Reports that William Hague had abandoned Tory hostility towards government plans to end the right of hereditary peers to sit and vote in the Lords were dismissed as "a very significant overstatement".
But a party spokesman said it was the new leader's private view that the Tory position should be reviewed, adding: "He's open-minded on that."
Conservative leaders do not have private views. If that is Mr Hague's view, made public as it was last night, then colleagues will have little alternative but to back him or repudiate him. However, they will not be happy. A similar difficulty was created yesterday by Peter Lilley, the shadow Chancellor, who said the Tories were now taking a "pragmatic" - open-minded - view on possible entry into a European single currency.Reuse content