With two prime ministers and 13 cabinet ministers among its alumni, the Oxford University Conservative Association has become a conveyor belt for future leaders since it was founded in 1924.
But the student body, whose patron is Baroness Thatcher, is facing potentially the biggest crisis in its history after its own officers accused members of anti-Semitism, debauchery and snobbery at its alcohol-fuelled meetings.
Four of the Association’s most senior members have announced they will be resigning after members allegedly sang a Nazi-themed song, while others complained that members from working-class backgrounds were ridiculed by a clique of former public schoolboys.
Students are now facing possible disciplinary action by both the University and the Conservative Party, both of which have launched investigations.
OUCA, whose honorary president is William Hague, uses its website to promote a public image of studious debate, with recent guest speakers including Sir John Major and Iain Duncan Smith.
At its weekly “port and policy” meetings, however, drunkenness and discrimination have been the main items on the agenda, according to some disillusioned members.
One officer claimed that members regularly sang a song which includes the words: “Dashing through the Reich…killing lots of kike (Jews).”
The Daily Telegraph has been shown a video of one of the members reciting the first line of the song before a friend silences him, saying, “No, no!”
(Hat tip: Motke)