Tory member expelled after Maddy joke

By Blaine Williams

A prominent young Tory activist has been expelled from the party after boasting about dressing up as Madeleine McCann at a new year party.

Matthew Lewis, a member of Conservative Future, wrote on his Facebook page that the costume would include a blonde wig “pink pyjamas, a teddy bear and a vial of fake blood”.

Other members of the group commented on the costume of the missing five-year-old with one saying: “Is this a cunning (Baldrick style) plan to obtain the reward money?”

Caroline Spelman removed Mr Lewis from the party describing his actions as “totally unacceptable”.

She said: “This offensive behaviour is not only shocking but intolerable and completely unacceptable. There is no place for this sort of person in the party.”

Mr Lewis, a student at Queen Mary, University of London, resigned as chair of Staffordshire CF last month because he was angered by internal reforms. He has been pictured campaigning with David Cameron at last year’s Crewe and Nantwich byelection.

After the party, Mr Lewis told another CF member, Flick Cox, online: “There was a brief moment when I thought I might have gone too far with elements of the costume, but it was OK.”

He claimed that another guest at the party was dressed as Baby P, the toddler who died after a horrific abuse.

“There may not be photos, I don’t think anyone wants to risk being associated with them!” Lewis went on.

Ms Cox suggested that he may have “pulled a Prince Harry” – a reference to his controversial decision to wear a Nazi uniform to a fancy dress party in 2005.

She said she would “hate to have to end our friendship when I become an MP” if he got into trouble over the fancy dress outfit.

Clarence Mitchell, the spokesman for Madeleine’s parents Kate and Gerry McCann, demanded an apology from Mr Lewis.

He said: “The offensiveness of this activist’s actions is almost beyond belief.

“I know Gerry and Kate will be grateful that the Tory Party has taken swift and appropriate action by ejecting him from the party.

“His actions are not only disgraceful in themselves, they will also cause great hurt to Kate and Gerry. I feel it is appropriate that he now apologises both privately and publicly to them.

“It is a complete disgrace that Madeleine’s name and image should be made fun of in this way.”

Madeleine McCann went missing while on holiday with her family in Portugal in May 2007. She has yet to be found despite a massive worldwide hunt.