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. Stroud spent seventeen years in poverty-fighting projects and published a book on social injustice. In 1987-89 Philippa worked in Hong Kong and Macau amongst the addict community. From 1989-96 Philippa 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 Philippa 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. After the election, she was appointed as a Special Adviser to the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Iain Duncan Smith.
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The Conservative Party, colloquially referred to as the Tory Party or the Tories, is a centre-right political party in the United Kingdom. It espouses the philosophies of conservatism and British unionism. After merging with the Liberal Unionist Party in 1912, it changed its name to the Conservative and Unionist Party, although that name is rarely used. As of 2013 it is the largest single party in the House of Commons with 305 MPs, governing in coalition with the Liberal Democrats, with David Cameron, the leader of the Conservative Party, as Prime Minister. It is the largest party in local government with 8,296 councillors. The Conservative Party was founded in 1834, and was one of two dominant parties in the 19th century, along with the Liberal Party. In the 1920s, the Liberal vote greatly diminished and the Labour Party became the Conservatives' main rivals. Conservative prime ministers led governments for 57 years of the 20th century, including Winston Churchill and Margaret Thatcher. Thatcher's tenure led to wide-ranging economic liberalisation and saw the Conservatives become the most eurosceptic of the three major parties.