16 Nov 2011

Centre-left Tories to challenge Conservative Home

I reported during on the Tory conference on the formation of 2020 Conservatives, a group of centre-left and middle-of-the-road Tories who hope to help David Cameron in his several battles with the party’s right wing. Their aim was the rekindle the enthusiasm and thinking of the modernisation project which saw Cameron elected as Conservative leader back in 2005.

The feeling was that the right had made too much of the running in recent months, with better organisation at Westminster and the grassroots activist website Conservative Home. In short, they were a kind of Cameron Supporters’ Club.

I can report that 2020 Conservatives have been holding weekly meetings at 9pm on Tuesday evenings at Westminster (though not this week). Among regular attenders are ministers Greg Barker and Hugo Swire, two of the earliest Cameroons to declare in 2005, and the Immigration Minister Damian Green, who was a leading supporter of David Davis in 2005 (despite being very much on the left of the party). But most members are from the 2010 intake, including Nadhim Zahawi, George Freeman and Jo Johnson.

The group hopes to work on policy ideas for the 2015 and 2020 elections, but also to establish a significant website which will do for the centre-left what Conservative Home does for the right. They will have to be careful though. For any such project to make an impact, it require money and full-time staff, though I am told substantial resources are available. And a website set up in such circumstances may encounter significant resistance, and possible jibes of “toadyism”.

10 reader comments

  1. NeilMc says:

    Ah. Help David Cameron win his internal battles. That’s another lost general election in 2015 then.

    Do these MP’s have absolutely no feel for public opinion, or are they just happy to ignore it totally in a democracy!

  2. Dave B says:

    They tried that before with ‘Platform 10’.


    I suspect the Conservatives.com blog is also supportive of Mr Cameron.


  3. Martin Marprelate says:

    Well I won’t be posting there for a start! Isn’t having a Cameron Supporting Conservative Blog rather like being more Papal then the Pope given the creepy adulation that some cheerleaders and party hacks give him on existing Forums and Blogs.

    I’m sure Cameron will love this “Mirror, Mirror on the wall” hero worship.

  4. It doesn't add up... says:

    I’m sure they’ll be relying on prominent political TV journalists such as yourself to give it some public position. I see you’ve made a start on that already.

  5. Michael Dixon says:

    I would hope it has more tolerance towards differing opinions within the Conservaive Party than many who contribute to Conservative Home.

    Many who write to Con. Home are total fruit cakes with a hatred of Cameron that totally baffles me. He is likened to Mao and Arthur Scargill to name but two.

    Conservative Home is a very good website in many ways, but unfortunately it has pandered to the anti-Cameron brigade by still rabbiting on about the last election and a refusal to accept that we are in a Coalition for the time being. It also seems to be a natural home for UKIP grassroot supporters too, as I cannot believe that the nasty comments directed at Cameron and his cabinet are those of Conservatives.

    Tim Montgomerie of Con. Home is the new Norman Tebbit for the media, the front-man of any anti-Cameron comments from the BBC and The Guardian to name but two.

    I think he has lost the plot and too easily forgets the failures of the past of which he was part. Home to many Conservatives his website is not.

    Good luck to any Conservative website that displays a greater acceptance of contrary views on a particular policy within the Party in a mature way, as opposed to the many zealots on Conservative Home, pure in policy, perpetually in Opposition .

  6. radsatser says:

    The left has just as much opportunity on ConHome as conservatives do, the fact they rarely engage speaks volumes about their political passion.

    I won’t be visiting the site myself, preferring the lightly anarchic passion of ConHome. However I would suggest the only way they will maintain it as the David Cameron Appreciation Society will be to restrict membership to sychophants, which in that case they might as well just use the main Conservative site.

  7. confused says:

    @Michael Crick – sorry, you’ve completely lost me… a centre-left Tory!? Surely we’re all centre-right or just good old fashioned nutters!

  8. Steve Tierney says:

    Michael, there was already a center-left group for wet Tories. The Liberal Democrats. They have that little group of Orange Bookers that fit your description perfectly.

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