left by Jeremy Corbyn. It seems, for Starmer’s Labour, the cost of living crisis begins at home…

*The Tories do not publish membership figures in their accounts – spoilsports – however they did manage to scrape a £300,000 surplus in 2021.

mdi-timer 17 August 2022 @ 12:10 17 Aug 2022 @ 12:10 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments