A £1million prize is being offered by the Tories for a computer system which would help shape public policy.

The party’s culture spokesman Jeremy Hunt risked ridicule yesterday by saying he wanted to harness the theory known as the Wisdom of Crowds in the manner of television illusionist Derren Brown.

It was this theory, apparently, that Brown used when he claimed to have predicted the winning National Lottery numbers live on TV.

LibDem spokesman Jenny Willott said: ‘There are already a multitude of ways to communicate with large numbers of people online.

‘They shouldn’t waste £1million of public money reinventing the wheel.’