Philippa Stroud, the Conservative Parliamentary Candidate for Sutton & Cheam has worked closely with the Conservative councillors over the last year, adding a good brain, relevant experience and an extensive address book to our work. I hope we have been able to reciprocate.

Philippa will play a key role in any future Conservative Government through her work as Director at the Centre for Social Justice, a thinktank founded by former Conservative leader, Iain Duncan-Smith. The CSJ produced a doorstep of a report, Breakthrough Britain with 190 recommendations to follow up the interim report Breakdown Britain which highlighted social problems arising from social breakdown in the UK over the last few years. It looks at such areas as worklessness, debt, addiction and families. Gordon Brown has since adopted 16 recommendations as his own and David Cameron has incorporated 27 into his policy development.

We all know that the economy, public services and foreign policy are vital areas for any government. They tend to be easier to understand, attracting simple headlines and short-term solutions. Areas such as family breakdown are far harder to tackle. Many people I meet, shrug their shoulders and say that society is not what it was in years gone by without really stopping to think why and how we can effect change. It is good that someone is and has the drive and influence to see results.

Philippa appeared on Newsnight at the end of February on the eve of Gordon Brown’s announcement about Welfare Reform. Paxman didn’t need to ask her the same question more than once, never mind fourteen times as she handled herself very well as you can see in the clip above.