Election agent for Conservative party picks up MBE during ceremony at Buckingham Palace

Sally Smith pictured with her husband, Graham, in the Palace Courtyard after receiving her MBE
Sally Smith pictured with her husband, Graham, in the Palace Courtyard after receiving her MBE
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An election agent from Northamptonshire who received an MBE in the New Year’s Honours has received her medal during a ceremony at Buckingham Palace.

Sally Smith was involved in every General Election since 1964 before she retired ahead of his year’s vote. She received the MBE for Political Service and for her work with the Conservative Agents’ Benevolent Association.

Mrs Smith, who lives in Nether Heyford, went with her husband, Graham, to Buckingham Palace earlier this week to pick up her gong. They are pictured above in the Palace Courtyard after the ceremony.

Mrs Smith, aged 68, began helping the Conservative Party as a volunteer in the election that swept Harold Wilson and the Labour Party to power.

The Nether Heyford resident later became agent for successful county council, South Northamptonshire, Daventry District and Northampton Borough Council campaigns, as well coming out of retirement to help Michael Ellis MP to victory in Northampton North in 2010 by 1,936 votes (a figure “that is ingrained on my soul”).

Speaking at the time of the award in December, she said keeping of the secret honour since December 10 as “pretty simple given the number of ministerial visits I’ve had to keep quiet”, she said she was “very, very pleased and excited”.

About her decades as an agent, she said: “It really is a tough job in the run-up to an election.

“As well as having total confidence in the candidate, you have to ensure everyone knows what can and can’t be done under election law and you’re responsible for inspiring the team.

“Eighteen hour days just happen sometimes.

“But the buzz when you win is huge because of course there’s no second places.”