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Monday, 20 December, 1999, 12:25 GMT
Woodward in his own words

Former Tory MP Shaun Woodward says his defection to Labour feels like a political homecoming. However, some of his new colleagues have questioned where his allegiance really lies. His public statements show he has had his differences with both parties.

On defecting from the Tories - It's not me who left my party. My party left me. By joining new Labour, I feel I am coming home (20 December 1999).

On being a Tory - I am a Conservative because I believe that, at its best, Conservatism is the most effective way in which to create real opportunity, real jobs and a better way of life for our country (July 1997).

On New Labour - The Labour party, this new Labour party, may have abandoned the heady aspirations it had when it last enjoyed such a substantial majority in 1945. It may be extremely arrogant and smug at the moment. Collectivism has been banished, but new Labour is no longer the intellectual powerhouse for socialist beliefs. Today is not the brave new world to which the electors looked forward or the new Jerusalem that they were led to expect (July 1997).

On supporting the repeal of Section 28 - We have a choice of the kind of society we wish to build. Is it one in which we will value individuals because of their true worth, regardless of their race, gender or sexuality? Or is it one where we will perpetuate prejudice and intolerance? (3 December 1999)

On his sacking as shadow London minister - I do not wish to "promote" homosexuality. I simply want a decent environment for young people to grow up in and not be bullied because of their private sexual orientation (3 December 1999).

On his efforts to reach a compromise with the Tory leadership - I did everything I could. All I needed was time. What little time I was given, frankly, wasn't enough (3 December 1999).

On supporting an equal age of consent - It does seem to me to be something of a double standard when we can give people this enormous responsibility at 16, allowing them to be the father of a child and yet we are not able to say you are able to choose your own relationship if it happens to be with someone of their own sex (February 1999).

On Tony Blair - Yesterday, in London, the prime minister let it be known that there was, he felt, no such thing as a north-south divide. Just three days before that, on Friday, he was in his constituency in the north and said, "We are not happy with the north-south divide." Which is right the answer that the prime minister gave in the north or the one that he gave in the south? (November 1999).

On Labour's mayor race - Whilst it is increasingly obvious that Downing Street will stop at nothing to secure the nomination of Frank Dobson, the Labour party should question the long-term damage that its campaign methods are having on the image of the office of the mayor of London (November 1999).

On Gordon Brown - The economy is in real peril. While the chancellor fiddles, the economy burns (June 1998).

On the arms-to-Africa affair - The foreign secretary talks of an ethical foreign policy. He should have an ethical policy of his own and resign (March 1999).

On the air traffic control privatisation - Although Labour told the country one thing before the election, once in power it does another thing, announcing in July this year that our air will indeed be for sale (October 1999).

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See also:
18 Dec 99 |  UK Politics
Tory star who jumped ship
19 Dec 99 |  UK Politics
Fallout grows over Tory turncoat
20 Dec 99 |  UK Politics
Sex change brother backs defecting MP
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