Proposals for a crackdown on illegal traveller sites have been unveiled by a senior Midland Tory.
Caroline Spelman (Con Meriden) joined Conservative leader Michael Howard to launch a new policy giving councils more powers to remove illegal encampments, such as two in Worcestershire.
But the plans were condemned by a Birmingham-born traveller.
Kathleen McCarthy, a school governor aged 42, attacked Mr Howard for visiting the Essex travellers' site where she now lives to launch the policy - and failing to talk to any of the residents.
They were also attacked by Labour backbencher Kevin McNamara, who claimed they had "the whiff of the gas chambers" about them.
Ms Spelman defended the plans, saying: "It's not bigoted. It's about fairness."
The pledge of a crackdown on illegal sites was the latest Conservative announcement in the run up to the General Election, following earlier promises to slash illegal immigration and cut the council tax for pensioners.
They are a response to concern about travellers buying countryside sites and building permanent encampments on them without planning permission.
In Worcestershire, travellers bought a site close to the village of Wyre Piddle in March last year, moved in and applied for retrospective planning permission.
And a one-acre site was bought a mile away from the village of Eckington in May 2004.
The most recent figures from the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister show 413 gypsy caravans are believed to be on unauthorised encampments in the West Midlands.
This was up from 340 in 2002. The number of caravans on authorised sites in the region is believed to be 1187.
Launching the policy yesterday, Mrs Spelman, the shadow Secretary for Local Government, said a Conservative Government would review and possibly scrap the Human Rights Act, which some critics have claimed prevents councils from evicting travellers.
Councils would be given the power to refuse applications for retrospective planning permission, and new powers to ensure the rapid removal of caravans from illegal sites.
Police will be encouraged to take tougher action against travellers breaking the law, "encouraging police to tackle criminal or anti-social behaviour on traveller sites," she said.
The measures were welcomed by Tory Worcestershire MP Peter Luff.
He said: "We must recognise that many travellers use the planning process in the proper way and they are entitled to do so, but everyone must be treated equally when the process is abused."
But they were condemned by Mrs McCarthy, who said she objected to Conservative claims that travellers were "Irish invaders" coming to Britain from the Republic.
"Our children are all English and all we want is to live peacefully and allow our children to have an education that we didn't have."
Labour backbencher Kevin McNamara (Hull North) said: "There is, I feel, a whiff of persecution about the way the Roma have been treated throughout Europe. I really do feel there is the whiff of the gas chambers about this."