Karen Allen

I fought South Shields at the May 2010 General Election for the Conservatives, gaining a 6.4% swing which was a 4% vote increase. The Conservatives polled 7,886 up from 5,207 in 2005. I was born in the North East and grew up in South Shields. I currently live in London and am employed as a Director at Lloyd's Broker Howden International.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Why I am Standing for the NME 2008

Having grown up in the Labour heartlands of the North East of England, in the only constituency in the country, which has never been Conservative, many people asked me why am I a conservative and what my motivations are? Then, working in the City and living in East London people have continued to ask me why I am a Conservative, but also querying why am I bothered to be involved with politics at all. The answer I would give is that when you passionately believe in something, in my case being enterprise, choice and democracy, you want to engage with likeminded people and you want to do anything possible to make sure you live in a country run by those principles. We do not live in that country now, the nationalisation of Northern Rock being yet another example of incompetence and control, but it has further increased my motivation to working with the Conservative Party to ensure we return to power at next Government.

I have been involved with CF for the last four years. I am an incumbent NME member who holds the Working Life portfolio. Over the year I have served I have tried to organise a variety of events to attract new members and to keep the existing membership engaged. I have acted as a focal point for Working Life enquiries nationally and put together a manual on “Setting Up a Working Life Branch.” Things are really going from strength to strength and we are in the process of setting up a sub committee comprised of individuals from across the country to organise events and to ensure new branches we set up nationally.

I need another year on the NME to see through some of the initiatives I have started and to commence on new ideas I have to engage new members in the City and across the country. I have learned a great deal this year and feel I can truly hit the ground running upon re-election. Although the CF NME had a good year this year, there are of course areas to improve and advances we can make. I am particularly keen to see increased transparency; in terms of reporting and to see more effective use of NME members’ time, particularly in terms of ensuring the team is properly managed and sub committees are encouraged where ever possible.

As we lead up to a General Election in 2009 or 2010, we need to make sure CF is ready and we have sound support in every marginal seat. The foundations we can continue laying over the next year could be fundamental to campaigning teams across the country.

If you would like to talk further with me please do not hesitate to email or call me, as I would be keen to answer any questions you may have or to provide any clarity to any of the outline ideas I have mentioned.

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