Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

'New Conservatism' Must Mean an End to Bigotry, Says Portillo

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

'New Conservatism' Must Mean an End to Bigotry, Says Portillo

Article excerpt

Byline: PATRICK HENNESSY

TORY leadership candidate Michael Portillo today called on his party to end the years of "arrogance and bigotry" that have helped cost it millions of votes and cast it into the political wilderness, writes Patrick Hennessy.

The shadow chancellor, favourite to succeed William Hague, said he wanted to develop a "new Conservatism for a new age" to offer a real challenge to Tony Blair and Labour.

The party should stop arguing with itself about Europe and instead concentrate on the drive for better public services across the country, Mr Portillo said in an article in the Daily Telegraph.

His comments represent a plea for a firm closing of the door behind Mr Hague's concentration on policies such as detaining all asylum seekers on entry to Britain.

The party also suffered badly before the General Election with a row which saw Rightwing former MP John Townend claim Labour saw Britain as a "mongrel race".

Meanwhile, pro-euro former chancellor Kenneth Clarke again scored highly in an opinion poll - a survey by ICM in the Daily Mail suggested he was seen as the best leader by twice as many voters as any of the other four contenders. …

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