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Back to Section One | Back to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, April 30, 2010 - Volume 38 Issue 18
Rising Tory star Philippa Stroud ran prayer sessions to 'cure' gay people
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Rising Tory star Philippa Stroud ran prayer sessions to 'cure' gay people

Conservative high-flyer Philippa Stroud founded a church that tried to 'cure' homosexuals by driving out their 'demons

Jamie Doward, Cal Flyn and Richard Rogers
The Observer

Philippa Stroud, the Conservative parliamentary candidate for Sutton and Cheam, has founded US-style evangelical churches in Bedford and in Birmingham. Photograph: Graeme Robertson

A high-flying prospective Conservative MP, credited with shaping many of the party's social policies, founded a church that tried to "cure" homosexuals by driving out their "demons" through prayer.

Philippa Stroud, who is likely to win the Sutton and Cheam seat on Thursday and is head of the Centre for Social Justice, the thinktank set up by the former Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith, has heavily influenced David Cameron's beliefs on subjects such as the family. A popular and energetic Tory, she is seen as one of the party's rising stars.

The CSJ reportedly claims to have formulated as many as 70 of the party's policies. Stroud has spoken of how her Christian faith has motivated her to help the poor and of her time spent working with the destitute in Hong Kong. On her return to Britain, in 1989, she founded a church and night shelter in Bedford, the King's Arms Project, that helped drug addicts and alcoholics. It also counselled gay, lesbian and transsexual people.

full story:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2010/may/02/ conservatives-philippa-stroud-gay-cure

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