The Conservative chairman, Eric Pickles, last night appeared to disown the leadership of the Young Britons' Foundation, a rightwing training organisation for young Conservatives whose officials have described the NHS as "the biggest waste of money in the UK" and suggested the waterboarding of prisoners can be justified.
Pickles spoke last week at a YBF rally at the House of Commons and the group is working with Conservative Future, the party's official youth wing, on pre-election training of young Tory activists. But yesterday that relationship came under serious strain.
"We don't agree with these views," a spokesman for Pickles said in a brief statement. "The YBF organisation is independent of the Conservative party."
Sometimes, what you need is a Yorkshireman. But it would be very interesting to know if the Conservative Party actually knows what, legally, the YBF is, how much money it's received, and how much VAT has been paid.
This is interesting, too:
Cutts said that, as an organiser for Conservative Future's East Midlands region, he came under pressure from the national organisation to ensure there were sufficient paying customers for the YBF courses.
If this is a commercial arrangement in the meaning of Section 50 of the Act, it's a slightly unusual one.
(If anyone gets the joke in the title, I'll be delighted.)