Tory conference is being planned for 2024 despite rumours it will be scrapped
The Conservative Party is looking for new venues for its autumn conference after more than a decade of switching between Manchester and Birmingham. Its annual gathering of politicians and Tory grassroots is worth an estimated £20 million to the local economy in the two cities.
New chairman Richard Holden said the party is locked into contracts for the next few years but is reviewing locations for the future. He said: “Birmingham and Manchester are both great, but I think it’s also the case that if we can spread it out a bit more to the rest of the country, then I want to have a look at that too.”
Claims have been made that the conference will be scrapped or scaled back next year to allow for an autumn election. Mr Holden said: “Obviously we are planning for any eventuality, but we are planning full steam ahead for conference next year.”
The chairman said he wants to fire up the membership and promised activity levels will be “going through the roof” to give the party the best possible chance at the polls. Mr Holden, who joined the party as a teenager, is launching two initiatives to boost grassroots activity.
Walk to Win will be a “fun” way for people to become involved in campaigning and the party is hoping to sign up 60,000 peopl.
Ring to Win will allow people to have conversations with voters in the evenings and winter months. Traditional membership cards from today (MON) after they were scrapped three years ago for environmental reasons.
Mr Holden said his job is to bring together the different pillars of the party, MPs, councillors and other elected representatives, along with volunteers and CCHQ to work together seamlessly. “If we can get them all overlapping in the right way, then we’re going to be then we’re going to be okay,” he said.
“But the voluntary party has felt like we’ve not been listening to them, our voters have felt we’ve not been listening to them. They want us to concentrate on taking the fight to Labour.
“Because they know when it comes to the economy that Rishi is their guy. They trust Rishi. And in all of the polls that I’ve seen when it comes to 2019 Conservative voters and people who would consider voting Conservative, Rishi is ahead of Strarmer. And it’s vital, absolutely vital that we don’t get sidetracked on to other things.”
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