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EDITIONS
Monday, 14 October, 2002, 10:52 GMT 11:52 UK
The 'quiet man' hits the road
Iain Duncan Smith
Politicians should 'trust' the people of Britain
Iain Duncan Smith will take his "quiet man" image on a three week national tour of the UK to underline his efforts to make reform of the public services the party's top priority.

He takes to the road on Monday, just three days after the party's conference in Bournemouth ended with the announcement of 25 new policies and the message of "trusting people".


The tour isn't just about going to inner city areas, it will cover crime blighted towns the length and breadth of Britain

Conservative party spokesman
The tour, which kicks off in Manchester and Birmingham, comes after Michael Portillo restated that he had no desire to become party leader.

Mr Duncan Smith hopes people will tell him how their projects are solving problems.

He also plans to explain to them the ways in which a Conservative government will build upon these initiatives.

Moss Side visit

Mr Duncan Smith devoted a fair chunk of his end of conference speech to the philosophy that "if we as politicians do not show the people of Britain that we trust them to lead their own lives... they will never again trust us".

He is set to take the message that people should be trusted to choose schools, hospitals, to look after their families and to run their businesses.

Iain Duncan Smith with a schoolgirl
Mr Duncan Smith is trying to soften the Tories' image
His tour, which continues until 1 November, will take in 17 different projects over 10 days and covers Cardiff, Eastbourne, Oxford, Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire, Northamptonshire, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Devon, Cheshire and West Yorkshire.

His first stop is Ducie High School in Manchester's Moss Side which is set to close at the end of the academic year.

Mr Duncan Smith will later visit a project that has removed graffiti, rubbish and tended to gardens and caused crime to decrease by 45% in the Swinton Valley area of Manchester.

New ideas

On Tuesday, Mr Duncan Smith will drop in to Small Heath secondary school in Birmingham, where children have benefited from good leadership and management.

Senior staff at the school have provided pupils who were most likely to have been failed by the system with a high quality education.

Mr Duncan Smith will then visit Parents United, in Handsworth, Birmingham - a group concerned that children are being lured into gang-related gun crime.

The organisation is putting together a business plan, wants to develop a mentoring system for youngsters and an accommodation scheme for young mothers and local community guidance, support and training.

'Crime blighted towns'

A Conservative Party spokesman said: "The idea is we will be finding out what people's views are on the ground and Iain will bring these back to Parliament.

"The tour isn't just about going to inner city areas, it will cover crime blighted towns the length and breadth of Britain.

"In Manchester 1,000 young people went into this deprived estate and cleaned up the graffiti and got the parks back from the drug dealers.

"In Birmingham, Iain will see a project where parents have attempted to reclaim the streets of the area that have suffered badly from gun crime.

"The tour will be a demonstration that we are prepared to leave behind the Westminster village to find out how the policies we outlined can help people across the country."

During his conference address, Mr Duncan Smith warned his detractors that he would not waver in his mission to transform his party.

He said his opponents should not underestimate "the determination of the quiet man".

That stance won the backing of Michael Portillo, who said he now had no personal desire to lead the party and stressed that Mr Duncan Smith's conference performance showed he was taking the Tories down the correct, reforming, road.

See also:

13 Oct 02 | Politics
11 Oct 02 | Politics
11 Oct 02 | Politics
11 Oct 02 | Archive
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