The last few months have been tumultuous. We have seen immense change for our party with the election of a new leader and Prime Minister. We would like to congratulate Liz Truss on becoming Prime Minister and our own MP, James Cleverly on his appointment as Foreign Secretary. We are hugely proud that our MP is now the holder of such an important office of state.
The change of party leader was swiftly followed by the death of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II and the accession of King Charles III to the throne. I am sure our feelings of sadness at the death of Her Majesty were tempered by feelings of immense gratitude and pride as we reflected on her long and extraordinary reign. May she rest in peace.
After the inevitable divisions of the leadership campaign, it is now time for us to come together as a party and focus on winning the District Council election next year and the General Election in 2024. The Braintree District Council election will take place in May 2023, less than 8 months away. We will be contesting all 33 seats that lie in the Braintree parliamentary constituency and have either selected or are in the process of selecting candidates for 25 of those seats. However, we are still looking for candidates for Halstead and Bocking North as well as one candidate for the 3 Fields ward and another in the Braintree Central and Beckers Green ward. If you would be interested in standing in any of these seats, or know of someone who is sympathetic to the Conservative party whom we could approach, please do get in touch. We have placed adverts in the local papers and have been conducting surveys to find candidates but still need to find candidates for these seats.
We are also starting the process of making the electorate aware that an election is coming up, getting our candidates known and pointing out the excellent record of the Conservative run Council. We are holding a number of campaign days in the autumn with further planned for the Spring. This will be a mixture of leafleting and canvassing. The more bodies who are able to help, the easier the task so if you are able to lend a hand on any of these days, we would be most grateful. The sessions will last around 1-2 hours followed by a quick get together in a local coffee shop or pub.
You should by now have received our invitation to our Annual Dinner on 21st October. Our guest speaker is the chair of the education select committee and seasoned parliamentarian, Robert Halfon MP. Robert is a very well respected MP with a reputation for wanting action, so it should be a most interesting evening. I do hope you and your friends will be able to join us, at what is our major social event of the year.
In July, we held our first Patrons’ Club dinner at a private venue near Coggeshall. We were very fortunate not only to have Will Quince MP present but also the new Secretary of State for health, the Rt Hon Therese Coffey MP. The evening was a great success with stimulating conversation over a delicious dinner. We are planning to hold a further dinner in the new year in London. If you would like to join the Patrons’ Club, do get in touch. The annual fee is £250 or £400 for a joint member plus the cost of any dinner you attend.
We would also like to set up bi-annual business breakfast meetings with James Cleverly and are looking to arrange the first one in October. If this is something that would interest you, or your friends or business associates please let us know.
Finally, our policy forum meetings continue to take place. The topic for discussion at our next meeting will be “Ideas for the next Manifesto”. Look out for our email with details of time and place. Also our 999 club is still running. Tickets are just £5 a month per number; the more people that take part the greater the prize fund.
Message from Rt Hon James Cleverly MP
I would like to pass on this message we have received from James Cleverly to all members of the association.
“I had planned to write to you straight after the reshuffle but events overtook all of us.
It is hard to believe that it was only two weeks ago that Liz Truss became Prime Minister and less than two weeks since she appointed me as the Foreign Secretary.
All the excitement of that time was washed away by the sad news that Queen Elizabeth II had passed away.
The whole of British society pulled together to deliver a solemn, yet uplifting, funeral for Her Late Majesty. It has been an incredibly busy time, but it was a privilege to be part of it.
Now that the funeral has taken place, and we can relax briefly, I wanted to thank you and the association for your support. The turbulence of political life has been amplified this year by Susie’s illness. Susie’s treatment has been very effective and she is on the (long and slow) road to recovery, I hope that the political world also takes a turn for the better.
I remain dedicated to working with you and the association to ensure we are successful in the forthcoming local elections and I look forward to joining you on the campaign trail again soon.”