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Last Updated: Wednesday, 7 December 2005, 18:45 GMT
Hague back in Cameron reshuffle
William Hague
Mr Hague has been out of frontline politics since 2001
New Tory leader David Cameron has begun naming his frontline team, bringing in ex-leader William Hague and keeping David Davis as shadow home secretary.

Mr Hague becomes shadow foreign secretary, while his predecessor Liam Fox moves to the defence brief.

Mr Cameron's close ally George Osborne stays as shadow chancellor, while Francis Maude remains party chairman.

But Sir Malcolm Rifkind has quit the shadow cabinet after being overlooked for the foreign affairs brief.

'Punch and Judy'

Earlier, Mr Cameron, accused Tony Blair of being "stuck in the past".

The Tory leader, who says he wants to move away from "Punch and Judy" politics, said during prime minister's questions that he would back Mr Blair's controversial education reforms.

New Tory leader David Cameron, pictured in the Commons

But, after differing on selection policy, he added: "I want to talk about the future... you were the future once."

Mr Blair, facing his fifth Tory leader, said he welcomed a "new consensus" but called the Tory plans "regressive".

Mr Cameron also challenged the prime minister on climate change.

The 39-year-old follows John Major, William Hague, Iain Duncan Smith and Michael Howard in taking on Mr Blair.

Mr Blair's official spokesman said: "As far as the prime minister is concerned, it was a normal day."

Democracy task force

Later, Mr Cameron announced the setting up of a social justice policy group to tackle Britain's "broken society", run by former Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith.

With our support you know there is no danger of losing these education reforms in a parliamentary vote
David Cameron

This would deal with drugs, family breakdown, crime and poor public spaces, he said.

The BBC has learned that former chancellor Ken Clarke has been asked to head up a new democracy task force.

This will examine the independence of the civil service, the role of political advisers, the proper working of Cabinet government, and further reform of the House of Lords.

Meanwhile, Sir Malcolm Rifkind, who only returned to the Commons this May after an eight-year absence, stands down as shadow pensions secretary.

He said: "I informed David that, in the event of him becoming leader of the party, I would be very happy to concentrate on foreign policy from within the shadow cabinet if that would be helpful.

Iain Duncan Smith
Iain Duncan Smith in the Commons

"If, however, he had other plans in regard to this and other senior positions in the shadow cabinet, it would be my intention to work for the Party from the backbenches."

Sir Malcolm served as foreign secretary under John Major.

Mr Cameron became leader on Tuesday, having beaten Mr Davis in a ballot of Tory party members nationwide. Mr Cameron received 134,446 votes to his rival's 64,398.

On the same day, he appointed his chief whip - West Derbyshire MP Patrick McLoughlin. He replaces David Maclean, who has decided to return to the back benches.

See David Cameron's first efforts against Tony Blair


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