Wednesday 3 May

I find it much easier to campaign now – having been adopted last night as the official Conservative Parliamentary Candidate for Beckenham. It semed a little presumptious before that. But I am also no longer a Member of Parliament as I ceased to have that honour with effect from 0001hrs last night. This is perfectly normal procedure for all MPs . They are stood down (by electoral law) from Parliament so that they have the same status as any other prospective parliamentary candidate.

After dealing with a few e mails at home I started today with a meeting in Robert Straker’s house where we discussed and drafted my outline campaign programme. Whilst there we agreed that I should spend a few days supporting Conservative Parliamentary Candidates in South Wales and I telephoned them to arrange a visit.

Thereafter I walked for a while around Copers Cope Ward before going into the Beckenham Conservative’s Office in Church Avenue. After another walk around Beckenham I went into Deli Nene Café in the High Street where my great friend and supporter Maggie Hopgood joined Claire and I for a coffee (see photograph).

After lunch I cleaned up the Beckenham Conservative Office sign; residue from various posters which had been placed on it needed removal with white spirit. It looks much better now. Later on I walked around the Eden Park area starting at the new Coop.