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Conservative Campaign Headquarters

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Conservative Campaign Headquarters
PredecessorConservative Central Office
Formation1871 C&UCO (2014 CCHQ)
  • 4 Matthew Parker Street, London SW1H 9HQ
United Kingdom
Brandon Lewis
James Cleverly
Director of Campaigning
Darren Mott OBE [1]
Director of Communications
Carrie Symonds
Key people
Theresa May, Brandon Lewis, William Bayley [2], Simon Day[3], Lizzie Lumley [4]
Parent organization
The Conservative Party

The Conservative Campaign Headquarters (CCHQ), formerly known as Conservative Central Office (CCO) is the headquarters of the British Conservative Party, housing its central staff and committee members, including campaign coordinators and managers[5]. As of January 2018, the post of Conservative Party chairman is held by Brandon Lewis.


CCHQ is responsible for all campaigning of the Conservative Party, though it delegates some responsibilities, namely those for local campaigns, to constituency Conservative Associations,[6] but still maintains overall responsibility for targeting voters, and seats, including shortlisting and finalising the selection of Conservative candidates across the United Kingdom for all local and national elections.[7]

CCHQ is used as a phone bank or call centre for volunteers, and is most active at general elections[8], but also some other key elections including some by-elections [9][10] although the CCHQ Voter Communications Team also coordinates and manages data from local Conservative call centres.[11]

Following the United Kingdom general election, 2017 in which the Conservative Party did not do as well as expected, [12] CCHQ was described as “rusty”,[12] because it had not been as effective as at previous elections in coordinating and managing its campaign.

The call centre in Neath was also the subject of scrutiny by The Electoral Commission following an investigation by The Guardian[13] over alleged breach of marketing rules at a phone bank at Neath in Wales, which, unlike CCHQ's volunteers, employed paid staff to do its calling instead of volunteers and is alleged to have bribed some staff for underhand calling tactics.[14] Subsequent allegations have also been reported in respect of the conduct of other Conservative staff in accordance with electoral law. [15]

The CCHQ phone bank, as well as Conservative Party Calling nationally, both at CCHQ and at regional call centres utilise the Conservative Party’s online calling database, ‘’Votesource’’.[16] This database was created in-house, but has not always functioned efficiently. [17][18]

The CCHQ Activist Centre which is the section of CCHQ which provides invaluable guidance to local Conservative Associations and candidates] was closed down following the United Kingdom general election, 2017,[19] with resources now being distributed directly by staff rather than passively through the online database to external Conservative staff,[19] though it is unclear whether this is just temporary or it is a permanent arrangement whilst modifications are made.[20].

CCHQ is presided over by the Chairman of the Conservative Party, presently Brandon Lewis with assistance in managing the Voter Communications team by the Conservative Director of Communications. The Voter Communications team is one of the largest, and is one of the most active at election-times,[12] as voter communication, including calling, leaflets, and canvassing, is always at the core of every election campaign of all of the major parties, including the Conservative Party. Though work is managed by the permanent staff of the Voter Communications team in-house at CCHQ, the work of leafleting, canvassing, and calling, is often delegated to the Voluntary Party, both the voluntary party in-house at CCHQ and at local associations across the country.[21].

The Voter Communications Department is line-managed by the Director of Communications who upholds overall responsibility, though she has many staff supporting her and the whole of CCHQ at election time, her department being one of the most predominant at this time, including Project Managers, Executive Assistants, Politicians and volunteers.[22]


Until 1958 CCO was based at Abbey House, Victoria Street, London, then moving to No. 32 Smith Square. This was the scene of many televised historic moments in Conservative history from Margaret Thatcher's victory rallies to Iain Duncan Smith's resignation. CCO moved in 2004 to nearby 25 Victoria Street for more high-tech facilities and subsequently became known as Conservative Campaign Headquarters (CCHQ).

On 6 March 2007, CCHQ moved again, this time to 30 Millbank, part of the property portfolio of David and Simon Reuben. On 10 February 2014, CCHQ moved to its current location at 4 Matthew Parker Street. They rent the ground and basement floors of the commercial property. Other buildings in the vicinity (on Matthew Parker Street), which fall beside and in front of CCHQ, consist primarily of dwellings, predominantly residential private flats.

4 Matthew Parker Street is located a few moments’ walk from the River Thames and Westminster Underground Station as well as St. James's Park tube station and is just off Storeys Gate, itself just off Victoria Street, near Methodist Central Hall, Westminster and the Queen Elizabeth II Centre (where, in September 2015, the leader of the Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn, was elected[23]) and close to the extensive local amenities of Victoria.

It is situated 3 minutes from the Houses of Parliament and under 10 minutes from 10 Downing Street, thus it is easy to access for Conservative MPs. Conservative politicians such as Jeremy Hunt[24] and Boris Johnson often cycle to CCHQ for canvassing or meetings with CCHQ staff and national campaign managers.


The establishment of Conservative Central Office dates back to 1871, with the creation of professional support for the Party by Sir John Gorst. Following election defeats in 1906 and 1910, in 1911 the post of Party Chairman was created to oversee the work of the Central Office. CCHQ is used as a phone bank or call centre at General elections.[8]


On 10 November 2010, 30 Millbank was attacked by student protesters as part of a demonstration against rises in tuition fees.

On 19 November 2014, demonstrators taking part in a free education demonstration in central London clashed with police outside 4 Matthew Parker Street, where the Conservative Campaign Headquarters relocated in February 2014.[25] Protests, usually peaceful, are commonplace outside the building.

In June 2017, following the United Kingdom general election, 2017, CCHQ was blamed for the worse-than-expected result,[12] with a number of new appointments, such as new Conservative Director of Communications, Carrie Symonds. Ms. Symonds claimed that there was "lots to do"[26] in her new role.

Flats in the vicinity of CCHQ, namely on Matthew Parker Street, Westminster, are plentiful and are thus protests are controlled and of smaller scale than protests outside the annual Conservative Party Conference.[27] However, CCHQ does also still house the central conference management team and staff.[28]


  1. "Darren Mott, Director of Campaigning, the Conservative Party". 6 March 2017.
  2. https://www.linkedin.com/in/william-bayley-83356977
  3. https://uk.linkedin.com/in/simon-day-34904a8
  4. https://uk.linkedin.com/in/lizzielumley
  5. https://www.conservatives.com/work-for-us
  6. "Party Structure and Organisation".
  7. MP, Jessica Lee (26 June 2013). "Right Honourable Girlfriend: How to become a Tory MP" – via www.telegraph.co.uk.
  8. 8.0 8.1 "I'm making calls to secure the strong and stable leadership we need to see us through Brexit and beyond. Join me:".
  9. "By-election Calling". www.conservatives.com.
  10. "By-election Calling". www.conservatives.com.
  11. "Watchdog warns Tories over call centre". 23 October 2017 – via www.bbc.co.uk.
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 "Our CCHQ election audit: the rusty machine, part two. How and why the ground campaign failed. - Conservative Home".
  13. Morris, Steven (25 August 2017). "Police confirm inquiry into Tory election call centre use". the Guardian.
  14. Mason, Rowena (23 October 2017). "Tories rebuked over breach of marketing rules in general election". the Guardian.
  15. Hughes, Laura (16 March 2017). "Conservatives fined £70,000 and MP reported to the police following an investigation into election campaign expenses" – via www.telegraph.co.uk.
  16. https://votesource.uk
  17. "VoteSource - Conservative Home".
  18. "I'm making calls to secure the strong and stable leadership we need to see us through Brexit and beyond. Join me:".
  19. 19.0 19.1 "Activist Centre".
  20. "General Election Review".
  21. "Volunteer".
  22. "w4mp - The site for everyone working for an MP". w4mpjobs.org.
  23. Mason, Rowena (12 September 2015). "Labour leadership: Jeremy Corbyn elected with huge mandate". the Guardian.
  24. "No minister! Jeremy Hunt cycles into more trouble as he risks £3,000 fine by running a red light and ignoring TWO no entry signs as he bikes home (and he didn't even bother with a helmet)".
  25. Spillett, Richard (2014-11-19). "Student protestors march on Parliament Square and Tory party headquarters | Daily Mail Online". Dailymail.co.uk. Retrieved 2015-11-18.
  26. Symonds, Carrie. "Very pleased to be joining CCHQ as Director of Comms. Lots to do. Can't wait to get started".
  27. "Thousands rally against Brexit and austerity as Tories gather in Manchester". 1 October 2017.
  28. Digital, Conservatives, Rushmore. "Commercial Opportunities, The Conservative Party Conference, Manchester Central, 1-4 October 2017". conservativepartyconference.com.

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