Philippa Stroud (born 1965) is a co-founder and former Executive Director of the think tank the Centre for Social Justice. She is a member of the Conservative Party and in 2009 The Daily Telegraph named her as the 82nd most influential right-winger, ahead of the last Conservative leader Michael Howard.
Life before politics
Stroud spent seventeen years in poverty-fighting projects and published a book on social injustice. In 1987-89 she worked in Hong Kong and Macau amongst the addict community. From 1989-96 she pioneered a four-stage residential support project in Bedford enabling homeless people to move off the streets and to become contributing members of the community. From 2001-2003 Stroud developed a project to care for addicts, the homeless and those in debt in Birmingham.
In 2003, Stroud co-founded the Centre for Social Justice. She has twice been a Conservative candidate in a general election: she came third in Birmingham Ladywood in 2005; and on 6 May 2010, as candidate for Sutton and Cheam, she came second to incumbent Liberal Democrat Paul Burstow.
During the 2010 election campaign, it was claimed by The Observer, but denied by Stroud, that in 1989, having returned from Hong Kong, she had founded the Kings Arms Trust in Bedford, that provided religiously-based social services to alcoholics and drug addicts. Twenty-one years later, the church attracted controversy when an article in The Observer of 2 May 2010 alleged they had tried to "cure" homosexuals and transgender individuals by driving out their 'demons' in the name of God. Immediately after the allegations of the article, Stroud responded in a statement saying that it was "categorically untrue that I believe homosexuality to be an 'illness'". David Cameron defended Stroud stating that "She believes in gay equality" and had made "a very clear statement to say she was completely misreported".
- Telegraph Sutton and Cheam candidate profile
- Dale, Iain; Brian Brivati (4 October 2009), Top 100 most influential Right-wingers: 100-51, London: The Daily Telegraph, retrieved 3 May 2010
- Centre for Social Justice - People, Centre for Social Justice, retrieved 10 May 2010
- "Philippa Stroud: Electoral history and profile". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 2 May 2010.
- Election 2010 Constituency Sutton & Cheam, BBC News, 7 May 2010, retrieved 8 May 2010
- Doward, Jamie; Rogers, Richard; Flyn, Cal (2 May 2010). "Rising Tory star Philippa Stroud ran prayer sessions to 'cure' gay people". The Guardian (London).
- Jamie Doward, Cal Flyn and Richard Rogers, "Rising Tory star Philippa Stroud ran prayer sessions to 'cure' gay people", The Observer, 2 May 2010
- Beckford, Martin (2 May 2010). "General Election 2010: Tory candidate 'tried to 'cure' gay people through prayer'". London: The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 10 May 2010.
- "Election: Cameron backs Stroud after church claims". BBC News. 4 May 2010. Retrieved 4 May 2010.