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Friday, 27 April, 2001, 16:34 GMT 17:34 UK
Tory infighting over race
William Hague
Conservative leader William Hague visiting Pudsey near Leeds
The man who sparked off the row about race in politics has now attacked the Commission for Racial Equality, questioned the very idea of a multicultural Britain, and once again provoked a debate over William Hague's leadership.

John Townend, who's standing down as Conservative MP for Yorkshire East, said he was opposed to the whole "concept of the Commission" saying it caused more problems than it solved. Immigration, he said, was turning the British into a mongrel race.


John Townend is clearly determined to continue spouting his racist rubbish. He is laying down the gauntlet to Mr Hague

Lord Taylor of Warwick

However a leading Conservative Peer has called for Mr Townend to be sacked, saying that his remarks are offensive. Lord Taylor of Warwick, in an interview on The World at One, said Mr Hague should remove the whip from the retiring MP.

We spoke to Matthew Parris of The Times and Peter Oborne of the Express and asked them if Mr Hague was right not to withdraw the whip from John Townend. Click on audio to hear their debate.

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Matthew Parris and Peter Oborne in discussion

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