Oakley Branch Conservatives held their Summer Lunch in the grounds of Tim and Jenny Cox' home in Oakley, with Lady Young drawing the raffle.
Sir George spoke about the Leadership Election.
"A brief word about the nature of the campaign, which is different in two important respects from previous ones.
Until now, the electoral college was the MP’s. The focus of attention was the MP’s because they had the vote. The turbulence and tension was largely confined to the Parliamentary Party as the choice was theirs alone. That has now changed. The turbulence and tension is far wider, because the electoral college is broader. What is happening in North West Hants is happening throughout the Conservative Party up and down the country.
Second, the whole process used to be over in a couple of weeks. Now it is going to take from June 7th, when William Hague resigned, to Sept 12th – over three months. So not only is the turbulence broader, but it is going to last longer.
I still believe it can be a healthy invigorating process. I don’t accept the more apocalyptic analysis that we sometimes read about. I believe the Party can and will unite behind a new Leader. Some may leave and I would regret that; but others will join. I will certainly give my whole-hearted support to the winner on September 12th."