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May: A fair deal for Conservative supporters

Speech at Conservative Central Office on launch of affinity deals for Party supporters

Thank you for being here today - and on behalf of the entire party I would like to welcome you to Conservative Central Office.

This room is more accustomed to press conferences announcing the party's latest policy initiative or campaign launch.

But the modern political party has to be so much more than that.

The right policies may attract someone to put their cross next to our name at the election - but, at a time of falling political participation, our aim is not simply to engage people for one day every four or five years. We want to encourage them to take an active interest in the political process in the period between elections too.

In the past, political parties have relied on a hard-core of supporters who would pledge allegiance to one party or another for life.

Well, that's no longer the case.

The days when somebody would choose one party and stick with it for life have gone.

In an increasingly competitive business, we have to offer the right package of policies and benefits if we are to encourage people to sign-up to be members of our party.

That's why I'm delighted that we have been able to put together these new Affinity deals - and I'm very grateful to BT Openworld, Churchill, Jeroboams, MBNA, NT Connect and the RAC for their support.

These deals are some of the most competitive around - and together they make-up the most comprehensive package of benefits offered by any political party in the UK.

Our new credit card out-performs all the deals offered by other parties - with no annual fee, up to 59 days interest free credit, and a Balance Transfer Rate of 0% for the first six months.

The other deals - customised internet access from BT Openworld, a 5% discount with the Churchill Insurance Group, Cheaper local, national and international phone calls with NT Connect and a 15% discount on all levels of roadside assistance membership with the RAC - reflect the needs and priorities of modern life.

And, of course, for those who feel the need to unwind at the end of a busy day we are continuing to offer special discounts on superb wines courtesy of Jeroboams Wine Merchants, the official wine supplier to the Conservative Party.

This is a package that I believe will offer a fair deal to existing party members and will convince those who are thinking of joining that membership is a worthwhile experience.

Critically, it will also enable us to expand the party's funding base even further so that we can fund the many exciting projects we have planned for the next few years as we approach the election.

The online shop we launched last year has already proved to be a success - and I hope you've all seen the new 'Pinocchio' fundraising campaign we sent to our supporters last week.

We are leading the way with innovative ideas to expand our appeal - and I would like to pay tribute to all those people who've been working so hard to devise and implement them.

The special offers we are announcing today on a range of high quality services and products highlight how you only get a fair deal from Conservatives.

Comparison with Labour and the Liberal Democrats shows that we are offering our supporters better services at a lower cost.

They will save our supporters money and generate new income streams for the party, all helping to broaden our fundraising and membership base.

They are just the latest in a series of initiatives we have put in place to make our party's operations more professional.

They show that we are a party on the move, prepared to take-on our competitors at all levels, and ready to deliver a fair deal for everyone.

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