John Redwood refuses to be silenced by Tory critics

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John Redwood's supporters made it clear yesterday that the former cabinet minister will not be silenced, in spite of attacks on him by Tory MPs and the former Foreign Secretary, Lord Howe. "He has no intention of being brain dead," one of Mr Redwood's friends said.

Lord Howe yesterday attacked Mr Redwood with a warning to the Prime Minister not to allow the Tories to be turned into a Euro-sceptic party for the general election. He said the deal between John Major and Kenneth Clarke, the Chancellor, over the Government's "wait-and-see" policy for the European single currency faced a serious threat from the "new right" inside the Tory party, led by Mr Redwood. "Their salami tactics are well-known. Slice by slice, they will seek to destroy John Major's room for manoeuvre and so to convert the Conservatives into an anti-EMU party. We cannot and must not allow that to happen," he said.

Lord Howe's warning in the Financial Times followed a series of attacks by Tory MPs, including a call to "shut up" from Sir Julian Critchley after Mr Redwood spoke out during a tour of the United States. But those close to Mr Redwood said last night that he intends to carry on campaigning for election victory with radical policies. "John Redwood speaks for the heart and soul of the Conservative Party while he takes apart the contradictions of new Labour. That is where his agenda lies," said one.