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Last Updated: Thursday, 20 January, 2005, 08:35 GMT
'Gun photo' candidate dismissed
A Conservative parliamentary candidate has been dismissed after he was pictured on the internet with a range of guns, rifles and a hunting knife.

Robert Oulds, the prospective MP for Slough in Berkshire, appeared with the weapons in the camera phone images.

Tory deputy chairman Andrew Mackay said the party had faced no choice but to remove him from its candidates' list.

"This was a serious error of judgement which was unacceptable in a parliamentary candidate," he added.

'All licensed'

A national newspaper reported there were 11 images of Mr Oulds, 28, a councillor in Chiswick, west London, with the weaponry.

The weapons included an AK 47 assault rifle and a shotgun.

Mr Oulds told The Sun: "Those photos were taken at the home of a member of the Conservative association.

"I went round to this friend's house and he is a member of a licensed gun club and he showed me his firearms and that is it.

"They are all licensed and all legal. They are not mine."

'Nothing illegal'

After being removed from the candidates list, Mr Oulds said in a statement: "I have not tendered my resignation as PPC (prospective parliamentary candidate) for Slough.

"I have apologised to the deputy chairman of the Conservative Party for any embarrassment caused.

"However, contrary to various reports I have not done anything illegal and will continue to represent my constituents as a councillor.

"I am taking legal advice on various issues."

Labour campaign spokesman Fraser Kemp tried to capitalise on the news.

"Robert Oulds is just the tip of the iceberg," he said.

Mr Kemp said the councillor was also director of the Bruges Group, whose speakers had included Tory leader Michael Howard and Iain Duncan Smith.

"There is no evidence to suggest that any of these people knew about Robert Oulds' behaviour, but clearly they were happy, as senior Tories, to associate themselves with someone with Mr Oulds' well-known hard right outlook," added the MP.

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