Sat, 9 December 2023

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Conservative Campaign Director Quits Just Days Before Party Conference

2 min read

Lucy Wheeler has stepped down from her role as Conservative Party Campaigns Director as Tory MPs prepare for their annual party conference in Manchester.

The senior Tory official in charge of the party's campaigning efforts said she had made the "difficult decision" to quit ahead of the event.

In an email seen by the Mirror, Wheeler told staff at the party's campaign headquarters had made the "tough decision...and an emotional one as well" to quit.

"This is a sad email to write. I've come to the difficult decision to leave they party after 14 years," she wrote.

"I've held many roles during this time, and worked on many different campaign and there are some clear highlights!

"But the highlights have more to do with the people I've worked with, rather than electoral success of failure."

She added in her leaving message that there were "a lot of things going on at the department at the moment".

Wheeler had been campaign director during the party's Chesham and Amersham by-election defeat which saw the Liberal Democrat's overturn their 16,223 vote majority.

The election drubbing led to calls by some MPs and activists for an overhaul of the party's campaign efforts, with then-Tory chair Amanda Milling also facing calls to quit. Milling was later removed from her post during Boris Johnson's September reshuffle.

Wheeler's resignation comes just days before Tory MPs and party members are set to gather in Manchester for their first in-person conference since 2019.

The move will come as a blow to Boris Johson who is already facing criticism by some party members over his planned national insurance hike and the chaos surrounding shortages in the UK. 

Responding to the resignation a Conservative Party spokesperson said: "The party is very sad to see Lucy go after being a key part of the party for so many years.

"Lucy has been a dedicated servant of the Conservative Party and an integral part of many election campaigns.

"The party wishes her the best of luck for the future."

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