Michael Howard's tough stance on gipsies sparked a row in Warwickshire after county council Tories said Labour was a "soft touch".
With council elections only six weeks away, Conservatives backed their party leader's pledge to introduce tougher laws to enable unauthorised encampments to be dismantled quickly.
Martin Heatley, chairman of the environment and rural affairs scrutiny committee, said: "We need to ensure that the same rules apply to everybody and travellers must only live on land where planning permission exists. They should not just occupy fields at will."
Coun Heatley (Nuneaton Whitestone), who is a farmer, said: "The human rights laws are applied in a way that makes it increasingly difficult for councils to enforce their own legal planning decisions."
Coun Chris Saint (Con Shipston), Conservative spokesman for employment and inclusion, said: "We must have fair laws and regulations to enable all our communities to live peacefully. We have a gipsy site in Stratford and others tour in the Shipston area each year, creating very few problems or incidents."
Police in riot gear accompanied by more than 100 bailiffs evicted dozens of travellers from an illegal campsite on green belt land at Bulkington, near Nuneaton, last summer.
Labour county council leader June Tandy said she found the Tory onslaught "amazing" given that borough councils are responsible for deciding planning applications and for providing gipsy sites. The county has no powers to do so.
Coun Tandy (Nuneaton Attleborough) said many of today's problems stemmed from 1994 when the then Conservative Government removed the obligation on councils to provide official gipsy camps.