Discussion Programme Update

I am writing to wish you a Happy Easter and to thank you for all that you do for the CPF and the Party.

The CPF really is going from strength to strength:

  • Since we launched the CPF renewal programme we have seen CPF participation and activity increase by about 40%! The Conservative Party grassroots are bursting with ideas on the big issues of the day.
  • In the 10 months since last year's general election alone a total of 172 CPF groups, representing 198 constituencies, and at least 2,260 members have participated in the CPF's national policy discussions.
  • And it’s being noticed: MPs keep asking me what is going on with the CPF, as they keep hearing of new discussion groups being established in their constituencies.
  • And you’re being listened to: as part of my CPF Renewal project I’m sitting down with every Departmental Ministerial team to find our what they would value and to make sure our ideas are being heard.
  • The Number 10 Policy Unit and the new Party Vice-Chairman for Policy, Chris Skidmore, have warmly welcomed the direct link that we have established with the CPF and is commissioning further work on several of the suggestions from CPF groups. 
  • Through our New Generation CPF Policy Champions, we are also reaching out into communities that are traditionally not well represented in Conservative constituencies. 
  • And we are helping win elections too. The CCHQ Outreach department notes that the number of CPF members who are volunteering to join campaign teams ahead of the May elections exceeds all their other volunteer groups put together.

So the CPF is making a real difference. Thank you for your amazing response to my call for us to lead the fight back against Corbyn’s reheated socialism and to show Conservative values and ideas in action.

New CPF Initiatives

I am therefore delighted to confirm that we are working on two new initiatives to give members exclusive new ways to engage regularly in the policy-making process:

  • A new series of simple CPF policy surveys, online polls; and
  • Tele-conference conversations with Government ministers, starting after the May elections.
  • Next month, I also look forward to announcing our next 9 CPF Champions, taking the team to 14.

Thank you to everyone who has sent suggestions for discussion topics and who responded to our request for feedback on our discussion papers. Your input is vital and we look forward to reporting our findings once we have analysed all of your responses.

Discussion Programme Update

Lastly, I am now pleased to confirm the topics planned for our national policy discussions for the months ahead.

Continuing our series of papers aimed at supporting the PM's domestic policy priorities and encouraging members to reflect on policies of particular concern to voters under 40, we will be considering:

  • June-August: Health & Social Care, including Mental Health
  • September-October: The challenge and opportunities of the Digital Age
  • November-December: Disability & Inclusion
  • January-February 2019: The Post-Brexit Economy

So, on behalf of all the team—our Voluntary Director, Hannah David; Policy Director, John Hayward; Vice-Chairman, Andrew Sharpe; and Head of the Voluntary Party, Ian Sanderson—THANK YOU for rallying to the cry and showing that this Conservative Party, under Theresa May’s leadership, is rising to the challenge of showing that it is WE who have the solutions to the big challenges of the day.

Once again, thank you for all your efforts and have a happy and peaceful Easter.


George Freeman MP
Chairman, the Conservative Policy Forum