Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Fox expected to address Chamber

Tory contender to visit Gib

Dr Liam Fox - Conservative Shadow Foreign SecretaryShadow foreign secretary Dr Liam Fox who has joined the battle for the leadership of the Conservative Party is expected to address the Gibraltar Chamber of Commerce's annual dinner in a fortnight.

Dr Fox formally launched his bid to succeed Michael Howard yesterday.

He told The News of the World this weekend:

“I am the only candidate who is going into this contest with a positive vision of the future.

I’m 43. I’ve been a minister and a Conservative Party chairman. I can provide a leadership that is relevant to all sections of the party and can reach out to our younger members and MPs.

I would not be standing if I did not think I could win.

Instead of reaching inside ourselves we need to remind the country we are the natural party of government."

The former GP, whose grandfathers were both miners, argued that his background meant he could appeal to ordinary voters.

“I am from a family that was a Thatcherite success story so I know what it is like to live under a successful Conservative government."

Kenneth Clarke QC MP - Member of Parliament for Rushcliffe and the overwhelming choice of ordinary voters for leader of the Conservative Party!Meanwhile, Kenneth Clarke is the overwhelming choice of ordinary voters for leader of the Conservative Party, according to a poll released yesterday.

The poll for BBC2’s Newsnight found 40% of those questioned thought Clarke would make the best leader for the party - four times as many as the bookies’ favourite David Davis, who claimed the support of just 10%. And the poll suggested that Mr Davis, known as a hardliner on the right of the party, might actually drive voters away from the Tories.

Some 10% of those quizzed said they would be less likely to vote Conservative if Davis was at the helm, against just 7% who said he would make them more likely to back the party.

There was little sign of support for any other members of the crowded list of potential candidates to replace Michael Howard in the leadership contest expected this autumn.

“Young pretender" David Cameron and former Foreign Secretary Sir Malcolm Rifkind were picked by just 4% as the best future leader, with 3% plumping for shadow foreign secretary Liam Fox and 2% for shadow trade and industry secretary David Willetts.

Related Link:

BBC2 Newsnight poll

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