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Candidate Interviews
 Quote unquote: Ken Clarke
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He is an unrepentant beer-drinker and cigar smoker
He is an unrepentant beer-drinker and cigar smoker

Clarke on Clarke

"I am very grateful to my parliamentary colleagues for giving me the privilege of going forward and I look forward to starting to lead the party in September."

"I am sorry to upset my colleagues by saying we wasted four years in opposition, but if you do get so badly defeated as a party you do have to face up to some painful facts and you do have to change." On the Conservatives Party's 2001 election defeat

'What I am proposing is a more relaxed approach to opposition than we have had in the past. I can't help observing that with the last shadow cabinet you were not allowed to join unless you were a very, very hardline Eurosceptic."

"Conservatives should all be social liberals, accepting personal liberty to choose different lifestyles and welcoming the cultural diversity of modern Britain."

"I cannot remember a time in opposition - I am talking about the last four years - when we have done less work on policy and more on slogans. But because of my European views I wasn't allowed to participate."

"I shan't lose my paunch. I like my relaxed lifestyle. I like food. Because of my relaxed lifestyle I haven't suffered from the stress my colleagues do. I seem able to outlast them all!"

Others on Clarke

"The kind of politician who will cross a road in order to get into a fight." Lord (Douglas) Hurd

"The thinking man's lager lout." Former ministerial colleague Tristan Garel Jones

"We feel that an overweight smoker would send out the right signals." Smokers' rights group Forest, backing Ken Clarke's leadership bid






Audio/Video Clips
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All five candidates head-to-head on Question Time
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Ken Clarke finally ends the speculation and joins the race, June 2001
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Ken Clarke makes his mind up - but keeps his decision secret, June 2001
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The pro-euro Clarke explains why he joined Tony Blair in backing Britain in Europe, October 1999
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The former chancellor refuses to serve in Hague’s shadow cabinet, summer 1997
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