Promoted by Steve Robertson on behalf of the Scottish Conservative Party, both of 7 Northern Road, Kintore, AB51 0XL
For all those who attended Conference 2013, thank you for your participation and energy throughout.
We have received plenty of feedback which the organising committee will consider in preparation for 2014 but before then on behalf of all North East Conservatives, the committee would like to extend a special thanks to Struan Stevenson MEP for joining us for one final time in his current role before standing down at the next European Parliamentary Elections.
As a token of thanks commemorative whisky glasses were presented to Struan in the hope he may enjoy a dram in retirement!
Lord David Trimble, former First Minister of Northern Ireland, was at the Cults Hotel to address over 70 Conservative members and students who had gathered for their annual conference. He presented a fascinating insight into his time as First Minister when he presided over a very important period in Irish history, including his experience of dealing with Sinn Fein and moving forward the peace process. As a member of the House of Lords, he explained his support for the 'first past the post' electoral system. This system has seen successful election of governments, over the years, suitable for their time. He also talked about the European crisis, noting that UK markets are succeeding in developing business interests and contracts outside Europe where there is no recession. He said that he viewed the contraction of the Eurozone as inevitable, with those countries remaining inside the zone forming a deeper union which will resemble a super state. This situation will present real challenges to the UK as to how we respond to such a development.
Ruth Davidson, Leader of the Scottish Conservatives, outlined how Alex Salmond's credibility had been seriously damaged during a very difficult week for the First Minister. His claims that legal advice had been given on future membership of the EU, should Scotland become independent, were now in dispute. Ruth Davidson noted that Labour, Liberal Democrats and Conservatives are now working seamlessly to promote the Union and expose Alex Salmond's inability to explain the detail of how independence would work in practice.
The Conference once again played host to wide ranging speakers starting with an introduction to the new Chairman and including a very interesting presentation on Chapelton new town followed by an excellent visit and presentation by Lord Michael Bates to name just a handful of the highlights.
Thank you again to all those who attended, next year we will endeavour to provide another full and interesting programme of speakers.
The committee would like to thank our delegates once again for helping ensure this year’s Conference was our best one yet! We were delighted to host a number of keynote speakers covering an interesting and varied programme of topics and look forward to making preparations for next year’s Conference in anticipation of a strong performance at the 2016 Holyrood elections.