Thursday, 31 July 2014

Stephen Canning Hands Over Eastern Region To Cllr Tom Hunt

Stephen Canning the Eastern Region Chair, but better known for his leading roles in Towie and Made in Chelsea, has today officially handed over the Eastern Region CF website, twitter, Facebook and newsletter to Tom Hunt.

Stephen is standing in the up and coming CF elections and wants to make sure that he gains no unfair advantage over anyone wants to stand against him as Deputy Chairman (Political). Stephen ran for this position last year but narrowly missed out, he is thus having another go this August.

Stephen handing over control of the Eastern Region Facebook account.

Stephen has a lot of experience in politics. As well as running Eastern CF he is a well respected councillor in Braintree where he chairs the youth strategy board. Stephen is a management consultant and also a very keen marathon runner. He also announced today he will be running in the London Marathon for Tommy's, the baby charity. You can donate to his run here

Tom and Stephen in Braintree.

Stephen has handed over the running of all the Eastern Region accounts to my good friend Tom Hunt, who ran as an MEP in the European Elections earlier this year. Tom has said to #ThingsElliottSays "I will be assuming temporary control of Eastern Region CF's social media accounts and newsletter until after the upcoming CF elections as Stephen will be standing in the election and would not like to gain an unfair advantage."

Good luck Stephen in the CF Elections.

Exclusive: #ThingsKudeSays

#ThingsElliottSays has done an interview Charlotte Kude who is running to be London CF Chairman. Charlotte is a well respected and currently North West London CF Chairman.

1) How do you think the campaign is going at the moment? 
I must say I am very happy with the way the campaign is going at the moment; all candidates seem to be behaving rather professionally, at least compared to campaigns in previous years. 

2) Do you have any special plans for your campaign in the future?
Our current interim London CF Chairman Thomas Borwick is planning to host an informal hustings, with the date soon to be confirmed. I intend to meet as many London CFers as possible until the end of the campaign to make sure everyone's concerns are understood, and I certainly don't exclude a thank you party if I'm fortunate enough to win this election! 

Charlotte with the new Education Secretary, Nicky Morgan MP.

3) What is the number one thing you would do if elected as London CF Chair? 
If elected, the priority would be to surround myself with the best possible team. I want a more organised and efficient executive, able to meet the challenge of a general elections campaign. But equally I also want it to be representative of CF in London, which means including members from all areas and backgrounds, both students as well as young professionals. 

4) If elected how will you prepare CF for the General Election in London? 
We need to make sure everyone is included in the process and involve students, parliamentary researchers and other young professionals in the campaign. Ten months is a very short period of time to make a difference in a general election which is why we will have to make good use of all possible resources we can have to support our target seats. Big campaign days will be organised in these key marginals, and relevant training provided. But it's also important that everyone feels rewarded for their hard work with some opportunities to relax and network, so socialising will definitely play a key part in winning the elections.

5) What campaigning experience do you have? 
Campaigning is definitely my main strength as a candidate. I've both organised myself and taken part in a great number of action days across the country, focusing primarily on target constituencies or those in need of more help. In my role as Chairman of North-West London CF I regularly support various MPs and parliamentary candidates in 40/40 London seats such as Hampstead & Kilburn, Sutton & Cheam or Brentford & Isleworth. More recently, as a Roadtrip2015 coordinator, I also helped organise a big campaign day in Enfield North, which was attended by over 130 activists as well as multiple other road trips around the country.

Thanks Charlotte.

Dave taking a much better selfie that usual with Kude.

Exclusive: Nigel Abandons The YI Chairman

Earlier this week #ThingsElliottSays brought you the news that Nigel Farage was planning to go to the YI conference to save YI Chairman Jack Duffin. However, Nigel has now abandoned Duffin to the mercy of the greater YI membership who have called him to 'resign'.

In a previous #ThingsElliottSays' article a YI source, close to the organisers of the up and coming conference, said "If Nigel pulls out then it shows how much faith he has in Duffin. Zero." Nigel not coming is certainly a departure from past history under the previous YI chairman Rob Cormely. Just look at the photo below, Nigel at a YI event when Cormley was Chairman.

Duffin announced last night who would instead be filling the TBC slot in the YI conference agenda, previously set aside for Nigel. Duffin says he was 'trying to confirm one of the new MEPs from the EFDD group', but this goes completely against what #ThingsElliottSays sources have told him and what people in YI are loudly gossiping about. Everyone knows the committee had Nigel down as coming to the conference but he has pulled out. Duffin knows what he said on Facebook was complete bollocks. 

So what is to happen now? Well Duffin is all on his own. Only his cronies are on his side with his previous ally Neil Hamilton losing his previous position in UKIP. The calls for him to resign are in all likelihood going to get louder. The discontent he has sown by seemingly waging war on the libertarian faction in YI will cause him a lot of grief and maybe his position in time.

I hope Jack Duffin has a really great conference.

Woodger Backs Team Paterson

Maxwell Woodger, London CF Chair hopeful, has come out to back Team Paterson for the National CF Elections.

Woodger has said "I am delighted to fully endorse #TeamPaterson. Alex would make an excellent National CF Chairman as a natural leader and successor to Oliver Cooper. Stephen would make an exceptional Deputy Chair Political from his success as a councillor and campaigning duties. India would be an outstanding Deputy Chair Membership having built up a substantial base of RoadTrip2015 members. Annabel would be an exciting Best Practice Officer keeping CF to the highest standards."

Woodger in a very odd photo with Team Paterson's Stephen Canning.

Alexandra thanked Maxwell for his support on Facebook saying "Delighted that Maxwell Woodger Deputy Chairman Political of London CF has officially endorsed #TeamPaterson."

Woodger has a Facebook group for his campaign to be London Chairman and on it lists his experience in Conservative Future.

Woodger with the Justice Secretary, Chris Grayling MP.

Fletcher Apologises

After a bit of bluster on Facebook Cllr Sam Fletcher has come out to apologise about what he said about #ThingsElliottSays on the blog's comments and on Facebook. To see the full extent of what Cllr Fletcher had said click here.

Fletcher apologised on Facebook last night saying:

"“Libel” was the wrong word to use, which I do apologise for. You were indiscreet in my opinion.

"What I meant was that another individual was indiscreet for taking a screen-shot of a private message on Facebook and posting it on Twitter, and then you in turn were indiscreet, in my opinion, for using that screenshot on your blog.

"Also, I don't believe that you were breaking the law or employing criminal practices and I don't and didn't mean to suggest that. So I apologise for making that impression, if I did.

"Rather I meant that you used indiscreet practices, in my opinion, and you used a screen-shot of a private Facebook message that had been indiscreetly taken and then Tweeted, in my opinion. The comparison to the former News Of The World newspaper was ill thought-out.

"If you have the impression that I’ve intentionally sought to “libel” you, by claiming that you’ve “libeled” me, or that I’ve “lied” about you by claiming that you’ve broken the law or employed criminal practices, then I sincerely apologise for that.

"I was simply annoyed at what I saw and continue to see as your indiscreet journalism and making an article obtained via a source who had himself been indiscreet, in my opinion. That is the point I was attempting to make.

"I hope this clarifies the situation suitably."

#ThingsElliottSays is personally baffled too as why Cllr Feltcher views using public tweets as 'indiscreet'. However #ThingsElliottSays does not think he properly understood the difference between private and public use of technology anyway considering he announced an adulterous affair on Facebook.

As far as the lies Cllr Fletcher has told about me with any legal implication I consider this case closed.

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Fletcher Gets Foolish And Threatens To Sue #ThingsElliottSays

Keighley town councillor Sam Fletcher, well known for #FletcherGate and frankly talking about his ideas on sex, has decided to threaten to sue #ThingsElliottSays for Libel. However, he is a very foolish person because he doesn't fully realise the consequences of what he has done. He could be sued instead.

Recently #ThingsElliottSays published a story about Cllr Sam Fletcher on more of his odd ideas about sex. Gareth Shanks, someone who is an acquittance of Fletcher but certainly not his friend, had publish on Twitter a print screen of a conversion he had had with Sam Fletcher. This is the tweet:

#ThingsElliottSays saw Cllr Fletcher's comments in this conversation and thought them very amusing considering his past history of public sexual comments he made during #FletcherGate. I think there is a public interest for the people, especially Cllr Fletcher's constituents, to know that he is firstly continuing to make these sexual comments and secondly for people to think whether he is fit to be a councillor. The hilariousness of Sam Fletcher's comments are funny because he is a councillor and should not be doing these sort of things.

#ThingsElliottSays thus print-screened this public Tweet and posted it on his blog in a story called 'The Bizarre Love Life Of Cllr Sam Fletcher'. In it #ThingsElliottSays recounted #FletcherGate, said Fletcher was again talking about his sexual preferences publicly, mentioned due to the Polish factor that this may upset Nigel Farage, and asked what has happened to Sam's previous 'good salt of the earth Keighley lass'? Through a comedic lens of the nature of what Cllr Fletcher keeps on saying there was a serious political point of telling the news that Sam Fletcher is continuing to make inappropriate sexual comments. Again it asks the question of whether it is proper behaviour from a town councillor to do this?

However, Cllr Fletcher has not taken this article well. He has posted on my blog two comments about the article (you can read them in full here). Importantly Cllr Fletcher says that the print-screened comments were "not a public Facebook status, Twitter or blog post or whatever. It is in fact a screenshot of a private message between myself and an acquaintance." The message was put up on Twitter, which is regarded legally speaking as completely public, #ThingsElliottSays thus has every right to publish the comments.

Cllr Fletcher persisted to makes these comments again and said "this was a PRIVATE Facebook message and yet you are claiming it was a public post. Face it, you have no legitimacy on this one as it was truly a private conversation with a Facebook friend. It's not on my Facebook profile. You are picking up where the News Of The World left off in terms of disreputable journalism and methods of obtaining information."

#ThingsElliottSays repeats what he has said above about Twitter being public. If Cllr Fletcher did not want these comments to be made public he should have not said them or not said them to his friend. #ThingsElliottSays was perfectly entitled to post this story and did not break any laws. #ThingsElliottSays is a respectable and responsible Blogger.

But Cllr Fletcher would not stop. He then posted this publicly on Facebook.

#ThingsElliottSays has no idea how Cllr Fletcher believes my article was libellous. They were his comments!

Furthermore, as somewhat of a finale to Cllr Fletcher's actions, #ThingsElliottSays has heard from a number of reliable sources that Sam Fletcher has been hinting heavily to them that he and YI will threaten to sue #ThingsElliottSays over his recent article. I do hope this is not the case although #ThingsElliottSays has no reason to doubt his sources.

#ThingsElliottSays thinks Cllr Fletcher has been very foolish. #ThingsElliottSays believes that Cllr Fletcher should not have strongly inferred this blog is using illegal and disreputable practices by saying "You are picking up where the News Of The World left off in terms of disreputable journalism and methods of obtaining information." #ThingsElliottSays has proven his blogging is totally correct and legitimate. #ThingsElliottSays also believes that Fletcher should not have strongly inferred that his blog is libellous when saying " 'ThingsElliotSays' is heading the same way as a certain other Tory blog I can think of - getting done for libel." #ThingsElliottSays thinks this is what is really libellous.

In McAlpine v Bercow, Lord McAlpine won damages against Sally Bercow for inferring he was a child abuser publicly on Twitter by tweeting "Why is Lord McAlpine trending? *innocent face*". This land mark ruling amongst other things set a precedent in the law for social media and strongly inferring libellous statements. In #ThingsElliottSays' opinion Cllr Fletcher is likely to have been libellous against him.

#ThingsElliottSays could go straight to his solicitor to gauge what to do next. There could be quite a strong case and he knows some very good lawyers. There is certainly a strong case to report Cllr Fletcher to his standards board and also to UKIP central office. This is regardless of Fletcher's own legal threats but based on what he has publicly said.

But #ThingsElliottSays is also fair and is giving Cllr Fletcher till 9pm today (30th July) to publicly apologise for his comments on Facebook and to send the apology to #ThingsElliottSays who will then publish it on his blog. The matter will then be considered closed. If Cllr Fletcher does not comply #ThingsElliottSays will look to pursue this elsewhere.

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Breaking News: Jacob Wilkinson To Run As CF Chairman

Jacob Wilkinson is officially joining the race become National CF Chairman. Jacob is the Former Leicestershire and Rutland Area Chairman and currently leader of Leicester CF. Jacob also stood as East Midlands Chairman at the last CF Elections.

Last night Jacob posted this highly suggestive statement on his Twitter account.

Jacob has exclusively told #ThingsElliottSays "I am standing to become National Chairman because for too long CF has been run by the London click. I never lived in London, this makes me an an outsider, much like Jimmy Carter was on 1796 [sic] but that doesn't mean that I wouldn't be able to do the job."

Current stated candidates include Alexandra Paterson, a massive campaigner and Manchester resident, and Gareth Shanks, who is re-joining CF to push his anti-Israeli views.

Breaking News: Cooper Officially Announces He Will Not Re-Stand

The National CF Chairman has officially announced that he will no be re-standing in the up and coming CF Elections

Oliver Cooper Announced on Facebook:

"It's been a great honour for me to be National Chairman of Conservative Future for the last year. CF is the largest youth wing in the United Kingdom, and in the last year has become larger still: with 75% more university branches, with branches covering 40% more parliamentary constituencies, and with more members up and down the country than we've had at any point in our history. We also have a better image in the media, a higher profile internationally, and a stronger relationship with CCHQ than ever before.

"Most importantly, CF is having a greater impact on the campaign trail, from local and regional campaign days to the stellar success of RoadTrip2015. Our successes over the past year have been great, but the year leading up to a general election, is a new challenge, and these successes need to be built on with a new team. As such, despite so many people asking me to re-stand – which I still take as a form of flattery – I will not be seeking re-election as National Chairman.

"Both with gratitude for the past and confidence in the future, I'd like to thank everyone that's been involved in the last year to make our great organisation greater still. There will be elections over the next month to elect my successor and fill the other leadership positions; I will offer my unqualified support and assistance to whoever is elected, so CF can help make sure our country has a more Conservative future."

Cooper with CF Chair hopeful Alexandra Paterson.
In the opinion of #ThingsElliottSays Cooper has been the best CF Chairman in memory. This is further true for even some the grey bearded thirty year olds of Conservative Future. Oliver has been very successful in inspiring a lot of people and setting up a lot of branches across the country. 

But despite this giant leap forward made under Cooper there is still a lot to do. Apart from the gentleman that is Rob Manning, Oliver had to struggle with people on his committee who hated him for no reason other than paranoia. It is with relief these people are now gone and in all likelihood will not receive any office under a new administration. The focus for the new Chairman is to work with their much more agreeable committee which is prepared to actually do their roles. There role is to get out and campaign, especially as it is General Election year. We need to win in 2015, that is the objective.

Cooper has left behind a great legacy. But of course the most well known and perhaps the longest lasting will be him making CF #Sound and giving everyone an addiction to KFC.

Breaking News: CF Elections Announced

The CF Elections have just been announced. Nominations close on the 13th August. Ballots are sent out on the 18th August. The results will be announced in CCHQ on 22nd August at 6pm.

National positions of Chairman, Deputy Chairman (Political), Deputy Chairman (Membership and Fundraising) and Appointed Officer (Best Practice) are up for election. All regional chairman positions are also to be contested.

Candidate profiles need to be sent to CCHQ by 15th August and mustn't be over two hundred words (thank god).

The Returning Officer will be Stephen Philips OBE.

#ThingsElliottSays will keep you updated with all election news.

CFers Cry Out For More Road Trips

If there was a CF poll I'm sure the most popular activity for young Conservatives would come out as attending Road Trips. This political campaigning phenomenon works because it is fun. It is hard to turn down a free curry, free bar and party. People just want more and more.

#ThingsElliottSays spoke to Allrik Birch who said "road trips are a great way to meet new people, and introduce them to campaigning in a fun and social way - I've been to 5 so far and they really seem to make a difference. I intend to go to as many roadtrips as possible between now and the general election - we need to win in 2015, and this is the way to achieve that"

Road Trip in Enfield.

A similar reaction came from James Price "I can't wait for the RoadTrips to resume after their summer hiatus. I've been involved in various political groups for a while, but Road Trip is a breath of fresh air. It's also helped me get apathetic mates involved in Politics and the Tory Party for the first time, by mixing important issues with a lot of fun. I can't recommend them highly enough. We need more."

Road Trip to Chester and Cheadle.

CFer members can now get there wish. RoadTrip2015 has launched a survey which asks RoadTrippers where they would next want to go. This come as the Road Trip committee starts a mass expansion where weekend campaign session become very common.

A Road Trip officer has told #ThingsElliottSays "With every RoadTrip we have held so far, demand and interest have increased within the the Conservative family. Regular RoadTrippers and newly joined activists alike are now encouraging us for more dates and locations. Fortunately, the next RoadTrip is on its way. We want to hear from our activists to help us continue this journey and tell us where they would like RoadTrip2015 to visit."

Post Road Trip meeting photo.

Fill out the survey here.

Exclusive: Nigel Set To Come Save YI Chairman

Nigel Farage is booked to make an appearance at the YI conference in order to save the bacon of the organisations chairman, Jack Duffin. The YI Chairman has recently been under attack by his members for his dictatorial ways, many of them are asking for Duffin to resign.

If you look at the YI conference agenda, which recently had to be re-worked due to many MEPs pulling out, you can see there is a gap between 11:00 and 11:15. This could obviously be filled with Duffin giving a Nuremberg style speech to his loyal followers. But it is more likely that this slot has been reserved for someone special.

Speculation in YI has been growing about who will fill this TBC slot. Of course the obvious choice is Nigel Farage as he has been to many YI conferences before hand and is UKIP's charismatic leader. This has now been confirmed as true by one of #ThingsElliottSays' YI sources, this one in particular has links to the organising committee of the conference. The YI source said "Nigel is confirmed as coming to the YI conference. He will have to come and save Duffin's chairmanship as there is a lot of disquiet about him; not many are willing to speak out atm but this still feeds Duffin's paranoia. The blogs have put pressure on him too. If Nigel pulls out then it shows how much faith he has in Duffin. Zero."

'Sinister' Duffin has been told to resign by his members.

#ThingsElliottSays has also heard from Cllr Sam Fletcher that there will be a protest organised outside of the YI conference. The protest will be made up of the usual UKIP haters but also crucially several ex-YI members. How many more of these people are likely to turn up now that they know Nigel Farage is coming? I wonder.

Exclusive: Controversial Gareth Shanks To Rejoin CF And Stand As National Chairman

The widely known and controversial Gareth Shanks is set to rejoin the Conservatives so that he can stand as National CF Chairman. Shanks is both an ex-YI and ex-CF member who has been controversial in his hard-line opposition to Israel and vehement trade union activity against Government cuts.

#ThingsElliottSays was tipped off by several highly reliable sources that Shanks was about to rejoin the Conservative Party to stand as National CF Chairman. When #ThingsElliottSays asked Shanks about this he replied "I've taken a bit of a break on CF for a while and done a lot of thinking, but all I can really say is my mind is made up one way ... the Tories need a strong youth wing to push things forward, that has to be the start. The basis of any winning general election campagin [sic] is a united and strong youth wing, can the current chairman prospects do this, I don't think so. But what I can say is I've had a lot of CF members saying that CF needs a new approach."

Shanks at the last Party Conference.

#ThingsElliottSays then put it to Shanks that he has virtually said he will rejoin CF and stand as the National Chairman he then replied "Well then you virtually know already then". Based on this and numerous very reliable sources I think we can all see the truth.

Shanks has been a controversial figure over his views on Israel and Palestine. Shanks told #ThingsElliottSays he has been doing "Just union work lately [and] helping to run some Palestine demos". He also told #ThingsElliottSays that if he was in charge of CF there would be "none of this pro Israel YBF sh*#e."

Shanks has campaigned on a number occasions against Government cuts.

Gareth shows a number controversial views about government cuts, capitalism, Israel and the Commonwealth. You can see all these on his very active Twitter account here.

Gareth Shanks further went onto talk about how the Conservatives polling problems stem from issues over Gaza. He said to #ThingsElliottSays "I think if more people got behind Cameron instead of running off and backing elements of the social cons or the libertarians the Tories would be clear in the polls. All this infighting in sad really, and labour are going to walk in due to it. I mean look at Gaza. Crowing from neo-cons over the war crimes committed by Gaza show the out of touch Tory attitude which could lose them the next election, 52% of Brits think Israel is in the wrong, with only 20 odd thinking they're in the right."

Leading young conservative Stephen Hoffman has told #ThingsEllliottSays that if Shanks was to stand for election "he will get annihilated. This guy is unsuitable. This is an election year and he has no leadership experience, no campaigning experience, is a serial party deserter and has a history of disgusting statements. He should be as far away as becoming CF leader, as I am from going on the moon."

North West London CF Chair Charlotte Kude has also been very disapproving of Shanks' views. She has said to #ThingsElliottSays "Obviously some of the behaviour towards Palestinians is appalling but Israel has a right to defend itself. They're a western democracy surrounded by authoritarian Arab states that want its destruction. We should stand for whichever system we think best promotes and respects individual freedom and the answer is pretty obvious."

Shanks and Owen Jones, a big opponent of Israel.

Monday, 28 July 2014

Exclusive: 'Big Gun' India To Stand As Deputy CF Chair (Membership)?

Rumours are going around that India Brummitt is standing to be Deputy Chairman (Membership) in the almost inevitable up and coming CF elections. #ThingsElliottSays has heard others call India 'one of the unsung Big Guns' of campaigning. Furthermore, if she were to stand and win she would be the complete opposite of the incapable loud-mouthed nobodies who have previously held the Deputy Chairman (Membership) role.

India has previously been Deputy CF Chairman of South West London and is currently Wandsworth CF Chair. India also holds the important Deputy Chairman role for the Conservatives in Earsfield, a key ward successfully held by the Tories in the recent local elections. More recently however she has been one of the key leaders on the RoadTrip2015 committee and been personally responsible for the large part of 600 activists which went to help out in the Newark by-election.

India on the far left at a recent Road Trip meeting.

#ThingsElliottSays contacted India to ask her about the rumours of her candidacy but she would not confirm or deny her candidacy as Deputy CF Chairman. India said "I've relished the opportunity to be involved in leading the RoadTrip2015 campaign days right across the country and loved meeting young Conservatives from all around and I'll keep doing this."

#ThingsElliottSays then followed this up by contacting Eastern Region CF Chairman, Stepehen Canning*. He has yet to hear this rumour but told #ThingsElliottSays "Were there to be an election and were India to run she'd be a fantastic asset to the organisation. Her card has been marked for a long time as a hardworking, dedicated CF'er and I'm sure she could bring a continental shift to the role."

India, Canning, Cooper, Kude and some doughnuts.

#ThingsElliottSays will keep you updated with this story.

*More famous as posing as a dry cleaner in Made in Chelsea.

Exclusive: Yorkshire Backs Paterson For CF Chairman

#ThingsElliottSays can confirm that the Yorkshire region of CF are backing Alexandra Paterson to the national chairman of Conservative Future.

A document has been sent to #ThingsElliottSays laying out Yorkshire and Humber's plan for the CF elections. In it Yorkshire CF show there support for Alexandra Paterson and 'anyone else who can bring mass campaigning to our marginal seats'. Alexandra is well known for her campaigning efforts. Because she lives in Manchester Alexandra is one of those who has had to travel the furthest when comes to being on a Road Trip, but despite this she is a very well known face in the hard-core Road Trippers.

#ThingsElliottSays spoke to Yorkshire CF chairman Chris Rowell about the document he was sent. Chris confirmed the existence of the document and also told #ThingsElliottSays that "Yorkshire and Humber CF shares similar concerns and frustrations with many in CF about the current state of affairs and would happily support anyone who can help us work together to a victory in 2015. Alexandra is at this moment the only person we would have confidence in to get us the activists to win our marginal seats. I really want Ed Balls to lose in Morley and Outwood."

Chris Rowell enjoying a pint.