Saturday, 6 October 2012
Campaign for a Referendum: Conference a Great Success!
On Thursday evening I was delighted to meet Katie Hopkins for the first time: she is absolutely the right person for the campaign, as her media appearences to date have proved. We were joined at dinner at the Victory Services Club by Nikki and a number of senior members of the team, and also Roger Knapman and his wife Carolyn, as well as former Lib-Dem councillor David McGrath and his wife, both of whom I know from the campaign to clear an illegal travellers camp in Meriden. The cross-party demographics of this campaign team give us both integrity and depth.
But the real reason for the trip was our inaugural conference in Westminster. The day began with Katie appearing on ITN's Daybreak, and by the end of the first round of speakers we were on the front page of the BBC news website. Christian Party Leader George Hargreaves, and the US broadcaster and political analyst Charlie Wolf both gave excellent speeches, adding depth to the debate on our membership of the EU and what it means for our democratic integrity.
It was a chance to catch up with old friends from various parties, including one Conservative MEP, and to meet new people.
No surprise that UKIP had at least two spotters outside, reporting back on who was attending - I suspect that a few people will be getting some unpleasant phone calls or letters from their branch chairman shortly!
Two motions were passed by conference: the first calling on HMG to establish a Royal Commission to set the terms of reference for the referendum, the second calling on the PM to call a binding referendum before Jan 1st 2014.
A great success!