Austerity vigil to be held in Northampton as Home Secretary arrives at secret location to thank Tory grassroots

Campaigners will attempt to shame the Home Secretary and local Conservative Party members when they arrive in town for a black tie fundraiser.

Wednesday, 19th September 2018, 5:35 pm
Updated Wednesday, 19th September 2018, 10:52 pm
Sajid Javid will be at a secret location in Northamptonshire tomorrow evening (Friday) for a black-tie dinner
Sajid Javid will be at a secret location in Northamptonshire tomorrow evening (Friday) for a black-tie dinner

The annual gala event will raise money for Northamptonshire-based election campaigns such as the Police and Crime Commissioner ballot in 2020.

The fact that tickets for a meal will cost up to £90 to sit with Sajid Javid - who refused to bail out Northamptonshire County County out of its ongoing financial chaos earlier this year when he was local government secretary - has attracted the ire of Save Northants Services.

The campaign intend to hold a candlelit vigil outside County Hall - the actual venue for the fundraiser is a secret - highlighting the fact that people and services in Northampton continue to struggle due to county council cutbacks.

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A spokesman for Save Northants Services said decisions made by Tory councillors at a Northamptonshire level led to the cuts but local Conservatives are still denying political responsibility, instead blaming the Government for turning of the funding tap.

The spokesman said: "This vigil will remind them that while they stuff themselves raising money for their party, the people of Northamptonshire are the victims of their nasty and brutal austerity policies that are hitting children, the elderly and the most vulnerable.

"We hope to make their evening less enjoyable."

To reinforce their point, they are also encouraging people to bring non-perishable food to donate to food banks.

Paul Crofts, a Save Northants Services co-ordinator said: "We just want to remind them that while the rich and powerful Conservatives of this county gather together for a slap-up meal, the poor and vulnerable are still being forced to use food banks."

Suresh Patel, deputy chairman of Northampton South Conservatives, said the main point of the evening was to thank grassroots members and maintained the campaigners would not be allowed anywhere near the unknown building.

He said: "This is a normal fundraising event that was organised a while ago - it's a different minister every year.

"The main way of raising the money is not the meals, it's a raffle but the point of the whole thing is Sajid Javid saying thank you to Conservative Party volunteers."