As Chairman of the National
Convention and Deputy Chairman of the Conservative Party Board, I was dismayed
to see the reports over the weekend about the comments allegedly made by a
senior member of the party about our activists.
I was even more shocked when it emerged that Andrew Feldman was
supposedly the author of the comments.
At the Conservative Party Board
meeting yesterday, the Board was unanimous in its support of Andrew Feldman as
Chairman of the Party. I have known and worked with Andrew since 2008, and I
would like to personally put on record that he has been the Chairman who is the
greatest champion of the voluntary party I have known.
Andrew has made it his mission to
ensure the voluntary party is heard at every level of the party organisation –
and that includes the leadership. Whenever we’ve had comments about a piece of
government policy, he has made extremely effective representations to the team
at Number 10. Obviously, we are a broad
church and there are always going to be some disagreements, but I know that
Andrew always puts our side across.
He has also introduced a number
of changes in CCHQ to make it far more orientated to the needs of the voluntary
party. He has established, for the first
time, an Office of the Voluntary Party and given it enough power to guarantee
its influence is felt across CCHQ. He
was instrumental in revitalising the Conservative Policy Forum and giving it the
resources it needs to succeed. He has revamped
Conference to ensure the membership is further involved.
Finally, he has always been
unfailingly courteous to the voluntary party.
He goes out of his way to address association dinners, and attend numerous
supporters’ events. He has always made time for me, my colleagues in the
National Convention, regional officers, area chairmen and party members.
has driven through significant change in the relationship between CCHQ and the
voluntary party, and my fellow Board members and I are grateful for all that he
has done and continues to do.