Promoted to the first division

The new model army: lawyers, a landowner, a commodity trader
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The Independent Online
William Hague's team, announced yesterday, contains a number of names that are unfamiliar outside Westminster:

ALAN DUNCAN, 40, is chief spin doctor. He first played a media role as one of three MPs chosen by Brian Mawhinney, the then party chairman, during the annual conference in 1995 to give edge to the Tories' press relations. Educated at Merchant Taylor's School and St John's, Oxford, where he was President of the Union, Duncan was a Kennedy scholar at Harvard University before making his fortune as an oil trader and commodity adviser to governments. Contested the safe Labour seat of Barnsley West in 1987 before landing the plum constituency of Rutland and Melton in 1992. When Hague came into the Commons in 1989 after a by-election, Duncan put him up at his home close by Parliament. He bought it from Westminster council under the "right to buy" scheme, and was obliged to resign as a parliamentary private secretary when details of the transaction were published. Likes fishing. Single.

MICHAEL ANCRAM, 51, takes a newly created and high-profile post as spokesman on constitutional affairs, covering Scotland, Wales and devolution. The son and heir of a marquis, he is a clubbable lawyer with a razor-sharp mind. Tipped for cabinet position after he performed brilliantly as political affairs minister at the Northern Ireland Office under Sir Patrick Mayhew. Educated at Christ Church, Oxford and Edinburgh University, he was called to the Scottish bar in 1970. He is unique in the Commons as a three-times "retread", having been MP for Edinburgh and East Lothian for six months in 1974, and Edinburgh South (where he beat Gordon Brown) from 1979 to 1987. He returned to Westminster as MP for Devizes, Wiltshire, in 1992. He was a minister in the Scottish Office in the Eighties, then a columnist with The Daily Telegraph. Ancram is married to Lady Jane Fitzalan-Howard, daughter of the Duke of Norfolk and they have two daughters. A landowner who carries his status lightly, he brought "bottom" to Hague's campaign. One of the few members of the centre-left to emerge well from the leadership change.

JOHN MAPLES, 54, the shadow Secretary of State for Health, was in the Hague campaign from the very beginning, seldom leaving his side. Before the leadership election, he was best known for the damning report on the government's performance he wrote during his time as deputy chairman of the Conservative Party. Educated at Marlborough College, and Downing College, Cambridge, he went to Harvard Business School. A barrister and business consultant, Maples entered the Commons for Lewisham West in 1983 amid predictions of a brilliant career, becoming Economic Secretary to the Treasury in 1990. Lost his seat in 1992, but got back in May at Stratford- on-Avon. He is married with one son.

FRANCIS MAUDE, 43, son of the late Lord Maude of Stratford-on-Avon (formerly the Tory MP Angus Maude) is a "dry" Conservative who threw his weight behind Hague after returning to the Commons last month. Educated at Abingdon School and Corpus Christi, Cambridge, and a lawyer, he was elected MP for Warwickshire North in 1983. Rose swiftly to become Financial Secretary to the Treasury in 1990 but lost his marginal seat in 1992. He returned for the safe Tory constituency of Horsham, Sussex at the general election. He is married, with one son and two daughters.

IAIN DUNCAN SMITH, 43, is the first of the 1992 intake to make the Shadow Cabinet, despite his support for John Redwood in the early rounds. A right-winger who inherited Lord Tebbit's Chingford constituency, he showed his toughness by holding out against government whips during Maastricht legislation over which he was a consistent rebel. His appointment to social security affairs ensures that Peter Lilley's legacy of right-wing reform goes to a kindred spirit. Educated at a cadet school and Sandhurst, Duncan Smith has a military background and is married with four children. His appointment caused the shadow cabinet announcements to be delayed because he first had to be tracked down at Ascot. Eventually he was contacted by Tannoy.

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