I'll purge racists from party, says Duncan Smith

Click to follow

Tory leadership rivals Kenneth Clarke and Iain Duncan Smith yesterday issued warnings to extremists that they would be purged from the Tory party.

Mr Duncan Smith's vow to introduce measures to "systematically" rid the party of racists and people associated with far-right groups came despite the backing he has received from a significant number of members with hard right leanings.

Both men were adamant they would not tolerate racism in the party. Mr Duncan Smith's campaign has been marred by revelations that one of the party vice-presidents in his campaign team, Edgar Griffin, was a British National Party activist. And Mr Clarke was prompted to promise action following a call for tighter controls from senior Tories.

Mr Duncan Smith's spokesman said yesterday: "The party must make sure that if you are a member of the Conservative Party you cannot be a member of another party, especially these abhorrent organisations like the BNP.

"If you are a member of one of these groups you had better pack your suitcase now because if Iain becomes leader you are going," he warned.

Mr Duncan Smith has pledged to introduce measures to "systematically" look at party membership and identify people's affiliations constituency by constituency. He said: "It doesn't matter how many there are, one is too many."

The Duncan Smith campaign has attracted a number of right wingers, some members of hard right factions like the Conservative Monday Club, and those who favour links to the neo-fascist Italian Alleanza Nazionale.