Thursday, 3 February 2011

the annual dinner

I would normally catch the sleeper train down overnight on Thursday ready for a day of meetings and engagements at home on Friday and the weekend. But this evening we have our annual Conservative dinner at the Penventon Hotel in Redruth so I have left parliament early to get there in time.

Baroness Warsi, the Party Chairman, is our guest speaker tonight. I have known Sayeeda for about six years since the days when Michael Howard made her a Deputy Chairman of the Party. I also remember going with her to a fantastic project in Dewsbury which she had set up to help children from minority ethnic backgrounds where English was not the first language in the home. Volunteers would go to the homes of such families and read to the children in English to help them develop their understanding of the English language and ensure they were well placed to benefit from lessons at school.

Sayeeda was one of the early pioneers of social action in politics which David Cameron was so impressed by that he made it a central plank of his agenda. The train gets us in just in time (hopefully) for the start and it will be good to have the chance to catch up with those friends and supporters who worked so hard in last year's election.

I have also managed to persuade the Prime Minister to sign a bottle of whisky for the auction which will hopefully raise a bit of money for the cause!