Hmm. Was it all worth it? Clare George-Hilley’s conference at Trinity School tomorrow for the Tory youth wing, Conservative Future, has attracted less than 30 attendees.
The staging of the conference has prompted the Charity Commissioners to make enquiries in to whether the £10,000-a-year fee-paying school, by hosting the political rally, may have broken strict rules on maintaining political independence.
Trinity is part of the 400-year-old Whitgift Foundation, which operates three care homes for the elderly and three independent schools, and according to its 2009 accounts, it has assets worth more than £220 million.
The Foundation’s charitable status means it benefits from significant tax breaks.
George-Hilley, Tory councillor for Waddon ward, is charging £16 a head to attend her conference at Trinity, and she is throwing in lunch and wine.
But according to the event’s Facebook group, despite several leading figures from the Tory Coalition Government being booked to speak, only 27 people have said that they will definitely attend the event; 208 have said that they will not attend, and 307 haven’t bothered to reply.
It is not the first time that Conservative Future has failed to rally behind the Croydon councillor.
Conservative Future boasts total membership of around 18,000 – all Tory party members under the age of 30 are automatically included in its number. But when it came to electing George-Hilley to a senior position in the organisation earlier this month, the former Wallington Girls’ pupil attracted fewer than 80 votes.
Despite polling support from less than 0.5 per cent of the membership of Conservative Future, it was still enough for the ambitious George-Hilley to win the election.
Democracy in action, eh?