UK: Tory branch refuse to ditch Enoch 'was right' candidate

Tory leader David Cameron faced fresh embarrassment after rebel Tory activists snubbed calls to ditch a Parliamentary candidate who said Enoch Powell "was right" on immigration.

The Halesowen and Rowley Regis constituency association refused to accept the resignation of would-be MP Nigel Hastilow and instead demanded crisis talks with the Conservative Party Board, the organisation's top decision-making body.

Senior Tories had hoped the local party would drop Hastilow, 51, who quit on November 4 after refusing to apologise for comments he made in a newspaper column in support of Powell's 1968 "rivers of blood" speech.

Officials have been lobbying the local association in a desperate bid to limit the bad publicity, asking them to move on and choose another candidate.

But local members remain furious at the way Hastilow was treated by the party HQ and refused to accept his resignation, saying his views on immigration have widespread support.