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July 2020
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I have been a member of the Conservative Party since I was a teenager. I am a One Nation liberal Tory and a strong supporter of David Cameron’s renewal of the party. That said, I am independently minded, and I don’t toe the line on every issue.

I am an Approved Candidate for Parliamentary elections, and at the moment I was one of the six candidates shortlisted for the parliamentary seat of Penrith and the Border. Rory Stewart won that Open Primary on 25 October.

This is something new to me, though I’ve been a party supporter for a long time I only applied to become an MP in June 2009, after David Cameron reopened the Candidates List for some fresh faces in the wake of the MP’s expenses scandal. I was so incensed at the actions of our elected representatives that I decided to roll up my sleeves and do something about it.

I’ve recently helped out with campaigning in by-elections such as Norwich North and Haltemprice, as well as local council by-elections in South Shields and North Shields.

By-elections are a lot of work, but can be also very enjoyable. They’re also a useful way to get a sharp reminder from voters as to what life is like in the real world. I’ve certainly come to admire how the Conservative Party has become increasingly sharp at running and managing by-election campaigns, particularly Crewe and Norwich North.

These days politics seems most effective when focusing on local issues. Party politics has something of a mixed reputation at the moment, but when it comes to issues such as post office closures or the provision of healthcare in rural communities then politics and effective politicians become essential.

Here are links for some places where I spend too much time:
The Conservative Party
Iain Dale’s blog
Guido Fawkes – PG Certificate…

And two friends of mine standing as local Prospective Parliamentary Candidates (PPCs)
Guy Opperman (Hexham)
Wendy Morton (Tynemouth)

Here’s a picture of me with Wendy in her campaign office in North Shields:

With Wendy Morton in Tynemouth

With Wendy Morton in Tynemouth

And out on the road with the campaign team, AKA the Magnificent Seven (when we got 4,000 leaflets and hundreds of postal vote communications out in one day):

Leafleting in Shiremoor, Tynemouth

Leafleting in Shiremoor, Tynemouth