Swiss Cottage Cllr Don Williams: Boris Johnson did not disappoint in Manchester

PUBLISHED: 13:30 05 October 2017

Conservative councillor Don Williams provides a conference round up. Picture: CAMDEN COUNCIL

Conservative councillor Don Williams provides a conference round up. Picture: CAMDEN COUNCIL


As ever, it has been a fascinating conference, catching up with our Camden Conservative friends and even those from the other side! Yes, the other side was there and they seemed to be enjoying themselves.

Our obligatory party photo saw our old friend and favourite MP Chris Philp joining us to the acclaim of the Camden Conservative team. Welcome back Chris. A large turn out of activists resulted in more than 30 members in the photo.

The young people of the Conservative Way Forward got things off to a festive mood on Sunday - no shortage of under 30s here. By Monday midday, the buzz really came to conference in the form of Jacob Rees Mogg. Nestling into my seat early, I patiently awaited the arrival of the new media phenomenon. He arrived with a coterie of cameramen and reporters with cameras constantly flashing. It was a memorable entrance - vastly different from a boring training session or a speech from sleepy professor.

When all seemed settled in a packed Manchester Town Hall, a battery of Labour supporters got

up and screamed “Tories Out”, from the back of the hall. Peace came after 5 minutes. Then a new protestor popped up near the podium shouting. Unruffled, Jacob Rees Mogg went over to speak and reason with him. Then another protestor arrived a few minutes later. Security had their hands full but all was well after 10 mins with talk and a bit of cajoling. The audience clapped raucously when the protest was over. Moggmania was well and truly here.

An animated meeting followed on the themes of Referendum and Brexit. We were told to look forward to the positive goal of a freer and more prosperous world - no cliff edge here, just working toward the sunny uplands of the future - where our goods and services would be more easily traded across the world.

On Tuesday, after many meetings and being collared by Prostate Cancer UK, it was time for Boris’ speech. Long queues and great expectations preceded it. Boris did not disappoint - referring to The Opposition Leader as a Space Cadet and asking all to be brave about Brexit while being entertaining and ending to rapturous applause. Lest we forget his positive vision of the future, he quipped, “Let the lion roar!”. Boris has been as colourful as ever, a bit loose of tongue at times but expressing and re-expressing sincere loyalty to the leadership.

Other highlights included the Arab Ambassadors reception filled top ranking diplomats from all over the world mingling with MPs, MSPs, Councillors, researchers and ordinary members. This was a sit down affair with a delicious middle eastern buffet. There, the Iraqui representative dealt diplomatically but firmly with the recent Kurdish referendum. The news is stay tuned for more developments in that part of the Middle East. It ain’t over yet!

The Italian Conservative reception excelled by the quality of the wine offered and a commitment by Conservative MPs to work to ensure that rights of EU citizens, especially Italians, would be guaranteed in Britain after Brexit.

Oh, I didn’t mention the rousing speech of Ruth Davidson and the adulation of party members in England and Wales. I didn’t talk about the new advances in holographic technology being exhibited at the conference nor the new Cross Rail trains will look like. As usual, there is lots to do and see. Four days never seems to be enough for a Conservative Conference.

Lastly, the speech of Prime Minister Theresa May is set to focus on new domestic policies, unity and a positive view of the future after Brexit. Party activist are expecting the speech with a positive frame of mind.

All in all, the mood at conference is good with a resolve to take the Conservative message all over the country and face 2018 with renewed optimism.

See you next year in Birmingham.


Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Hampstead Highgate Express visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Hampstead Highgate Express staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Hampstead Highgate Express account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest Hampstead & Highgate News Stories

45 minutes ago

The victims of Tuesday night’s stabbings have been named as 17-year-old Abdikarim Hassan, and 20-year-old Sadiq Adan Mohamed.


A mother of three with cancer forced to sell the family home to pay for treatment abroad has called for the life-saving therapy to be made available on the NHS.


Dog lovers have been invited to put on their walking shoes for a cancer charity’s first “Woof” fundraising day.


The chairman of a community group charged with shining a spotlight on policing has attacked the merger of borough forces.


A developer has been urged to spare a 200-year-old Georgian villa from the wrecking ball.

Police have launched separate murder investigations after two young men were fatally stabbed in Kentish Town last night.


Campaigners battling to free Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe left letters of solidarity for the jailed mum on the steps of the Iranian Embassy.


A night of knife violence in Kentish Town last night saw two young men killed, and another suffer stab injuries.


Melange, with locations in Barnet and Crouch End, has opened a third in Belsize Park. Here co-owner Justina Markauskaite talks about removing the borders between cuisines and why they put family at the centre of everything they do

Less is More, a group exhibition at the Daniel Raphael Gallery will feature emerging artists from England, Italy, France and the Czech Republic, from January 24 to February 16.

For people who suffer with feet problems, it is often difficult to find footwear that is both comfortable and stylish. There is a shop in the West End dedicated to changing that.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read Hampstead & Highgate news

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition


Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today


Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now