Portillo says Tories must find a voice
Tuesday 10 November 1998
Casting doubt on the leadership so far shown by Mr Hague, Mr Portillo warns that Gordon Brown, the Chancellor, could whittle away opposition to Britain joining the single currency unless a lead is taken against the euro.
"Until we provide that leadership, there is a real danger that the majority against joining European monetary union will be whittled away by Gordon Brown's inglorious, but corrosive, argument that British membership is inevitable," Mr Portillo says in an article for The Daily Telegraph.
And in a sideswipe at Mr Hague, the former cabinet minister says that the Conservative Party can become a credible force again only by "showing it has something to say".
Mr Portillo writes: "Economic union is not the only question on which it must find its voice, but it is the most important issue for Britain since the last war and the electorate deserves a proper debate."
Mr Hague's failure to make a bigger impact has fanned speculation that Mr Portillo, who is rebuilding his support since losing his seat at the last general election, is waiting in the wings to take over from Mr Hague, if he can get a Commons seat in a by-election.
The anxiety within the Tory leadership about Mr Hague's lack of impact also surfaced at the weekend in reports that the Conservative Party is poised to carry out a shake-up of the party's press operation, sidelining Mr Hague's press officer, Gregor Mackay, by hiring Jonathan Holborrow, former editor of the Mail on Sunday for a six-figure sum.
Pro-European Tory MPs including Michael Heseltine believe Mr Portillo would seek to take the Conservatives further to the right, by steering the party towards a policy in favour of eventual withdrawal from the European Union.
- 1 Snoop Dogg and Jared Leto buy a stake in Reddit as A-list invests $50m
- 2 Prince held a Facebook Q&A and this is the only question he answered
- 3 'F*ck it, I quit': KTVA reporter Charlo Greene quits live on air in spectacular fashion
- 4 35,000 walrus gather ashore on north-west Alaska beach 'for a rest'
- 5 A teacher speaks out: 'I'm effectively being forced out of a career that I wanted to love'
Snoop Dogg and Jared Leto buy a stake in Reddit as A-list invests $50m
Prince held a Facebook Q&A and this is the only question he answered
Brad Pitt, on the moment he completely lost his temper with Clint Eastwood's son
Cheryl Cole officially the 'most dangerous celebrity' on the internet
Ebola virus in the US: What are the symptoms, what is it and is there a cure?
Exclusive: 'Putin's Russia has been my biggest regret,' says Nato's outgoing Secretary General
The Osborne Ultimatum: Chancellor’s benefits freeze bombshell will affect ten million households
There’s no excuse for Dave Lee Travis’s behaviour, but we need to keep a sense of proportion
Should gay sex be illegal? 16% of Britons think so
Mark Reckless becomes second Tory MP to defect to Ukip in a month
Benefits 'smart cards' plan revealed by Iain Duncan Smith to stop claimants spending welfare money on alcohol
- < Previous
- Next >
£18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped OTE: SThree: SThree Group have been well ...
£18000 - £23000 per annum + OTE: SThree: Real Staffing Group is seeking Traine...
£120 - £140 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: We have an exciting opportunity...
Competitive: Randstad Education Manchester: SEN Teacher urgently required for ...