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Thursday, 23 August, 2001, 07:42 GMT 08:42 UK
Tories: Who's backing whom?
Iain Duncan Smith and Ken Clarke
The winner should be known on 12 September
As their battle for the votes of the Conservative Party membership hots up, BBC News Online looks at major players who have so far declared for Kenneth Clarke or Iain Duncan Smith to be next party leader.

Backers for Ken Clarke

  • Former Tory prime minister John Major: "I think Ken Clarke is the best option for ensuring that we win elections."

    John Major
    John Major praised Ken Clarke's experience

  • Shadow home secretary Ann Widdecombe signed a statement saying: "Ken is the leader Labour most fear".

  • Former Conservative deputy prime minister Lord (Michael) Heseltine: "Unquestionably Ken Clarke is the man" to help Tories win back power.

  • Sir Clive Thompson, chief executive of Rentokil and former CBI president: Mr Clarke is "not a single issue" candidate.

  • Chris Patten, former Hong Kong governor, called for a "moderate" voice to take the party back to the middle ground.

  • Conservative vice-chairman Steve Norris: "Ken can help the Tories present a much more intelligent position on Europe."

  • Former foreign secretary Sir Malcolm Rifkind: "Without wishing to ignore the difficulties, I am convinced that Kenneth Clarke is, by far, the right person."

    Other supporters include former agriculture minister John Gummer; former party chairman Sir Norman Fowler; former foreign secretary Douglas Hurd; former armed forces minister Nicholas Soames: former health secretary Stephen Dorrell; former education and employment secretary Gillian Shephard; former transport secretary Sir George Young; former treasury minister John Maples; shadow Northern Ireland secretary Andrew Mackay; MP and political journalist Boris Johnson.

Backers for Iain Duncan Smith

  • Former prime minister Lady Thatcher: Iain Duncan Smith would restore the Tories' "faith and fortunes", while Ken Clarke would be a "disaster".
    Lady Thatcher
    Lady Thatcher says Clarke would be a "disaster"

  • Departing party leader William Hague: "I fear the alternative to his election would be for our party to slide back into the divisions over Europe we have done so much to move away from."

  • Michael Ancram, who was eliminated from the leadership contest: "I believe him to be the candidate who can best unite our party, who can best reassert our core Conservative principles and who is best likely to deliver the changes which can create the springboard to victory at the next election."

  • Shadow health secretary Liam Fox, along with fellow MPs David Heathcoat-Amory and Oliver Letwin, wrote a letter to the Times supporting Mr Duncan Smith "because of his opposition to the euro and the extension of the powers of Brussels".

  • Stalwart of the Tory Right Lord Tebbit: Mr Duncan Smith is "a remarkably normal family man with children".

  • Former home secretary Michael Howard: "He should not be underestimated".

  • MP for Wokingham John Redwood, who stood for party leadership in 1995 and 1997: Iain Duncan Smith because he is "opposing more European government."

    Other supporters include former Chancellor Lord (Norman) Lamont; shadow Commons leader Angela Browning; former education minister Michael Fallon; MP Eric Pickles; MP Sir Teddy Taylor; defeated leadership candidate David Davis; transport spokesman Bernard Jenkin; senior Tory vice-chairman Tim Collins.

Recent stories

The final two


See also:

19 Aug 01 | UK Politics
Clarke 'not surprised' by Hague snub
22 Aug 01 | UK Politics
Major boost for Clarke
18 Aug 01 | UK Politics
Hague backs Duncan Smith
17 Aug 01 | UK Politics
Lib Dems welcome 'wipe out' threat
16 Aug 01 | UK Politics
Clarke: I'm best chance for Tories
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