Westwood admits she likes the look of Cameron

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Indy Politics

She is one of Britain's most outrageous clothes designers, a punk heroine who has fought for civil rights and whose association with the Sex Pistols in the 1970s forever defined her as an anti-establishment maverick.

But now it would seem that Dame Vivienne Westwood is tired of kicking against tradition. The erstwhile wild child of fashion took a step towards the Conservative Party yesterday, praising the moral superiority of its leader, David Cameron, over the Prime Minister.

As she plans to attend this year's Tory party Christmas dinner, some former fans may now believe her transformation from rebel to middle-aged Tory sympathiser is complete.

Speaking to The Independent, Westwood said: "I think he [Mr Cameron] is definitely more convincing as a moral person than Gordon Brown by far. David Cameron also voted to go into Iraq but he didn't sit there while people invented lies around him.

"It's unfortunate his [Mr Cameron's] party has a certain baggage, such as the idea that they are anti-Europe, or that they are more racist than Labour. They are not."

While Westwood, 66, denied she is now a Tory party fundraiser, she said she had never seen herself as an "iconoclast" and defended her detachment from the left.

"You have to get rid of the idea of right and left. It doesn't apply any more ... I would vote for anyone to get Labour out," she said. "They are supposed to be the people's party but they are the most autocratic government I have ever had."

A long-standing human rights campaigner, Westwood accused Labour of undermining habeas corpus, a cornerstone of the justice system through which a person can seek relief from unlawful detention.

"It's the first thing you have to fight for: justice before the law," said Westwood. "It's the Tory MPs who are most outspoken ... about human rights."

Westwood launched her arts manifesto, Active Resistance to Propaganda, at the Hay-on-Wye festival earlier this year. In it, her theories on art are written and performed as a dialogue between such figures as Pinocchio and Aristotle. It will next be performed at the Wallace Collection in London on 1 December.