Redwood takes to the road

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The Independent Online
John Redwood is planning to bounce back after being slapped down by William Hague by spearheading a Tory roadshow on the risks facing Britain over the single currency.

The shadow trade and industry secretary, who was forced to withdraw critical comments about the City of London honouring Chancellor Helmut Kohl, will begin a tour on Monday in Sunderland. What is certain to be dubbed the Redwood Euro-sceptic roadshow has dates set for Newcastle, Edinburgh, Reading, Birmingham, Manchester and Exeter.

Mr Hague's approval for the leading Euro-sceptic to take a tour on the single currency will dismay pro-euro "grandees" of the party led by Michael Heseltine and Kenneth Clarke, who are holding a pro-Emu seminar at the Commons next month with business leaders.

Mr Hague today will tell Tory councillors at a conference in London that he is seeking a change of culture in the party in favour of local government. Criticising his predecessors, Lady Thatcher and John Major, he will say: "For too long we treated local government, local government elections and local councillors as though they didn't matter. We spent too much time reorganising local government and not enough time campaigning for it."