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Tuesday, 22 October, 2002, 16:11 GMT 17:11 UK
Francis Maude
Francis Maude

Date of birth

4 July 1953

Political profile

Francis Maude, the son of former Conservative minister Angus Maude, has twice climbed the ladder of political success, only to find his progress arrested.

He was first elected as MP for North Warwickshire in 1983, and soon found promotion, becoming a whip in 1985 and then becoming a minister at the DTI.

Stints also followed at the Foreign Office and the Treasury, and he made his name as an extremely able and intellectually inclined minister with strong Thatcherite credentials - he co-authored the "No Turning Back" pamphlet.

However, he lost his seat in 1992, and watched the last years of the Major government from the City.

He returned to the Commons in 1997 and immediately entered the Shadow Cabinet.

His stint as Shadow Chancellor was not enormously successful.

Critics felt he lacked the Commons presence to trouble Gordon Brown, and after Michael Portillo's return he became Shadow Foreign Secretary.

Here, his invective against the evils of Europe were undermined by the fact that he himself had signed the Maastricht Treaty on behalf of the British government.

After the 2001 election, he managed Michael Portillo's bid for the Tory leadership.

Following Mr Portillo's ejection from the contest, Mr Maude announced he would return to the backbenches to argue the case for party reform.

He was instrumental in setting up Policy Exchange, a group dedicated to re-examining traditional Tory values in a more socially-liberal light.

Contact

Commons office: 020 7219 2494

forsyths@parliament.uk

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