Sunday, February 15, 2004


Just had an extremely busy few days in North Norfolk and last night I was guest speaker at Wantage Conservatives' Valentine's Day dinner. My friend Ed Vaizey is the candidate there. It was a hugely successful event and bearing in mind they had never heard of me, it was great that they managed to sell all the tickets. Just a quick recap on events last week. On Wednesday afternoon I drove to Norwich to record an hour long programme for Anglia TV called Table Talk. Essentially they film 6 people having a discussion over dinner. Jerry Hayes, the former Harlow MP was one of the participants. I greatly enjoyed it and the arguments were quite lively. When I watched it on Thursday night it even seemed to come over well on the screen. The Channel 4 Political Awards qwent quite well, although when I presented the book award to Peter Riddell of The Times I nearly forgot to give it to him! It was most amusing that my LibDem opponent Mr Lamb wasn't given a seat and had to take someone else's. I'm told his face was a picture when John Snow introduced me to present the book award. On Thursday morning I visited Cromer Hospital for a tour and a briefing from the Matron, Sue Tuck. Sue, it turns out, is related to my parents' neighbours in Saffron Walden. Small world. The rest of Thursday was spent in campaign planning meetings and meeting the chairman of Cromer High School governors. Friday was even busier with a briefing from the NFU in North Walsham, followed by half an hour on North Norfolk Radio, a speech to Norfolk County Councillors and speaking at the starting of a new branch of the Conservative Association. We had our Association Executive on Friday evening and I then went for a drink in a Cromer pub with Matt Lane, the Norfolk and Suffolk Area Campaign Director. Saturday was spent campaigning in Holt before driving 210 miles to Wantage. I like to live the high life! Today I will be mainly speechwriting. On Thursday I'm meeting the Norfolk Chief Constable to talk about policing issues and later on speaking at Norwich South Conservatives AGM. On Friday it's our own AGM in North Norfolk. which I'm told is usually very well attended. In between times I have to pop up to Mundesley (a mere 350 mile round trip!) to go their Parish Council meeting.

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