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EDITIONS
Wednesday, 9 October, 2002, 18:01 GMT 19:01 UK
In search of the 'nasty party'
Mike Smith
Mike Smith feels 'betrayed' by the Tory leadership

They suspect that when Theresa May spoke about the "nasty party" she had them in mind.

The Conservative Democratic Alliance, a splinter group from the extreme right-wing Monday Club, is on the warpath.

Its members believe their party - the Conservatives - has been hijacked by neo-liberals and "modernisers" such as Mrs May and Francis Maude, who want to 'parachute -in' politically correct candidates to safe seats and betray the party's moral foundations.

The biggest villain of all, in the CDA's eyes, is Iain Duncan Smith.

CDA founder Mike Smith claims many of them voted for the arch Eurosceptic and now feel "betrayed" by Mr Duncan Smith's "overnight" conversion to the liberal agenda.

Of Mrs May's comments, Mr Smith said: "It is probably what she means, but it is our view that people like Theresa May are the nasty people".

'Inclusive' Tories

The Conservative Party, for its part, has done its best to wash hands of what they see as a tiny, if irritating, minority of malcontents and troublemakers.

The CDA believes in all the things that you used to hear from the platform at Tory conferences - patriotism, Euroscepticism and a tough line on immigration.

But its fringe meeting at a Bournemouth hotel is not listed in any of the official Conservative conference guides.

Opening the meeting, Mr Smith joked "perhaps we are the nasty party".

What is certain is that they are no longer welcome in the "modern" and "inclusive" Tory party.

Several of those present had been "suspended" or expelled from the Conservative Party by Iain Duncan Smith for membership of the Monday Club.

Others were supporters of the anti-EU UK Independence Party and former supporters of Sir James Goldsmith's ill-fated Referendum Party.

Views excluded

They were, for the most part, male, middle-aged and dressed in pin stripes and blue-blazers - the polar opposite of the bright young, ethnically diverse professionals the Tories are desperate to recruit.


Did she look a Conservative with that shiny black trouser cat suit and those leopard-skin winkle-pickers?

Sam Swirling
Mention of "gay rights" brings a torrent of harrumphs, while a call to halt immigration almost brings the house down.

"There over in the conference hall you have had the freedom to think and the freedom to speak taken away from you," Mr Smith told them with a swipe at the "easily edited" video boxes.

'Leopard-skin winkle pickers'

Sam Swirling, one time chairman of the Monday Club and former Tory parliamentary candidate, attacked the "very disappointing" Mr Duncan Smith for "deferring to every trendy idea that is put before him."

But special scorn was reserved for Theresa May and her "absolutely disgraceful" conference speech.

"Frankly did she look a Conservative with that shiny black trouser cat suit and those leopard-skin winkle-pickers?

"And views which were pinker than pink. I'm sorry to say, but I was appalled."

He branded the Tory leadership a "gang of political pygmies", with the "exception of Michael Howard and Liam Fox".

"I regret saying it because I have been a party member for some 35 years."

Breakaway party

He added: "The party prattles on about inclusivity and wanting to include as many people in its ranks as possible.


Search your own heart and consider whether you can really turn this party around, considering what it is today

Adrian Davies
"And yet the very people they exclude have given years of service to the Conservative Party through the Monday Club, which has never been more than a right of centre political pressure group trying to put the nation first.

"It is a scandal that the party has done it and it's about time somebody said so."

Andrew Davies, a former Tory activist and Monday Club leading light, suggested forming a breakaway party.

"There is very little hope of turning the Conservative Party around from within," he told the meeting.

'No future'

His talk of the "ethnic cleansing of white males from Conservative candidate lists and "leather-bondage sex-kitten Theresa May" and "effete" Francis Maude brought predictable applause.

But in what you suspect might be music to the ears of Mr Maude, Mrs May and others in the modernising wing of the party, he asked: "Is there really a future for those of us in this room in a Conservative Party which is totally opposed to all our values and amongst whose parliamentary ranks there can not be seen one man who can be seen as the champion of a right-wing resurgence in the party."

He added: "Search your own heart and consider whether you can really turn this party around, considering what it is today".


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07 Oct 02 | Education
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