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Wednesday, 25 July, 2001, 18:40 GMT 19:40 UK
Tory hopefuls take to hustings
Iain Duncan Smith
Mr Duncan Smith set his stall out as a green Tory
The two remaining contenders for the Conservative Party leadership have both taken to the hustings at a private meeting of the party's National Convention.

Iain Duncan Smith and Ken Clarke appeared in succession in front of around 200 party chairs and activists in Westminster.

Their appearance followed calls from Tory frontbenchers for quotas for women and ethnic minorities to appear on the short-lists to become parliamentary candidates.

Earlier in the day Mr Duncan Smith set out his policies on the environment, saying green policies were a natural area for Conservatives to gather support.

Winning ways

At the meeting former chancellor Ken Clarke warned that if the Tories were to become electable again they must become more inclusive and they must re-engage with the public on bread and butter issues.

He said: "We must retreat from moving out even further into our political factions and create a broader-based support for the Conservative Party".


What happens to our environment is crucial to our belief

Iain Duncan Smith
Although the two men are separated by their wildly differing views on the euro - Mr Clarke for, Mr Duncan Smith against - they both agreed the Tories must re-take the political centre ground.

Issuing a call for greater participation in the party from women and ethnic minorities Mr Duncan Smith also called for the reform of public services, saying there should be an end to the state monopoly on the provision of health care.

The two men spoke after shadow cabinet office minister Andrew Lansley and shadow minister for women Theresa May said the next Conservative leader must introduce quotas for women and ethnic minorities on candidate short-lists - although they stopped short of calling for all women shortlists.

Duncan Smith goes green

Earlier in the day Mr Duncan Smith said that environmental issues are "natural political territory" for the Tories.

The speech was welcomed by Charles Secrett, Director of Friends of the Earth, who said the Tory leadership contest was "an important springboard" for new thinking in the party.

Among his proposals Mr Duncan Smith suggested incentives to energy companies prepared to bear the cost of installing PV roof tiles on British homes, to help provide solar polar.

Margaret Thatcher had been the first to bring the environment into the mainstream of British politics, he claimed, and had been the first of the G7 leaders to put global warming on the international agenda.

He said: "As Conservatives, we naturally look to preserve and indeed to improve the environment as we hand it on to our children and our children's children.

"What happens to our environment is crucial to our belief."

But he warned: "People's best intentions are defeated if doing the right thing actually makes them worse off."

And he said that the role of government was to align people's best intentions with their self interests.


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