In what seemed like NO time what so ever the candidates were arriving and so was the audience. Names were drawn so that everyone knew who was speaking when and there was no bias as to who went first etc. After speeches from Nick and Charlotte Leslie PPC for Bristol North-West each of the NME candidates (Steven Ricketts, Owen Meredith, Matt Lewis, Anastasia Beaumont-Bott, Christian May and Patrick Sullivan) outlined their respective campaigns. 5 minutes each, carefully timed by Nick and chaired by John Moorcraft. For those who do not know him he is the guy who has spent 3 years writing his PHD on the History of the Conservative Future Movement. What he doesn't know either isn't worth knowing or didn't happen.
Once the NME candidates had spoken it was time for the National Chairmen to take the floor and make their 8 minute speeches. First was City Lawyer Matthew Richardson, who carefully outlined his aims and his 'Slate' idea. This was then followed by former UCL student Michael Rock then last but not least Daryl Williams.
After a quick Bar and cigarette break we all returned for the Q and A session, sadly I missed most of this as the room was stupidly hot and Nick refused to let me put a brick through one of the windows so sat outside cooling down. Key points raised were 'Campaigning- Local vs National', 'Communication' and 'How much of you will we really see?' the best answer to this was from Patrick Sullivan who replied 'Well as I have just joined a gym hopefully a lot less of me.' Was in stitches for ages!
After this there was just enough time to pose for a group picture on the steps before having to run to Temple Meads to get a train home to London (rant about this will follow in next post). In my opinion this event was a HUGE success and showed us what CF can really do! Thanks from me to all the Bristol Office and in particular Nick.