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Wednesday, 9 October, 2002, 10:48 GMT 11:48 UK
Brain behind new Tory policies
Former Chancellor Nigel Lawson - a link with the past?

The Tories have been making much of the connection between their new policies and those of the party in the 1980s.

While they hesitate to invoke the name of Thatcher, they are happy to revive memories of those glory days.

The party says now is the time to reform public services in the way the Thatcher government reformed the economy.

And policies such as the extension of the "right to buy" is a clear link with the Thatcherism of the 80s.

Clark: 'Brilliant' policy man
It is not surprising. The brains behind the 25 new policies being unveiled at the Tory conference this week belong to Dr Greg Clark, the 35-year-old head of the policy unit in Conservative Central Office (CCO).

He has long been an influential figure in the Tory party and was cited by Margaret Thatcher's Chancellor Nigel Lawson as an influence on his own policies.

Speech writer

And the policy unit itself is modelled on the very same operation that was created by Lady Thatcher during her reign.

Dr Clark is the classic backroom boy. He has been around CCO for around a year and is seen by his colleagues as a good man to work with.

He is said to be friendly and, you've guessed it, "brilliant".

Hague appointed Clark to key role
He was first talent-spotted by the former leader William Hague in 2001 and worked on the election campaign.

He previously worked as political adviser to Ian Lang when he was president of the Board of Trade, before becoming head of commercial policy at the BBC for four years.

New manifesto

He currently holds a seat on Westminster council and has a doctorate in economics from the London School of Economics.

His work on the 25 new policy areas will be brought together in a new document to be published at the end of the Tory conference.

While shadow ministers insist it is still open for revision, most accept that it will form the backbone of the next general election manifesto.

The underlying theme throughout the document will be of devolving power back to the people.

And they don't like to spell it out, but it is also seen as a continuation of the Thatcher revolution.


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09 Oct 02 | Politics
08 Oct 02 | Politics
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