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Shadow Commons leader - Theresa May

Mrs May was the first woman to become party chairman, under the leadership of Iain Duncan Smith.

More recently she took up the culture and family portfolios - and in her new role she will plan Commons strategy against the government.

She is a keen advocate of positive action to recruit more women Tory candidates, although is not demanding all-women short lists.

She is on the committee that draws up the "priority list" of would-be MPs, half of which will be women and a "significant proportion" from ethnic minority backgrounds.

Her modernising efforts have also controversially included telling the Tories they were seen as the "nasty party".

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