Tom, 20, taking young Tories to new heights in Rasen area

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Tom Smith of Linwood hopes to become an intern for MP Sir Edward Leigh as a taster into a life working in government and public service.

As chairman of Conservative Future in the Gainsborough Constituency, the 20-year-old is getting some valuable experience.

While UKIP might be the new kids on the block, the Conservative Party says it is still going strong, with its youth wing claiming rising membership.

The local party reports 21 full members aged 17-29- an increase from the six or so in 2012. Almost half hail from around Lincoln, a third from Rasen/Caistor and the rest from around Gainsborough.

Tom was born in Inverness, Scotland, where his late father was a member of the RAF. The family moved to RAF Boscombe, where he attended Pembroke Park School, the Polly Platt School at RAF Scampton and then St Francis School in Lincoln, where he sat on its board of governors.

Living in Linwood since 2010, Tom joined the party that year, having been interested in politics since the 2001 election. He was attracted to the Conservative Party for its values of “personal responsibility, limited interference from the State, an open and free market.”

Reflecting his background, Tom also said that “defence of the realm is government’s first priority.”

“Conservatism is about cherishing our traditions, independent thought and having the will and determination to stand up for what you believe in,” he continued.

Tom is the first in his family to become politically active. Such activism involves a variety of events, like campaigning, notably in the target seat of Lincoln. There are dinners too, plus socialising in pubs or restaurants with other members. Just as the former Young Conservatives were seen as a ‘marriage bureau’ Tom says “many friends have met their significant others through Conservative Future.”

As he gears up for Election 2015, he adds opponents are free to differ and no-one is the ‘enemy’.

“I may think the kippers and socialists, the greens and liberals are mistaken, but I respect they have formed their own view,” Tom said.