Many Conservative politicians have served their political apprenticeships in the youth wing of the Conservative Party, and I am no exception.
As a member of the Conservative Future (CF) executive, I got to learn how the Party works from the grass roots up. I got to hear from senior politicians, think tanks and was encouraged to stand for council, which I did when I was 21.
I see my new role as Vice Chairman for youth as making sure CF is involved with the Party at every level.
CF should not exist as a talking shop or a policy factory. Our role is to drive forward the Party’s campaigning effort at a local, regional and national level, helping to deliver David Cameron’s message to the electorate and bring about real change for the country.
Engagement and activity are key. We need to make sure that members of CF are engaged with the Party at every level, from local fundraisers to the Party leadership. And we need to ensure that CF members play an active part in campaigning, social and political events.
CF is a terrific campaigning organisation. I am incredibly grateful to the many CF members who have campaigned for me since my selection in 2006, and who continue to do so now that I am a busy local Member of Parliament.
Many candidates up and down the country rely on CF members to help them distribute literature and canvass. But we all know that campaigning activity has to be enjoyable. To that end we need to make sure that conferences and social events happen on a regular basis to keep CF a truly fun organisation.
I hope that while I am the Party’s Vice Chairman for Conservative Future, we can make sure CF gives young people today the same opportunities that helped me on my political journey.