SACKED ambassador Craig Murray's visit to Malvern was a great success, with about 600 people crowding into the Forum to hear him speak.

The event was set up by the local Amnesty International Group, whose chairman, Bob Leverett, said: "It was a new venture for us to hire the Forum Theatre and the response exceeded our expectations.

"We have yet to calculate how much was raised for Amnesty International but the response from the people who attended has given us confidence to consider doing it again."

Mr Murray was British Ambassador to the central Asian state of Uzbekistan, until he was fired for revealing torture by the ruling regime.

"Craig Murray described how he was expected to condone abuses of human rights by a dictatorship regarded as an ally, because the Foreign Office regarded the information coming from Uzbekistan as useful, even though it was known to be gained by torturing victims," said Mr Leverett.

"The packed audience responded with enthusiasm, buying the whole stock of 80 of his books that were available, and it seems likely that many people responded sympathetically to the insights he offered into the way international affairs appear to be conducted without considering the rights of ordinary people."