National Conservative Convention

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National Conservative
Convention
Founded 1867
Headquarters 4 Matthew Parker Street, Westminster, England, United Kingdom
Key people
Rob Semple, Chairman
Gerry Yates, President
Website conservatives.com

The National Conservative Convention (NCC), is the most senior body of the Conservative Party's voluntary wing. The National Convention effectively serves as the Party's internal Parliament, and is made up of its 800 highest-ranking Party Officers.

The composition and functions of the NCC have evolved since its establishment in 1867. It has previously had a major role in policy-making and the planning of Party Conferences. Today, its primary purposes are to take charge of internal Party affairs and representing the views of Party members. Most crucially, it elects five members each year to sit on the Conservative Party Board.

History and structure[edit]

The NCC was first established as the National Union of Conservative and Unionist Associations. Its purpose was to oversee the running of the Party across the country, and plan Party Conferences. These functions remain largely the same today, and every year the President of the NCC continues to officially open the Party Conference.

Over time, the NUCUA's membership became more clearly defined, and has broadly been the same since the Party's set of extensive internal reforms following their defeat in the 1945 General Election. In 1998, new Party leader William Hague carried out another extensive reform which led to the NUCUA's renaming as the National Conservative Convention. In recent years, the Convention's influence over the running of the Party and its campaigning methods has increased heavily. Any changes to the Constitution of the Conservative Party must be approved by a majority vote of the NCC, and it plays a pivotal role in the inception and implementation of Party reforms, such as the Conservative Party Review.

The NCC includes a mix of appointed, directly and indirectly elected Party Officers. When members of the public join the Party, they are attached to the Conservative Association of the constituency they reside in. Party members elect their local Association Chairmen who sit on the Convention, and other local officials. Each Chairman and one Deputy Chairman sit on an Area Council, typically covering one or two Counties and several local authorities and constituencies. These Councils annually elect the Party's senior volunteers; Area and Regional Officers. All senior volunteers (approximately 150 Area and 30 Regional Officers) sit on the Convention. In addition to this, the Conservative Women's Organisation and Conservative Future (including their predecessor organisations) each send 40 delegates to the NCC, though Conservative Future has not sent delegates since its dissolution. In 2014, 16 year old Isaac Duffy became the youngest ever member of the National Convention.

The NCC meets three times a year; at Conservative Party Conference, the Conservative Spring Forum, and for its own election meeting, usually held in the summer. The Convention Executive (elected annually by its members) consists of its Chairman, who serves for three years, three Vice-Presidents, who each serve for three years, and the President, who serves for one year. Generally speaking, after finishing their term, an outgoing Vice-President is elected as the President and Chairs that year's Party Conference. Officers typically run for election for the NCC's Executive only after several decades of experience in the Party. The Party Leader and Chairman attend Convention meetings and address its members. There are also regular meetings of Senior Volunteers (Area and Regional Officers) in between full Convention meetings.

Chairmen of National Conservative Convention[edit]

(Until 1988, the National Union of Conservative and Unionist Associations)

Presidents of National Conservative Convention[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ BEMROSE, Sir Max (John Maxwell) in Who Was Who 1897-2007, retrieved 5 June 2008, from BEMROSE, Sir Max (John Maxwell)
  2. ^ http://www.theargus.co.uk/news/14907672.CBE_awarded_to_lifelong_Tory/
  • Unless otherwise stated, details of Chairmen and Presidents of the NUCUA are taken from British Political Facts 1900-1994 by David Butler and Gareth Butler.
  • Conservative Conference Guide, 1989 (Eyre & Spottiswoode)