Young Britons' Foundation

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Young Britons' Foundation
Young Britons' Foundation logo.png
Abbreviation YBF
Formation July 2003 (2003-07)
Purpose Training conservative and classical liberal activists
Chief Executive
Daniel Hannan[1]
Donal Blaney

The Young Britons' Foundation, abbreviated to YBF, is a British conservative[2][3] not-for-profit training, education and research think-tank, established in July 2003 to "help train tomorrow's centre-right leaders and activists today".

It intends to promote young conservatives and "classical liberals".[2] Chief executive Donal Blaney has described YBF as "a Conservative madrasa" that radicalises young Tories.[4] YBF has strong links with the American neoconservative movements,[5] and partnerships with American conservative thinktanks and foundations.[5] YBF enjoys close links with the Conservative Party.

YBF was launched in July 2003 at a conference of the Young America's Foundation in Washington, D.C., and it has said that it aims to "import American political techniques into the UK". YBF has declared an intention to expose "left-wing bias" in Britain's universities.[2][3][6] YBF was originally based in Regent Street, London, leading some Conservatives to question its funding. YBF claims its funding comes solely from UK private donations.[6]


YBF's Chief Executive is Donal Blaney, a former National Chairman of Conservative Future,[5] and its Chairman is Patrick Nicholls, former Conservative MP for Teignbridge and Government Minister. The current president of YBF is Daniel Hannan, Conservative Member of the European Parliament for South East England.[7] The renowned author and avowed Eurosceptic Frederick Forsyth is a patron of YBF.[8]

As of September 2010, YBF's "advisory board" includes Matthew Elliott, founder of the UK TaxPayers' Alliance, and representatives of the Heritage Foundation (a US conservative thinktank), US Competitive Enterprise Institute and American Conservative Union (a US conservative lobbying organisation). It also includes the founder of the US Leadership Institute, the President of the US Jesse Helms Center, the President of the Young America's Foundation, the co-founder of the US Henry Jackson Society and a former Executive Director of the Collegiate Network. British representatives include Professor Patrick Minford, blogger Iain Dale and two local councillors.[9]


In 2010, The Guardian reported that there was "an informal understanding that YBF is the main provider of training for young Conservative activists."[5] in 2010, Conservative Party Chairman Eric Pickles, Shadow Home Minister Andrew Rosindell and Shadow Defence Secretary Liam Fox spoke at the annual YBF Parliamentary Rally at the House of Commons.[4] In 2010, it was reported that YBF claims to have trained 2,500 Conservative party activists.[4] At least 11 Conservative parliamentary candidates in the 2010 general election have been delegates or speakers at YBF courses.[5]


Hung Parliament warning leaflet delivered in the week of the UK General Election

In the last days of the United Kingdom general election, 2010 over 500,000 leaflets were delivered by YBF to over 20 LibDem/Conservative marginals across the country warning of the dangers of a hung parliament. Chris Huhne falsely accused YBF of breaking electoral laws by not being registered with the Electoral Commission,[10] despite the fact that YBF were Electoral Commission-registered.[11]

During the 2008 presidential election, YBF sent a delegation of activists to campaign in the United States for John McCain.[12] In 2010, YBF's executive director addressed the US Conservative Political Action Conference "warning of the dangers of socialism".[13]


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