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EDITIONS
Thursday, 13 September, 2001, 15:25 GMT 16:25 UK
How the leaders came and went
Faces of the Conservative Party leadership: William Hague, Sir Edward Heath, Baroness Thatcher, John Major
BBC News Online brings you archive footage of the changes in Conservative Party leadership over the past quarter century.


Hague steps down

William Hague resigns as leader of the Conservative party
William Hague resigns as leader of the Conservative party

In a dramatic statement outside Conservative Central Office in Westminster, William Hague said he would stand down as soon as a successor had been chosen. "No man is indispensable. No man is more important than the party," he said.

 Click here to watch William Hague's resignation speech


Hague's 'clean slate'

William Hague is the youngest party leader the Tories have ever had
William Hague is the youngest party leader the Tories have ever had

Beating off competition from Ken Clarke and Michael Howard, William Hague became the youngest Tory leader at the age of 36. He pledged to hold "no grudges"-and said the party was starting with "a clean slate."

 Click here to watch a report on Hague's leadership victory from the BBC's Robin Oakley


'Time to get off the stage'

John Major quits as party leader as Labour win the 1997 election
John Major quits as party leader as Labour win the 1997 election

In June 1995, stung by criticism of his leadership, John Major took the unprecedented step for a British prime minister of resigning as head of his party, forcing a leadership vote. Although he won, the party failed to unite behind him and Mr Major stepped down after Labour swept to power in 1997.

 Click here to watch John Major's parting comments


Major takes over

Margaret Thatcher watches from a window as John Major is heralded new party leader
Margaret Thatcher watches from a window as John Major is heralded new party leader

John Major became Prime Minister after Mrs Thatcher failed to see off Michael Heseltine and Douglas Hurd in the first round of voting. He said his aim was to win the next general election - and he succeeded.

 Click here to watch John Major pay tribute to Mrs Thatcher


End of the Thatcher era

Margaret Thatcher makes her farewell speech outside Downing Street
Margaret Thatcher makes her farewell speech outside Downing Street

Margaret Thatcher ousted Edward Heath in 1975 - and she was brought down by a challenge from Michael Heseltine. It was an amazing turn of events after 11 years in Downing Street - and it paved the way for John Major in 1990.

 Click here to watch Margaret Thatcher's parting speech


Political roller coaster

Edward Heath lost to Margaret Thatcher in 1975
Edward Heath lost to Margaret Thatcher in 1975

The contest to lead the Conservative Party has been marked by drama and colour over the decades. In this report, Jeremy Vine looks at the race to succeed John Major - and traces the contests roots back to Edward Heath's bitter battle with Margaret Thatcher.

 Click here to watch Jeremy Vine's report



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