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24 May 2010updated 27 Sep 2015 2:19am

Philippa Stroud given special adviser role

Controversial Tory who failed to win a seat in Sutton will work for Iain Duncan Smith.

By Samira Shackle

It is interesting, if not surprising, to see that Iain Duncan Smith has appointed Philippa Stroud as his special adviser after she failed to win a seat in Sutton and Cheam.

An article in the Observer, published on the Sunday before the polls, accused Stroud of founding a church that attempted to “cure” homosexuals by driving out their demons through prayer. Stroud refutes the claims and legal action is ongoing.

She did not win the seat from Paul Burstow, the incumbent Liberal Democrat MP. Despite a national swing of 5 per cent to the Conservatives, the swing to the Tories in Sutton and Cheam was just 1.5 per cent.

As director of Duncan Smith’s hugely influential think tank, the Centre for Social Justice, she has already played a substantial part in forming much of the Conservatives’ social policy.

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For a woman who was beaten convincingly on 6 May, this represents a pretty decent runner-up prize. Her many detractors may not look upon it as such, however.

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