BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX     

BBC News World Edition
 You are in: UK: Politics  
News Front Page
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
UK
England
N Ireland
Scotland
Wales
Politics
Education
Business
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
EDITIONS
Wednesday, 24 July, 2002, 08:12 GMT 09:12 UK
Davis supporters rally round
David Davis
Mr Davis was 'astounded' at briefings against him
Supporters of Conservative front bencher David Davis have hit back at claims he was opposed to modernising the party.

Mr Davis was sacked on Tuesday as party chairman and given a new job shadowing Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott.

There had been reports that Mr Davis lost favour because he had failed to drive through reforms to ensure the party had greater numbers of women and ethnic minority candidates.

And it was also suggested that Mr Davis was keeping his distance from Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith's team as he prepared to run for the leadership again.

Briefings

But his supporters say he had no plans to rock the boat and is preparing to take on his new role.

However, Mr Davis, who is on holiday in Florida, was said to be "astounded" by the ferocity of briefings against him, according to BBC political correspondent Norman Smith.

Supporters insist he was "instrumental" in attracting more women to the party and they blame his dismissal on supporters of former leadership candidate Michael Portillo.

Tory changes
Party chairman Theresa May
Tim Collins becomes transport spokesman
Tim Yeo gets trade and industry
John Whittingdale becomes culture spokesman
John Bercow moves to pensions
Howard Flight shadows the chief secretary to the Treasury
Former chairman David Davis shadows John Prescott in the Commons
John Hayes moves to rural affairs

One of Mr Davis's backers said "the little people have done him in", Radio 4's Today programme reported.

Mr Davis was replaced by Theresa May, making her the party's first woman chairman.

She defended Mr Davis's new position, which will deal with the onset of regionalisation.

"I think that the issue that John Prescott is dealing with is a significant and important issue for this country.

"And I think it is important that we have, in David Davis, somebody who will strongly campaign in favour of decentralisation and against this government's tendency to pull everything to the centre and to take away power from local communities," Mrs May told Today.

'Happy'

Among the changes announced in Mr Duncan Smith's shadow cabinet reshuffle was Tim Yeo to trade and industry and Tim Collins to transport.

Mr Duncan Smith said on Wednesday that he and Mr Davis had "spoken at length" about the former chairman's new role.

"David has been very happy to take the job I offered him," he said.

"That is a big job because it brings in a lot of the Cabinet Office areas as well as local government areas and the regions."

See also:

19 Jun 01 | Politics
13 Jul 01 | Politics
08 May 02 | Politics
23 Jul 02 | Politics
23 Jul 02 | Politics
24 Jul 02 | Politics
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


E-mail this story to a friend



© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes