The CPF Champions: Winning the battle of ideas reshaping the 21st century

The CPF – the Conservative Party’s national forum for giving members the opportunity to discuss the major policy challenges facing Britain – is delighted to announce our next group of CPF ‘Tomorrow’s Champions’.

The Champions are our ‘outreach’ ambassadors, developing a deeper policy conversation in various key voter groups and communities not well enough represented in the Party and with which we want to connect better.

Late last year, we unveiled our first Champions, representing the BME, LGBT, Social Enterprise and Entrepreneurial communities. In this next batch, we are delighted to announce the next eight:

Each Champion is preparing a brief paper setting out their workplan for their key tasks:

  1. Lead outreach to ‘harder-to-reach’ voter groups not well represented in traditional Conservatives areas
  2. Liaison with Ministers
  3. Liaison with existing CPF groups.

The Prime Minister and Party Chairman are backing this initiative. In our view this party needs to have, and needs to be seen to have, credible Champions for key communities in our policy-making so we can show a Conservative Party working for everyone, whoever and wherever they are.

With the battle to defeat the anti-capitalist movement led by Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell now set, never has the Conservative Policy Forum (CPF) been more important. In the glorious history of our Party, the CPF (or its forebears) has been key in each of the periods of renewal: 1860, 1906, 1950, and 1975. As we engage in a robust debate about the future and our place in it, we do not expect the Champions to provide all the answers. We do expect that they will provide some.

After the post-Election Review, led by The Rt Hon Sir Eric Pickles, we were delighted to report that the importance of listening to grassroots members had rightly been prioritised and the CPF made a high priority. There has never been a better time to engage with your CPF and start to join (and frame) this debate.

Over the past 18 months, we are pleased to report:

  • CPF membership is up 30% with over 3,700 registered members and contact with CPF coordinators now representing over 70% (461) of UK constituencies.
  • Over 2,650 members in 198 groups and 232 constituencies have participated in national CPF discussions.
  • In the General Election we mobilised 600 man-hours of additional volunteer help across over 221 seats.
  • We have engaged Ministers and the No.10 Policy Unit with contributions from members on a range of topics at the heart of the PM’s domestic policy agenda, including housing, the cost of living and, most recently, Conservative values, reconnecting with young voters and skills & training.

George Freeman MP, Chairman of the CPF, said:

“The Conservative Policy Forum is the conduit for grassroots members to help shape policy. As the last manifesto showed, never has this been more important. The challenges of the 21st century are complex, but the solutions need to be rooted in Conservative values and the common sense of people up and down the whole country.”

Andrew Sharpe, Vice-Chairman of the CPF, said:

“As Vice Chairman of the CPF, it has been a privilege to help oversee such a successful period of the CPF. With our new Champions and renewed emphasis on asking the real questions we need to confront, I believe we are showing it is this Party that is leading the national debate we need to have.”