Conservative Way Forward
|This article relies on references to primary sources. (February 2009)|
|Part of the politics series on|
Conservative Way Forward (CWF) is a British campaigning group that operates within the Conservative Party. It is a Thatcherite group in outlook and agenda, and Baroness Thatcher herself was the President.
CWF was founded in 1991 to "defend and build upon the achievements of the Conservative Party under Margaret Thatcher’s leadership, and to adapt the principles of her era in government to modern concerns and challenges".
Their core stated aim is "to provide a forum for all those who share our philosophy, from Parliament to the constituencies and helping in the eventual restoration of people's freedom and rights". They organise speaker meetings, seminars and receptions, supported and attended by Government Ministers past and future.
Although still a predominantly Thatcherite grouping, CWF has in recent years, with the decline of the left-leaning Tory Reform Group, become an integral and mainstream part of the Conservative Party. In all leadership elections since 1997, the candidate supported by CWF has ultimately won.
CWF's ideology is based on its "Nine Principles", approved by Margaret Thatcher upon the group's founding. These are:
Nationhood Each nation must be free to determine its policies to the benefit of its citizens.
Freedom For responsible individuals, guaranteed by the rule of law administered by and independent judiciary and minimal state activity.
Democracy The exercise of political power, with the consent of the people - through regular elections on the basis of universal suffrage and a secret ballot.
Security The first duty of the state is to provide external and internal defence of the citizenry
Community Defined by geography, tradition, inheritance and sense of identity
Capitalism The most effective system of wealth creation. Free markets are blind to gender, race, class or religion.
Choice For individuals must be maximised - even if the state accepts responsibility for provision of a safety net.
Deregulation Domestic and global - to maximise freedom of choice and individual responsibility in an improved society.
Enterprise Fostered by a low tax, low inflation economy - with currency exchange rates determined by the free market.
During the 2005 leadership election, these were hailed by David Cameron as the "common ground" of Conservative Party policy-making.
Margaret Thatcher Library
On 14 April 2013, the group announced that it was setting up a Margaret Thatcher Library as a permanent memorial to the former Prime Minister. The project will be based on the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in California, and has the support of several current and former Conservative cabinet members. It is expected to run training courses for young Conservatives and exchange student programmes to the US and elsewhere, as well as house artifacts from her premiership.
- Baroness Thatcher LG OM PC FRS
- Christopher Chope MP OBE, former Transport Minister and former Chairman of Conservative Way Forward
- Liam Fox MP, former Defence Secretary
- William Hague MP, Foreign Secretary
- Lord Parkinson PC, former Party Chairman and Trade and Industry Secretary
- Lord Tebbit CH PC, former Party Chairman
- Sir Gerald Howarth MP, former defence minister
The Executive Committee
- Donal Blaney
- Paul Osborn
- Mark Allatt
- Charlotte Argyle
- David Berens
- Peter Botting
- Conor Burns MP
- James Cleverly AM
- Alex Deane
- Jonathan Sheppard
- Greg Smith
- Russell Walters
- Sarkis Zeronian
Former Honorary Chairmen
- Cecil Parkinson(1991 - 1997)
- Eric Forth (1997 - 2001)
- Christopher Chope MP (2001 - 2009)
- Don Porter CBE (2009 - 2012)
- Hennessy, Patrick (14 April 2013). "Margaret Thatcher: plans to build museum as permanent memorial". Sunday Telegraph.
- The Conservative Party | People | Members of Parliament | Christopher Chope OBE MP