Guest Speaker at the Annual Dinner of the North West Hampshire Conservative Association, held at St Mary Bourne Village Centre, was Tim Yeo MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Trade and Industry. About 90 guests were present.
Commenting on the momentous events of the past few days, Tim Yeo said that his friends and supporters had approached him about his possible candidacy for the Leadership, should there be a vacancy. As a member of the Shadow Cabinet, he had supported Iain Duncan Smith in the confidence vote, and had then had to make a rapid decision. "There was an appetite for unity in the Party, and I decided not to let my name go forward and to support Michael Howard. We now have the best chance since 1992 of rebuilding our fortunes, and the media will focus on the splits in the Labour Party, rather than the splits in our Party. Gordon Brown has laid down a challenge to Tony Blair in his conference speech. On top of that, the country's finances are spiralling out of control, and the Government may have sopme difficult questiuons to answer when Lord Hutton reports."
"On the other hand, we are recovering our self-belief and are rebuilding our Party for victory at the next Election."
The Dinner was chaired by the Association Chairman, Margaret Milnmer-Williams, who thanked Margaret Wicks and her team for organising the event.
Moving a vote of thanks to Tim Yeo, Sir George explained that Tim had given up a place on Any Questions that evening to honour his commitment to North West Hampshire and said everyone had been greatly encouraged by his speech and that a new chapter was opening for the Party.