A Conservative parliamentary candidate has been summoned to meet the Tory Party chairwoman after praising Enoch Powell's infamous "rivers of blood" speech. Nigel Hastilow, the Conservative candidate in the key Midlands seat of Halesowen and Rowley Regis, wrote in a newspaper column that Mr Powell's warnings about uncontrolled immigration were right.
Peter Hain, the Work and Pensions Secretary, said that Mr Hastliow's comments exposed the "racist underbelly" in the Conservative Party. In a column for the Express and Star newspaper in Wolverhampton, Mr Hastilow wrote: "[…] of blood' speech, warning that uncontrolled immigration would change our country irrevocably. He was right. It has changed dramatically."
He also wrote: "They have more or less given up complaining about the way we roll out the red carpet for foreigners while leaving the locals to fend for themselves."
Mr Hain told BBC1's Andrew Marr Show that the Tories should "get rid" of Mr Hastilow to show that "racism, along with Enoch Powell, is banished to the past". […] George Osborne, the [Conservative] shadow chancellor, said he didn't agree with the candidate's comments. He told the BBC that Mr Hastilow had been called into an urgent meeting with Caroline Spelman, the party chairwoman, in order "to explain himself".