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Thursday, 17 October, 2002, 14:50 GMT 15:50 UK
Michael Ancram

Date of birth

Political profile

One of the Conservative Party's few remaining active grandees, Michael Ancram has come successfully through a political career despite a series of electoral setbacks.

He has represented three quite different seats, holding the first (Berwickshire and East Lothian) for just 8 months in 1974, before returning representing Edinburgh South in 1979.

He eschewed his former mildly pro-devolution and pro-PR views, and became a junior Scottish Office minister, where he helped introduce the poll tax to Scotland and lost his seat again in 1987.

Returning again for the reliably non-marginal Devizes in 1992, he earned wide praise for his performance as a junior Northern Ireland minister.

When the Tories entered opposition, he was briefly constitutional spokesman before becoming party chairman, in which role he helped to run the Conservative's 2001 general election campaign.

He stood for the leadership following William Hague's resignation, on a platform of Eurosceptism and a rejection of calls for radical reform. He was the first candidate to be eliminated, and transferred his support to Iain Duncan Smith, who made him Deputy Leader and Shadow Foreign Secretary.

Upon the departure of Iain Duncan Smith as Leader of the Party, Michael Ancram was first to declare his support for Michael Howard. He subsequently retained a position in the Howard's Cabinet as Shadow Secretary of State for International Affairs, Shadow Foreign Secretary & Deputy Leader of the Party.

Contact

Constituency office: 01672 512675

office@devizesconservatives.org.uk

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