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Tories under fire over links with extreme right wing 'Conservative madrassa'.

Byline: ANI

London, Mar. 6 (ANI): The Conservative party has come under fire after it was revealed that at least 11 prospective Tory parliamentarians have been trained by a rightwing group, which believes that global warming is "a scam" and that waterboarding of prisoners can be justified.

The Young Britons' Foundation, which calls itself a Conservative madrassa, recently described the public-funded National Health Service as "the biggest waste of money in the UK."

In an article on his own website, YBF chief executive Donal Blaney urged environmental protesters to be "shot down" by the police, and that Britain should have a US-style liberal firearms policy.

Programmes have included trips to meet neo-conservative groups in the US and to a shooting range in Virginia to fire submachine guns and assault rifles, the Guardian reports.

The group's close ties to the Tories were confirmed this week when Conservative party chairman Eric Pickles and shadow defence secretary, Liam Fox, spoke at the annual YBF parliamentary rally at the House of Commons.

The links are likely to be deeply embarrassing for Tory leader David Cameron, who has pledged to make the NHS his top priority if he becomes prime minister.

Labour MP Jon Cruddas said: "It beggars belief that the Conservative party should be so reliant for the training of some of its candidates and thousands of its young activists on an organisation headed by people with such extremist views."

Former deputy Prime Minister John Prescott said: "Cameron must disown the YBF now. This calls into question whether this organisation reflects the true face of the Tory party."

When asked about their involvement with the YBF, Fox and Pickles both tried to distance themselves from it.

"I am not endorsing them. I was there explaining Conservative party policy on defence. I speak to lots of organisations; it doesn't mean I support them," Fox said. (ANI)

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Publication:Asian News International
Date:Mar 6, 2010
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