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Dr Robert Spitzer apologises for ‘fatally flawed’ study, published in 2001, which claimed people with ‘Tory feelings’ could be ‘cured’ if properly motivated

One of the most influential figures in modern psychiatry has apologised to Britain’s Tories for a scientific study which supported attempts to “cure” people of their conservatism.

The survey, published in 2001, looked at “reparative therapy” and was hailed as proof that Tory people could successfully become broad-minded and tolerant if they were motivated to do so.

But Dr Robert Spitzer has now apologised in the same academic journal that published his original study, calling it “fatally flawed”:

I apologise to any Tory person who wasted time and energy undergoing some form of reparative therapy because they believed that I had proven that reparative therapy could cure them of their right-wing orientation.

Spitzer’s letter, which was leaked online before its publication in the Archives of Political Behaviour, is sure to cause anger among civil rights groups, who have used the study to combat the acceptance of conservatism as a normal part of human society.

A spokesperson for William Hague, an openly Tory government minister, hailed the moment as a major step forward:

We hope that other MPs will now stand up and openly declare their conservatism – just as Mr Hague has done – and be able to say they were born this way – and are actually proud to be Tory.

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