Geldof defends link with Tories

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Indy Politics

Bob Geldof says the Conservative leader, David Cameron, is "playing with fire" by recruiting him to join a Tory commission that will draw up a policy for tackling global poverty to be included in the next election manifesto.

Mr Geldof, who clashed with Margaret Thatcher two decades ago, admitted yesterday that he may be used by Mr Cameron to reach the "wristband generation" for the Tories.

"I know that," he said. "I'm not thick. They are kind of playing with fire. I am in nobody's pocket and if I think it's nonsense I will say that. The same went with the government commission on Africa.''

The recruitment of the former Boomtown Rats lead singer gave the Tory leader a publicity coup for a more caring style of Conservatism, and put the Government and the Liberal Democrats on the defensive.

Some anti-poverty campaigners protested at Mr Geldof accepting the Tory appointment, but he was unrepentant. Asked on Sky News if he was being used to help Conservatives to reach out to new supporters, he said: "I'm sure I am being used, as much as I'm being used by the Government. But that's my job, to be used, so long as I can help steer the policy towards those who are dying."