The chairman of Britain’s oldest conservative think tank has thanked former Breitbart Chairman Stephen K. Bannon, and Breitbart London editor-in-chief Raheem Kassam, for their dedication to conservatism, as it took the award for best think tank at the Public Affairs Awards last night.
Receiving the award on Thursday night from Sky News’ Jon Craig the Bow Group, now in its 65th year, was commended for both its far-reaching impact on the national dialogue and in shaping public policy.
Thanking the judges for the award, Bow Group Chairman Ben Harris-Quinney went on to single out Bannon and Kassam for “their advice and dedication to conservatism over the past 5 difficult years of battle, before the bloom of a thousand conservative flowers blossomed with Brexit and Trump.”
He added: “A revolution is sweeping across the world, centrism is dead, and full bloodied conservatism is back, that’s not only good news for conservatism, but great news for Britain.”
The Group was a mainstay of conservatism during the Thatcher years, but over the last few decades had been neglected, reaching a nadir five years ago at the height of Cameron’s reign over the Conservative Party.
However, it has since battled back to strength, this year launching Generation Conservative to encourage conservative-minded students stifled by censorship on university campuses The think tank led a successful rebellion against the Cameron Government’s ‘Educational Excellence Everywhere’ plans to coerce all state schools into academies, for which it received national media coverage.
In turn, the Group rallied fellow conservatives around Prime Minister May in support of her plans to scrap the 1998 ban on new grammar schools, a policy which had long held support among the Conservative Party grassroots.
Harris-Quinney said the Group would be dedicating the award to Bow Group Senior Patron Lord Tebbit. “We would like to recognise his outstanding lifetime commitment to conservatism, it is his example, and that of his friend Baroness Thatcher, which we will always follow,” he said.
Benjamin Balliger, Political Secretary for the Bow Group, said: “The last 5 years have not been easy for the Bow Group, a voluntary organisation holding government policy to account. It is especially difficult critiquing the policy of our own Party in government.
“However, we have stood fast to the principles and policies that we believe in and this year the impact we have worked so hard to achieve for the people of Britain has been vindicated. Firstly by the people and their vote for Brexit and tonight by our contemporaries at The 2016 Public Affairs Awards.
“We are very proud to have stood by our belief in conservatives principles and to have sought full and frank debate on all issues in the most inhospitable political climates in recent times in Britain.
“We are proud of the Bow Group and we are proud to be Bow Groupers.
“We will continue to hold those in power to account and fight for what we believe in: that which is in the best interest of the British people and continue making Britain a strong and positive force in the world.”