People and Business: A Tory friend in need

TIM EGGAR, chief executive of Monument Oil and the Energy minister in the last Tory government, will be looking for a new full-time job following Monument's acquisition by Lasmo.

Mr Eggar, who retired as an MP in 1996 and became chairman of Monument in February last year, will remain as a non-executive director of the new oil combine. But how will he fill the rest of his time. How about, I suggested, running for leadership of the Conservative Party?

Mr Eggar dismissed such suggestions yesterday with a wry grin: "The one thing I am not going to do is go back into politics". He then added: "Anyway, I am full square behind William [Hague]."

Somehow, I don't think Mr Hague will find that terribly comforting ...