This year, the Italian Conservative Group’s Annual General Meeting met at the UK Parliament to examine gains and goals yet to be achieved at the historic venue.
It was the perfect setting against which to announce members joining the new Executive Council and Committee, to thank delegates from other groups and recognise Conservative affiliates for their staunch support of Italian colleagues over the past three years.
Newly-elected honorary president Dr Maurizio Bragagni sent personal thanks for support during his Senate election campaign and apologies for missing an event he said he had ‘very much wanted to attend.’
Other apologies were received from Honorary Vice-president Domenico Meliti and Patrons Lord Leigh of Hurley, Kemi Badenoch MP, Zac Goldsmith MP and Dominic Johnson.
Deputy Chairman Stefania Signorelli opened the event, seconding the praise for the hard work of dedicated canvassers no matter the weather. Special Guest The Right Hon. Mark Field MP, Minister of State for the Foreign Office and first supporter of the Italian Conservatives Group said; “The UK is leaving the EU, but we will remain close friends of the EU going forwards. We have some values in common.”
His commendation of Dr. Tania Mathias as a much-respected MP included an assertion that the Italian Conservatives Group would support her coming back at the earliest opportunity received warm applause.
Chairman and founder Christian Vinante Giovannini welcomed the Group’s newly appointed Honorary President and Host Alberto Costa MP, and commended Stefania Signorelli’s hard work before thanking Dr Bragagni, for providing a great stand at last year’s AGM in Manchester. He said that Dr Bragagni was without comparison when it comes to promoting and supporting the Italian Conservative Group.
He pointed out that it was appropriate that this meeting had been held so close to the crucial 3rd May local elections and hoped it would serve to galvanize supporters.
New President Alberto Costa, son of Italian immigrants, Member of the British Parliament and Knight of the Order of the Star of Italy shared a story that he felt encapsulated the goals of the Italian Conservative Group and the Conservative party. “Yesterday, a group of school children came to see me. And a young 16-year-old girl asked me, “Mr. Costa, how can we get involved in Democracy?” After explaining the meaning of the word Democracy to this young girl, Costa told her; “the very fact that you’ve come to Parliament, the very fact that you’re engaging, the very fact that you’re asking the question, is already a step on the right path.” He continued, “It is my honour to have been selected by you. Many years ago, when I was growing up in Scotland, in Glasgow, I didn’t think I’d be standing in Committee Room 14, addressing fellow Italians and friends of Italy, supporters of Italy who have come here this evening.
Costa also pledged his support for Dr Tania Mathias, explaining how important it was to have people with her skills, ability and measured tone sitting on Parliament’s green benches.
He went on to praise the four Italian Candidates for the May 3rd local elections present at the meeting: Sara Gerzari, Mavie Clare Ambrosino, Salvatore Murtas and Chris Vinante Giovannini. Costa assured the Italian community in the UK who were not naturalised that he would make every effort to ensure they would have their rights extended, not just pre-Brexit, but during the implementation period.
Dr Tania Mathias made a warmly received speech in fluent Italian saying;
“It’s always a pleasure to be with the Italian Conservatives Group. The support that the Conservative party received from the Italian Conservatives Group was crucial during the Brexit negotiations, but more importantly, when the negotiations are completed, the Italian Conservatives Group will continue to be an important organisation.”
The meeting moved on to welcome new officers.
First, with an extensive list of international awards in marketing achieved in both the public and private sectors, was “born and bred” Conservative, Dr Marcio Borlenghi Fasano who was seen as a crucial element to Italian Conservatives Group’s strategy going forward.
His expertise is set to play a key part in the success of conservative candidates backed by the Italian Conservatives Group.
Dr Fasano — confirmed as a member of the Italian Conservatives Group Executive Committee — quickly showed his grasp of priorities for the group, explaining the importance of keeping up with technology and using language that is clear, plain and concise to engage with young people, the next electorate.
He noted that Labour’s use of plain language helps them readily connect with young people and this useful style should be adopted. Mavie Clare Ambrosino spoke of a Conservative party with community at its core.
Italians are naturally community-focused; engagers and communicators. She said it was crucial to connect with Italians in London and the UK who could make a true difference at the elections. In closing, the vice Chairman of the main Conservative Party Rehman Chishti MP thanked the Italian Conservatives Group and noted that, as a son of immigrants, like so many in the room, it’s important to never give up on their dreams.