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Conservative Britain Alliance Being "Monitored" By Electoral Commission

The Electoral Commission is monitoring the secretive Conservative Britain Alliance. (Alamy)

3 min read

Exclusive: The Conservative Britain Alliance, an anonymous group of Conservative donors, is being "monitored" by the Electoral Commission to see if it comes under the watchdog's regulatory remit, PoliticsHome has learned.

The news comes after the group commissioned a bombshell poll, which surveyed 14,000 individuals at an estimated cost of around £70,000, and predicted the Conservatives would lose almost 200 MPs at the next General Election. 

Appearing on the front page of The Daily Telegraph, the poll sent many Tories into panic mode - with cabinet ministers Penny Mordaunt and chancellor Jeremy Hunt predicted to lose their seats.

The findings also added fuel to fire of disgruntled Conservatives who believe the party's only chance of avoiding an electoral wipeout at the next election is by changing leader.  

Despite the poll's importance for many in Westminster, it remains a mystery as to who is exactly behind the group - with the Conservative Britain Alliance having no website and closed membership, raising questions about its transparency. 

The commission told PoliticsHome that if the group campaigns for or against political parties or candidates it would be classed as an non-party campaigner (NPC) - and if an NPC spents more than £10,000 on regulated campaign activity - which a general election is - it is required to submit a notification to the commission. 

"We regularly monitor groups to determine whether they may need to register with the Commission," an Electoral Commission spokesperson told PoliticsHome. 

"This group hasn’t registered with us and may not need to, but we will continue monitoring as part of our routine work in this area."

On Wednesday Will Dry, a former adviser to prime minister Rishi Sunak, became the first person to openly publicly associate himself with the group - telling The Sun he had helped conduct polling for the Conservative Britain Alliance. 

"I further concluded, again sorrowfully, that we are heading for the most almighty of defeats," said Dry in a statement to the paper. 

"Be in no doubt: we are heading for at least a decade of Labour rule. And if Farage comes back, the Conservative Party essentially won't exist by Christmas."

Dry's statement came after former cabinet minister and Truss loyalist, Sir Simon Clarke, called for a new leader ahead of the general election later this year in the aftermath of the YouGov poll. 

“No one likes that guy that’s shouting ‘iceberg’ but I suspect that people will be even less happy if we hit the iceberg," Clarke told the BBC following backlash from other Tory MPs

“And we are on course to do that. That is the point that I need to land with colleagues respectfully and calmly.

“We are not at the moment responding to the situation with the seriousness that it warrants.”

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