The former Conservative prime minister David Cameron wrote the following in his autobiography For The Record (hardback edition, p.96), about the years following 2005, when he was elected as his party’s leader:
We sold our historic headquarters in Smith Square, and even the loss-making annual party conference started to make money; by the time I left office it was making close to £2 million a year. The party was debt-free, and there was around £2 million cash in the bank.
The reason that the annual conferences “started to make money” and the party had “£2 million cash in the bank” when Cameron left office in 2016 was that I – as a freelance business consultant at CCHQ (Conservative Campaign Headquarters), in an assignment over 2006-8 – developed and executed a revolutionary new business model for the conferences. The company created to manage the conferences held the contract over 2007-14, delivering a cumulative profit of more than £11.5 million to the party. In his autobiography Cameron stated it had been the largest single income stream for the party over the period.
I was a party member and donor until I cancelled my membership – as did many other party members – when Cameron announced his intention to introduce all-women shortlists in the autumn of 2009, prompting me to write David and Goliatha: David Cameron – Heir to Harman? (2010). It’s out of print but the full content is contained within The Glass Ceiling Delusion: The real reasons more women don’t reach senior positions (2011).
It’s surely about time that the Conservative party recognized my contribution to their coffers over some very lean years for the party. I might be prepared to accept the title Baron Buchanan of Bedford, if only so that this party would then have its first parliamentarian.
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