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Friday, 14 September, 2001, 10:53 GMT 11:53 UK
Analysis: New Tory line-up
New Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith and wife Betsy
Duncan Smith has swiftly cast his frontbench team
Nick Assinder

New Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith lost no time in making his mark on his party.

Within hours of his victory he had appointed the vast majority of his shadow cabinet with key allies from the Eurosceptic right in the top jobs.

Former minister Michael Howard
Howard is from the old guard
His aides immediately insisted that the full shadow cabinet was balanced and "represents the broad spectrum" of the party.

And it is certainly the case that prominent members of the left - including Quentin Davies, Damian Green and Caroline Spelman - have been given senior jobs.

There are also a number of former Michael Portillo supporters in the top team, including Tim Yeo, David Willets, John Bercow and Liam Fox.

But, once Mr Portillo was defeated in the last round of the contest amongst MPs, the majority switched their support to Mr Duncan Smith.

Isolated and marginalised

So, of a shadow cabinet team of 25, by far the largest number are from the right or Eurosceptic wing of the party.

And, more importantly, the most senior jobs of party chairman, shadow chancellor, home secretary, foreign secretary, defence, works and pensions and trade and industry have all gone to right wingers.

The new leader's choices raised immediate fears from many on the left of the party that the Tories were now set on an uncompromisingly right wing, Eurosceptic path.

They believe there is a real danger that their wing of the party, particularly pro-Europeans, will find themselves isolated and marginalised.

There have even been suggestions that some might quit the party in protest, although that may be unnecessarily alarmist.

Mr Duncan Smith's supporters, however, point to the size of his victory and the large turnout to claim he has been given the clearest possible signal about which direction grassroots Tories want their party to go.

Old faces

There will undoubtedly be criticisms that there are so many "old faces" on the front bench, with particular surprise surrounding the appointment of former home secretary Michael Howard as shadow chancellor.

Some fear that will serve to remind voters of the old, John Major administration which was so roundly defeated in 1997.

But Tory officials also pointed out that only about a half of the new shadow cabinet served in the previous one.

There are also a number of social liberals included in the team which reflects Mr Duncan Smiths claims during the election campaign that he was determined to make the party inclusive.

Big challenge

Probably the biggest name missing from the team is that of former minister and key right winger John Redwood.

It has been claimed that he had expected to get the job of shadow chancellor but was only offered trade and industry and turned it down.

Former minister John Redwood
Redwood wanted shadow chancellor's job
The rumour seems to be supported by the fact that Mr Redwood has not been included in any of the jobs so far announced.

There have also been fears expressed that the new frontbench is lacking in the sort of voter-friendly, charismatic personalities needed to appeal to the wider public.

The big challenge facing Mr Duncan Smith now he has selected his top team is to press ahead with his pledge to reunite his warring party.

See also:

14 Sep 01 | UK Politics
New Tory team named
13 Sep 01 | UK Politics
Duncan Smith elected Tory leader
13 Sep 01 | UK Politics
Right wins battle for Tory hearts
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