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Campaigning in Edgbaston for the 2015 General Election

Presidents address for the closing of the 2015/2016 academic year 

I want to begin this post by looking back at what was undoubtedly a fantastic year both for this society and the party as a whole; not least because Jeremy Corbyn is still leader of the opposition!

Throughout 2016 the Conservatives have continued to implement policies such as tax cuts, devolution and welfare reform in order to create a more prosperous and meritocratic society. David Cameron set out a vision in 2005; a vision of equality, of One Nation values and above all else of compassionate and liberal Conservatism. In years to come I feel that he will rightly be remembered as the man who modernised our party by legalising gay marriage and delivering the first Conservative majority Government in decades.

I also feel that it is important that now more than ever – as we face a period of uncertainty in which stable and competent leadership will be vital – we must support Theresa May as Prime Minister, regardless of our differences of opinion with regards Europe. As Jo Cox said of her colleagues in the Labour Party: “We have far more in common with each other than that which divides us” – and we can only face the challenges of tomorrow by acting as one.

As a society, University of Birmingham Conservatives enjoyed a huge increase in membership last year and some fantastic social events including a very enjoyable trip to Parliament. Most of last year’s success would not have been possible without the hard work of our outgoing President Ben Callaghan and the rest of the committee, and I would like to thank Ben, George, Sam, Will, David and Carmel for all of the events they organised and the time they put into ensuring that this society continued to function and flourish. I’m sure that those of you who have now graduated will enjoy every success in whichever path you choose to take, and this year’s committee (myself included!) have a lot to live up to.

On the back of such a fantastic year, we as a society also have a lot to look forward to. The completely novel committee is comprised almost entirely of second years who are already busy planning social events involving guest speakers, Parliamentary visits and converging with a host of other Conservative societies from across the country. Such exciting events will enable us to increase our membership come September and I look forward to working with my Vice President Henry Walker and the rest of the Committee in the coming academic year as we go forwards nec temere, nec timide: Neither rashly nor timidly.

Joel Buckett

President of University of Birmingham Conservatives

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