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Setting the record straight with ConservativeHome

Many thanks to ConservativeHome for pointing out that Kwasi Kwarteng had been selected as Conservative candidate for Spelthorne.

We are sorry we missed that selection, but our online team is a lot smaller than ConservativeHome’s. Nevertheless, we have covered Tory candidates selections very extensively since the OBV Blog went live last July.

We’ve averaging about 4 to 5 positive or at the very least neutral articles about Conservative politicians a month, at least as high as that for Labour. See below for evidence.

It’s good that ConservativeHome are acknowledging us. Operation Black Vote work with all the mainstream parties, and are fiercely non-partisan.

We are happy to set the record straight concerning the misunderstanding about the extent to which we support the Conservative’s efforts to improve diversity in the party, and our work supporting individual aspiring politicians (through shadowing schemes), and our positive coverage of Conservative candidates from BME backgrounds.

Last month we praised the Conservatives for selecting so many BME candidates in winnable seats.

We noted the selection of Tory candidate Norsheen Bhatti, reported favourably on the campaign by Tory candidate Adeela Shafi, and covered the selections in Orpington and Beckenham.

We noted the BME candidates bidding to be Tory PPC in Cambridge, and extensively covered the battle by Tory councillor Betty Jacas Evans  against alleged Labour smears.

We reported on the defection to the Tories of Welsh Nationalist  Mohammad Asghar, and ran at least two articles praising the bid by Sam Gyimah to get selected for the party.

What all these stories have in common is that they were all published in the last two months. There are many more similar stories, if anyone wishes to use our search engine!

The interesting thing is that Iain Dale made similar accusations against OBV about two months ago, and in response we listed a large number of positive pieces we had run about the Conservatives in the weeks before his article.

We will be more than happy to keep countering any mistaken allegations about non-partizanship. All the evidence shows we are even-handed across all the major parties, so there is no reason for Conservative supporters to fear otherwise.

We welcome the opportunity to put the record straight, and encourage ConservativeHome readers to check out the wealth of positive coverage we have published before posting the sort of comments we’ve seen.

Lester Holloway


7 Responses

  1. It is pretty clear though that OBV has a left wing agenda and is institutionally biased against the Conservative party. You laud the Lib Dems but they have no BME candidates in winnable seats or any current BME MP’s. If the Conservatives were in that position you would shout like hell about it. But I suppose the Lib Dems will not be in Government come May.

  2. @Mike James, its quite amazing that you can not see the evidence laid out before you in this article.

    There is nothing more to say other than look at our record. It speaks for itself, and no amount of accusations about a “left wing agenda” can change that.

    End of.

  3. Thanks to OBV for being a source of encouragement and for also enabling me the opportunity to serve as a Shadow MP on the Conservative ticket, and also for running a story on my selection as Local Government Conservative Candidate.

    With this in mind it is my desire to go further and I am ever confident that OBV will be a support as a “Black Conservative”


  4. You sold yourselves short. You also covered the defection of Croydon Councillor Greta Sohoye from Labour to the Tories on December 14 2009.

  5. You’re right David! And the defection of Denise Headley to the Tories!

  6. I actually suggested the article to Tim Montgomerie, the site’s editor and had a lot of concerns about OBV’s objectivity.

    However, I am heartened to read the responses of Lester Holloway and Simon Woolley. Even if there was an institutional or “soft” bias at OBV, I’m sure the upside of the article and your response is that both OBV and our party are more aware of our success stories in selecting candidates from an ethnic background. That can only be a good thing.

  7. Thanks for that Matt.

    The concerns of Tim Montgomerie and Iain Dale are out of step with the views of the party they follow, who recognise the valuable cross-party work OBV are doing in this area.

    I’m sure the organisation will keep forging ahead with its work, even if those bloggers remain unreconciled.

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