Birmingham is exactly the right city for a keynote speech by Nick Clegg, the Leader of the Conservative and Liberal Democrat candidates at the 2015 Election, a stand fully in keeping with how the Conservative Party became the Conservative Party. That party is essentially a device to compel Tories to vote for Liberal candidates because they are denied any other option. It was set up to be so, it has been so for nearly two hundred years, and it will remain so until electoral reform splits it, among others, asunder.
The Chamberlains never used the name "Conservative", still less "Tory", calling it "hateful". And that was in Birmingham, hardly peripheral. The National Liberal Party was not formally wound up until 1968, with John Nott the last MP to be elected for the first time under its label. Absorbing the Lib Dems organisationally while they absorbed it ideologically would be just another in the long line of examples of What The Conservative Party Does, of What The Conservative Party Is.