Theresa May is wildly incompetent, says top donor to 'Tory Momentum'
Activate is struggling in its mission to engage young people in Tory politics.
Top donors to a new right-wing movement billed as a Tory version of Momentum are ‘Harold Shipman’ and ‘Theresa May is wildly incompetent’.
Activate was launched this week to "engage young people with Conservatism". But it was quickly ridiculed for offering membership to Conservatives at a cost of up to £500 each.
And despite stating that "Conservatism is a broad church made up of many different strands", the movement appeared to be run by a bunch of suited and booted young white men, whose photos were removed from the website without explanation shortly after the launch.
The movement’s national chairman is Gary Markwell, who sits on West Sussex county council and is a dead ringer for Jeff from Peep Show. In 2014, Markwell appeared in the Daily Star alongside his girlfriend, Sabina Evangelista, a glamour model with whom he has two children – one of whom has the middle name Thatcher.
Evangelista told the paper she was "a far cry from what people expect of a traditional Tory wife and mother".
Also in the article, Markwell provided a strange vignette about spotting his wife in conversation at a party. "Someone was talking to her about hedge funds. She was just nodding and I laughed, imagining her starting a conversation about gardening," he said.
Former Tory MP Ben Howlett told The Times that he did not expect Activate to be quite as successful as Momentum. He said: "I would say it needs to be rebranded, and it’s only been in existence for about an hour. The prognosis is not looking good, put it that way. If you’re wanting to become an activist organisation for the many, not the few, then charging £500 is not the way to go about representing a young membership."
Activate hopes to raise £10,000 "to help the Conservative Party campaign all across the UK". But after 24 hours it appeared to have raised about £39 with a least two unlikely donors…