LUKE MARSDEN: My Tory Party Conference debut was an eye-opener

From meeting an I’m a Celeb star to shaking hands with the Defence Secretary, I’ve had one of the most interesting and thought-provoking weeks in years,

Wednesday, 13th October 2021, 7:58 am
Updated Wednesday, 13th October 2021, 8:58 am
Luke Marsden at the Conservative Party Conference in Manchester

I attended my first Conservative Party Conference.

It helps it was held in Manchester for four days last week so I did not have to commute too far.

The political elite of the UK descended upon the Convention Centre. As I walked through the airport style security, protesters weren’t so peaceful as they screamed “scum” at delegates attending the conference.

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I attended a northern reception and Boris made a surprise appearance. His passionate, unrelenting enthusiasm was infectious, the crowd treated him as a political Bon Jovi.

I spoke with a number of delegates from across the country who shared similar views on what towns like ours need to prosper in an online world, where shoppers don’t nip up town anymore.

We need real change in Wigan and that will not happen until we see real change within our local government.

At the bar, I shared a drink with fellow delegate and I’m a Celeb runner-up, Georgia Toffolo. We laughed about the absurdity of two reality worlds colliding at our first conference.

Alongside the incredibly impressive (and needed) security, the thing that surprised me the most about the Conservative Conference was how many young Conservatives attended, brimming with ideas, passion and their smartphones.

I’m yet to understand TikTok but they do and didn’t waste time sharing their first conference experiences.

One thing was very clear, my expectations of a Conservative Party Conference were very different from the reality.

The passion for change and shaping up our country was at the core. I may not have agreed with every speech or gave every cabinet minister a standing ovation but that tolerance for differences will make me want to attend again!

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