Conservative Conference: Bow Group think-tank boycotts conference over snub to rank-and-file members

'A genuine forum for conservatism and Conservative Party members remains absent,' says think-tank chairman

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Indy Politics

It is one of the oldest Conservative think-tanks and boasts the former Prime Minister, Sir John Major, as its president.

But the Bow Group is boycotting the Tory conference in Birmingham, accusing the party high command of not offering enough of a platform to rank-and-file members.

Its chairman, Ben Harris-Quinney, said: “We feel that a genuine forum for conservatism and Conservative Party members remains absent from the event in favour of a corporate venue for press and lobbyists.”

He said: “Party conference season should be a critical, indispensable time in the British political calendar for the nation's most prominent political movements to come together, listen to each other and the nation, remember core principles and make a pitch for better government.”

Mr Harris-Quinney said many MP and Tory members would be “noticeably absent” this week. He said: “That must give the party and broader conservative movement pause for concern and review. We hope to return next year, under a Conservative government, to a engage with a reformed party and a reformed conference.”

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