Dear Colleague,The Conservative Party is committed to improving the Party's Autumn conference and the experience of attendees and supporters.
To help us we would like to ask you to complete a brief questionnaire so that we can understand the strengths of our most recent conference in Birmingham, and where we can improve.
We appreciate this is a busy time of year, but your feedback really would be appreciated and the results will influence next year's Party conference in Manchester.
The deadline for submissions is 30th January 2009, and the survey can be found at:
Thank you and we look forward to hearing from you.
This is becoming like the closing scenes of Terminator. However many times you kill the European Constitution, it keeps lurching to its feet again. Blam! Fifty-five per cent of French voters say “Non”. Zap! Sixty-two per cent of Dutch voters say “Nee”. But the automaton keeps advancing, its flesh burned away, its charred metal skeleton stamped with the words “Lisbon Treaty”. Then – pow! – 53 per cent of Irish voters vote “No”. The machine is briefly swallowed by orange flames. But, after a short lull, the red lights go on in its skull and, once again, it starts clawing its way forward.
Convention for Modern Liberty - tickets now on sale
|Saturday 6th DecemberCOPOV Forum. Mathew Sinclair, Research Director of The Taxpayers Alliance answered questions after his excellent speech. The Conservative Party can learn a great deal from The Taxpayers Alliance. They are one of the fastest growing pressure groups. The audience had lots of questions.|
|Wednesday 3rd DecemberPeter Mandelson giving the Hugo Young lecture onGlobalisation and the Crunch : What lessons for politics in Europe, chaired by Peter Preston of The Guardian.|
Mandelson is clever, dangerous and snide. He didn't say much but what he did say justifies the description.
|Thursday 4th DecemberCOPOV Management meeting. Planning for next year. Any articles for the web site would be most welcome.|
Friday 5th December.
Lovely evening at the BCCA Victory Club party.
"Is it not a breach of Parliamentary Privilege for the police to arrest a Member of Parliament for using information he received for Parliamentary purposes?"
1. Who initiated the original Home Office leak inquiry?
2. Did Ministers approve it?
3. When was it initiated?
4. Who ran the inquiry and who had knowledge of it?
5. Were any Ministers briefed about the inquiry, how were they briefed, when and by whom?
6. What did the Prime Minister know and when? Did he call for a leak investigation by the police in the first place?
The Referral to the Cabinet Office
7. Who made the decision to refer the inquiry to the Cabinet Office?
8. When was the decision made to refer the matter to the Cabinet Office?
9. Were any special advisers or Ministers aware of the decision to refer the inquiry to the Cabinet Office?
Referral to the Police
10. When did the Home Office (or Cabinet Office) refer its evidence of leaks involving potentially criminal conduct to the Metropolitan Police? What were Ministers told about the referral? Did Ministers ask to be kept informed of developments?
11. Who made the decision to refer the matter to the police?
12. When did they make that decision?
13. Were any special advisers aware of the decision to refer the matter to the police?
Arrest of Civil Servant
14. At 5.50am on 11 November, a Home Office official was arrested in the early hours of the morning by counter-terrorism police in connection with leaks. Were Ministers aware that counter-terrorism officers had been dispatched?
15. Were any civil servants, special advisers or Ministers briefed about the arrest of a Home Office civil servant in connection with the inquiry?
16. Did the arrest of the civil servant also involve SO15 or other counter terrorism officers?
17. What contact was there between the police and any Minister, adviser or civil servant regarding the progress of the inquiry between the civil servant’s arrest and Damian Green’s arrest?
Arrest of Damian Green
18. It is reported that Mr Green’s name was provided to the police on 11 November. Between the arrest of the official on 11 November and the arrest of Mr Green on 27 November, what further update did Home Office officials receive on the course of the subsequent police investigation? What was communicated to Ministers, and when?
19. When did Home Office officials know that the police were investigating a Member of Parliament? Who was the most senior official informed? When were Ministers informed? If they were not informed, why not?
20. Was any special adviser, press officer or Minister aware that a politician was being investigated? If so, when did they become aware?
21. The guidance on the offence of misconduct in public office states: “A charge of misconduct in public office should be reserved for cases of serious misconduct or deliberate failure to perform a duty which is likely to injure the public interest”. In what respect was it suspected that Damian Green might have done this?
22. Who in the police approved the decision to inform the Mayor about the proposed arrest of Damian Green?
23. Who in the police decided not to inform any Government Minister about the proposed arrest of Damian Green?
24. Why was it decided to inform the Mayor but no Minister?
25. Was any adviser or civil servant made aware of the proposed arrest of a politician?
26. Why were counter terrorist officers involved in the arrest? Why were 9 involved?
27. Which Government advisers and press officers were briefed about the arrest and when? When did they first discuss the matter with the press?
28. Was the Immigration Minister briefed regarding the inquiry in advance of his interview on the Today programme and if so what was he told and by whom?
29. If Ministers had no knowledge of the inquiry, why did Immigration Minister Phil Woolas say on the Today programme that “this is not…from the information I have, the knowledge of the arrest that has been made, not as straightforward as your question implies”?
30. What steps did the Prime Minister take to clarify that no Minister had been involved?
31. Is it conceivable that the Home Secretary and Prime Minister remained oblivious to the investigation and arrest of a Member of Parliament between 11 and 27 November?
Search of Damian Green’s Offices
32. Who was the most senior police officer who took the decision to authorise the arrest of Mr Green, and the search of his two residential addresses, constituency office and office in the House of Commons? Was the Commissioner aware, and did he authorise the decision? Why were counter-terrorism police dispatched to the House of Commons? Why did police not seek to interview Mr Green on a voluntary basis? Why did they wait until 28 November, the first day when the House of Commons was not sitting, Members were not present and no objection could be made to the Speaker? Why did they wait until the last day in office of Sir Ian Blair as Commissioner? Were the CPS consulted, was the DPP aware of these decisions and what authorisation did he give?
33. When did officials or Ministers know that Mr Green’s office in the House of Commons would be searched?
34. When the decision was made to arrest Mr Green and forcibly search his House of Commons office:
a. Did the Speaker authorise this operation?
b. If not, who did and on the basis of what evidence?
c. Was a search warrant obtained for Damian Green’s office in the House of Commons?
d. Who was the most senior ranking police officer who authorised the decision?
e. Who was the most senior official in the Home Office who was aware?
f. When did the Home Secretary and other Ministers know?
g. When did the Prime Minister know?
h. If the Mayor was informed in advance of the police operation, why weren’t Ministers also informed, given that the Home Office has responsibility for the Met’s counter-terrorism police?
i. Which member of the House of Commons authorities permitted the police to suspend Mr Green’s Parliamentary e-mail?
j. Since they have seized Mr Green’s Parliamentary computers, how will the police protect the privileged relationship between an MP and his/her constituents – not least in relation to matters that may involve the police?
k. Is it not a breach of Parliamentary Privilege for the police to arrest a Member of Parliament for using information he received for Parliamentary purpose
Both parties recognise the need to change politics in Northern Ireland, are committed to reaching out to the increasing numbers of alienated voters, and developing non sectarian politics in Northern Ireland.
1. The Conservatives and the Ulster Unionists have agreed to form a Joint Committee which will have as a core aim a desire to change politics in Northern Ireland in order to enable all electors in Northern Ireland to participate fully in the politics of the United Kingdom
2. The Joint Committee, consisting of 4 Conservatives and 4 Ulster Unionists, will oversee developments. It will be responsible for coordinating the identification of candidates for the General Election and have responsibility for running the European and General Election campaigns.
3. Jim Nicholson MEP will be the candidate for the European election and, if elected, will sit as a full member of the Conservative group, and shall be in receipt of the Conservative Whip in the next European Parliament. He shall have the same rights and responsibilities of all MEPs taking the Conservative Whip.
4. Successful candidates at the General Election will be full members of the Parliamentary Conservative Party. They will have the same rights and responsibilities as all other MPs taking the Conservative Whip.
5. Both Parties recognise that the holding of office as a Member of Parliament, Member of the European Parliament, or Member of a Legislative Assembly, is a full-time position. Both Parties consider the holding of multiple mandates to be undesirable and neglectful of the needs of the electorate. Accordingly, the holding of joint mandates will not be permitted. If an MLA offers him/her self as a candidate for a Parliamentary seat they will undertake to resign as an MLA on election to that Parliament.