Max Clifford declares war on Tories

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The Independent Online
The public relations impresario Max Clifford yesterday pro-mised to wage his own personal war on the Conservative Government. It had "destroyed" the health service, he said, so he would deliver "two or three" new revelations of sleaze before the election.

Mr Clifford's latest client, Paul Stone, is behind the difficulties being faced by Harlow's Tory MP, Jerry Hayes,

After Mr Stone gave a radio interview yesterday about Mr Hayes, whom he claims was his lover, Mr Clifford issued his own revelation. "The death and suffering they [the Government] have caused to so many ordinary people in this country is something I have watched with growing despair and anger over the last 16 years," he said.

Mr Clifford's 25-year-old daughter, Louise, has spent much of her life in hospital receiving treatment for rheumatoid arthritis. "This is a personal vendetta based on what the Tory Government have done to the NHS," Mr Clifford said.

Labour, however, officially refused to applaud its new supporter. A party spokeswoman said: "We cannot condone any of Mr Clifford's actions. Politics is about issues. He is a self-publicist, that is his business. We completely condemn what he does." Regardless, Labour will privately relish the prospect of more Tory MPs being "exposed".

He told The Independent: "This is not about the treatment given to my daughter, but about how the NHS has changed. For years I watched what was happening in hospitals. Whether you were poor or a millionaire, you used to be entitled to the same care in Britain. Now the NHS is being destroyed and it is getting worse."

However, Mr Clifford warned the Labour Party that "God-willing when they become the government, the same standards will apply to them".

Mr Stone, 24, Mr Hayes's former Commons researcher, said on radio he had no regrets in publicly revealing the two men's alleged 16-month homosexual affair when he was 18. He said his decision to tell his story in the News of the World, reputedly for around pounds 100,000, was to expose "hypocrisy" in Westminster.

Mr Hayes's constituency officers are understood to be discussing his position, but the seat will be highly vulnerable at the election any way.

Dishing the dirt, page 4