Iain Dale has a report from today’s Take Your Seat conference put on by Michael Ashcroft at the Millbrook Centre near Milton Keynes. Iain is very positive about the professionalism of the event. ConservativeHome understands that the best part of 1,000 people attended. A listers, MPs, constituency chairman and agents from target seats were among the audience. They heard presentations from David Cameron, Francis Maude, Michael Ashcroft himself, his Chief of Staff Stephen Gilbert who gave a detailed (warts-and-all) summary of the Party’s private polling, Gavin Barwell, Don Porter, Patrick McLoughlin. It seems that constituency associations were told to shape up or ship out. If they didn’t fall into line with the Centre’s plans for groupings, or they failed to support their candidates, they could not expect to receive any support from the centre – financial or otherwise.
The quote in the title of this post is from Gavin Barwell, part of Lord Ashcroft’s team.