Dr Spencer Pitfield OBE is director of Tory Workers.
“If you elect me, my single mission will be to make sure the views of all our hard working and dedicated members and volunteers are heard loud and clear by the central Party.”
This is how my online election address for the voluntary position of Vice President of the National Convention Party Board begins. These are crucial elections for the future of our Party so, even though the electorate is small, I wanted to share my aims and ambitions with as many people as possible.
Some friends and colleagues have asked me why I am standing – why am I bothering? Well, I absolutely believe these voluntary elections to the Party Board can and do make a considerable difference to the Party’s direction of travel.
I am not alone in this view, and I know personally that both Brandon Lewis, the Party Chairman, and James Cleverly feel strongly about this too.
All sections of our Party – volunteers, elected representatives and professionals alike – deserve an equal voice. For too long volunteers feel they have been the forgotten and neglected voice in our Party. This must change, and there is a clear will for this to change. The next Party Conference will no doubt be a good indicator of how Brandon and James, together with volunteer Board colleagues, have moved this agenda forward.
For over 20 years now I have campaigned tirelessly to make sure that all volunteers and members receive the recognition and Party involvement that their selfless efforts deserve. I am hugely proud to have held numerous voluntary roles, from branch member all the way through to Association Chairman. I have acted as a Party Board Representative, was honoured to be Conservative Policy Forum (CPF) Director for three years, and now campaign passionately in my Tory Workers Director’s role to make sure the voice of all ordinary hard working people and members is heard by the Party loud and clear.
As a leader of a charity, having worked as a teacher for many years, and originally being from a Labour-supporting family in the East End of London, it’s probably fair to say my face doesn’t naturally fit in some Party circles. The values of our common Conservatism, however, are my family’s values. I want our Party to be one which can naturally and easily welcome people from every diverse background – but especially those of limited means and from working class roots.
On a personal level, my mission in life has always been to make sure that those in greatest need, especially the poor and disabled, gain easily the full support of the State and our Party. I very much want a country and party which focuses on a ladder of opportunity and aspiration for all, but also a compassionate safety net for those in greatest need. I make no apology for saying that Rob Halfon MP is a hero of mine for the way he has continually challenged and re-directed the Conservative ‘norm’ towards a compassionate and decent hard-working-class Conservatism.
Returning to the volunteer Board elections: whether you have a vote or not, if elected I promise to listen, recognise, and value every single member of our Party. I promise to ensure your views and your values are communicated clearly and directly at every level. I promise to speak up for all members, but especially those who feel their Party is not listening to them.
I am sure every candidate will say the same, but I hope those voting realise that my record of delivery for the voluntary party speaks for itself.