BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific Arabic Spanish Russian Chinese Welsh

 You are in: UK Politics
Front Page 
UK Politics 
Talking Point 
In Depth 

Commonwealth Games 2002

BBC Sport

BBC Weather

Thursday, 13 September, 2001, 20:51 GMT 21:51 UK
New Tory leader names key posts
Iain Duncan Smith and his wife Betsy arrive at Conservative Central Office
Iain Duncan Smith arrives with wife Betsy
New Conservative Party leader Iain Duncan Smith has moved swiftly to appoint key members of his shadow cabinet.

Former home secretary Michael Howard enjoys a frontline political re-birth with the post of shadow chancellor.

Vote result
Duncan Smith: 155,933 votes, or 61%
Clarke: 100,864 votes, or 39%
Eligible voters: 328,000
Turnout: 256,797, or 79%
Michael Ancram - party chairman under outgoing leader William Hague and a leadership contender in the early stages of the contest - becomes shadow foreign secretary.

Bernard Jenkin becomes shadow defence secretary and Oliver Letwin - who attracted controversy during the general election campaign when he was an economics spokesman - is shadow home secretary.

In other appointments, Quentin Davies becomes shadow Northern Ireland Secretary and David Davis, another failed leadership contender, Tory party chairman.

The appointments were made hours after Mr Duncan Smith was announced as William Hague's successor.

He beat off the challenge of Ken Clarke, after an often bitter three-month battle, with the backing of 61% of the vote in the first ever leadership contest decided by party members.

Public service 'obsession'

In his victory speech, Mr Duncan Smith gave notice that the Tories would become obsessed with the issues that "obsess" the public, such as health and education.

But he also declared that the "appalling acts" seen in America on Tuesday meant "this is not the day for party politics".

The ballot count was delayed 24 hours and scaled down as a mark of respect following the terrorist attacks.

The result was eventually announced on Thursday at 1710 BST inside Conservative Central Office by Sir Michael Spicer, chairman of the Tory backbench 1922 committee.

Election victory

The two contenders shook hands before Mr Clarke offered his congratulations and wished Mr Duncan Smith "every success in leading the party back to election victory".

"He'll have all our support in trying to do that."

Mr Duncan Smith thanked his opponent for his "immensely kind and supportive comments" and also paid tribute to Mr Hague for leading the party with "determination, courage and good humour".

Iain Duncan Smith
Born 9 April 1954
Joined Tory Party in 1981
Married Hon Elizabeth Wynne Fremantle 1982; four children
Unsuccessfully fought Bradford West 1987
Elected MP for Chingford 1992
Shadow social security secretary 1997-99
Shadow defence secretary 1999-2001
Wins Tory leadership September 2001
He went on: "The party I want to lead will be an effective opposition to this government.

"It will campaign on the issues that matter to people, the things that affect them most in their daily lives, that obsess them, these must become the things that obsess us.

"The state of their public services, health, welfare, education and the environment.

"We will campaign on these and we will plan to take the government on over these major issues."

But those were the only partisan comments Mr Duncan Smith was prepared to make as he reflected the prevailing mood over events in America.

The new Tory leader offered full support for President George W Bush and Tony Blair's action against the terrorist forces responsible for the atrocities.

Act of war

"What President Bush called 'an act of war' must not go unpunished," Mr Duncan Smith said.

He echoed both leaders' insistence that the terror attacks were an attack on all democratic nations.

Mr Duncan Smith promised he would say more on the issue during the emergency recall of parliament on Friday - his first opportunity to establish his statesmanlike credentials.

He concluded: "Therefore today in thanking my party for the honour they have given me, it remains for me simply to offer my prayers and condolences to the families of those who have lost their lives and to assure them that in this matter we in the Conservative Party with me as leader, will do all that we can to ensure that (in) our response to this tragedy we will show that we are a nation united."

For the same reason Labour is not commenting on the new Tory leader, a spokesman saying "now is not the time for that".

The BBC's John Pienaar
"The Tories' choice has been made"
The BBC's Laura Trevelyan
profiles Mr Duncan Smith
Sir Michael Spicer of the 1922 Committee
with the election result
Iain Duncan Smith
makes his acceptance speech
Internet links:

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more UK Politics stories are at the foot of the page.

E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more UK Politics stories