Hague picks right-wingers

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The Independent Online
William Hague, the Conservative leader, confirmed the party's move to the right yesterday when key appointments to his new shadow Cabinet went to Eurosceptics.

The pro-Europeans who joined his new team will be asked this week to sign up to the shadow Cabinet's line that it will oppose the single currency for the next 10 years.

Most are expected to agree reluctantly although there may be an attempt to soften the line. One pro-European backbencher called the new team a "pretty appalling line-up" which represented "Thatcher's final victory". Among the surprises was the return of Sir Norman Fowler, the former Cabinet minister and party chairman, who will be spokesman for Environment, Transport and the Regions.

But most appointments underscored the pre-eminence of the right. Brian Mawhinney, who took much of the blame for the Tories' election defeat, returns as shadow Home Secretary.

Peter Lilley, the new shadow Chancellor, has been given responsibility for reviewing party policy across the board. Ian Duncan Smith, a Eurosceptic and supporter of John Redwood, became the first member of the 1992 intake to join the frontbench. He becomes social security spokesman. David Heathcoat- Amory, who resigned from John Major's government over Europe, becomes shadow chief secretary.

Pro-Europeans are represented, but not in key economic portfolios. Michael Ancram, a member of Mr Hague's campaign team, will be the spokesman on constitutional affairs. His main responsibility will be the Government's proposals on devolution and spokesmen below him will shadow Scotland and Wales.

One senior source told why Mr Hague had decided against appointing separate spokesmen for Scotland and Wales: "If the Labour Party policy is put into practice there is no justification for the post. We are not going to shadow something we do not believe deserves to exist."

David Curry, Mr Clarke's campaign manager, has been given the agriculture, fisheries and food portfolio, and Alastair Goodlad, another one-nation Tory, will shadow international development. Another left-winger, Sir George Young, has the defence portfolio.

Among the new faces are Francis Maude, the former minister, who lost his seat in the 1992 election and who will shadow the National Heritage department. John Maples, another "retread", is health spokesman.

Mr Hague spent yesterday in Scotland, fulfilling a pledge he made to activists while campaigning north of the border in the leadership contest to visit there on day one if he won.