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Saturday, June 6, 1998 Published at 02:27 GMT 03:27 UK

UK Politics

Hague backs Scottish Parliament

William Hague will be hoping his party recovers from its General election wipeout in Scotland

The leader of the Conservative Party, William Hague, is to urge his party to accept the Scottish Parliament.

The BBC's Jon Sopel says Hague is telling his party to stop fighting the last war
His rallying call to the Scottish Conservative Party conference will be to look to the future and not fight the battles of the past.

Mr Hague will tell supporters, who have gathered in Glasgow, to accept the party "lost the battle" to oppose the establishment of a Scottish Parliament.

From now, he will tell the party's workers, that parliament will become the focus for political debate in Scotland.

Mr Hague is expected to say his party owes it to supporters and to the people of Scotland to make that parliament a success.

Underlining the Conservative Party tradition of cementing the union, he believes this issue will become of paramount importance.

Mr Hague will tell the conference that Scottish people voted for a Scottish Parliament within the union of the United Kingdom, and his party is the only one committed to making it work that way.

Other parties attacked

Mr Hague is also expected to attack the other main parties, singling out the Scottish National Party as belonging "in the Jurassic Park of political ideas".

There are believed to be differences within Tory ranks over whether or not to support the principle of an independence referendum early in the life of the new Scottish Parliament.

Mr Hague did not rule this out, but told reporters he was not convinced of the case for a referendum.

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