IMMIGRATION: Tories Axe Right-Wing Group over Race Issue
Nigel Morris Political Correspondent, The Independent (London, England)
THE HARD-RIGHT Monday Club was suspended from the Conservative Party last night and told it would only be readmitted if it abandoned campaigning on immigration.
David Davis, the party chairman, announced the tougher than expected move after a tense 80-minute meeting with officers of the organisation.
He ordered the group to review its constitution to include a promise not to "promulgate or discuss policies relating to race". Mr Davis also told it to expel members who champion racist opinions.
Speaking outside Conservative Central Office, he said: "Until we're satisfied with their response, the Monday Club is suspended from any association with the Conservative Party."
He said that if the group was not prepared to amend its rules "to make it unconstitutional for them to promulgate any policies on the question of immigration and race", its suspension would be made permanent.
The showdown came after Viscount Massereene and Ferrand, its president, Lord Sudeley, its chairman, and Denis Walker, and Denis Walker, a member of the executive, were summoned into Central Office.
The order means that the organisation will no longer be able to describe itself as the Conservative Monday Club.
The newly elected Tory leader, Iain Duncan Smith, has been dogged by reports of links between his leadership campaign and far-right groups.
Just six weeks ago, before his election, Mr Duncan Smith described the Monday Club as a "viable organisation with the party and they are, in a sense what the party is about".
However, in a swift about-turn, three Conservative MPs, Andrew Hunter, Andrew Rosindell and Angela Watkins, were earlier this month instructed by the new leadership to sever their links with the Monday Club. …