This weekend, Conservative Party members will choose who will represent our Party at the European Parliament elections in 2014.
Ballot papers going out over the next few days will allow all members to have a say over the Conservatives who will carry on the fight for Britain’s interests at the heart of Europe.
There have never been more crucial European Elections than these. Conservatives are fighting hard for Britain's best interests in Europe and are protecting this country's sovereignty through some of the boldest measures ever taken in government.
From the European Union Act enshrining Parliament’s pre-eminence, to David Cameron’s historic use of our veto and successful push for an EU budget cut, Conservatives are protecting this nation's interests to get the best deal for Britain. So I urge all members who receive their ballot papers this weekend to take part in selecting our next generation of Conservative representatives in Europe.
Conservative Party members have always been at the heart of the candidate selection process – this year is no different. Conservatives have a long and proud tradition of innovation in candidate selection, from being the first party to return a woman to Parliament, to the use of open primaries for the 2010 General Election.
This innovation continues – for the first time Party members will able to vote on European election candidates online. Innovation has enabled a wide range of people to represent our party; at the last election the number of female Conservative MPs nearly doubled, and the number coming from black and minority ethnic backgrounds increased six fold.
So I’m pleased to say we’re continuing that process with our online ballot – as well as the traditional postal ballot.
Conservatives are the only mainstream party fighting for the right of the British people to have a say in Europe. If Conservatives win the 2015 General Election, we are the only party that would actually give the people that say in a referendum before 2017.
The continued support of our members and the selection of the right champions for Britain in Europe will make this happen, so do make history and vote next week.