Duncan Smith Statements: 'I have the confidence of the grass roots'

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Iain Duncan Smith issued two statements yesterday announcing his intention to face a confidence vote.

In the first, he said: "All of you gathered will know that yesterday I called on the parliamentary party to end this ludicrous leadership speculation that has been going on for the past few weeks. I said to end it by Wednesday. I can therefore say today that I welcome and am pleased that we will have an opportunity to do that tomorrow.

"I will absolutely submit my name for a renewed mandate to lead the party to the general election, to lead it to the general election and to win.

"And I say to my colleagues who will be responsible for making this decision tomorrow that we have an unrivalled opportunity to take the fight to Labour at a time when they are failing and they are being seen to fail.

"We should not now let the Government off the hook by giving them this opportunity, by plunging ourselves into a fractious leadership election that could last months and give the Government an opportunity to escape proper scrutiny.

"Therefore, tomorrow I will address the '22 Committee, my colleagues, and urge them to renew that mandate for me to go forward, and to put an end once and for all to the speculation that has been sapping away at this party, so that we can, as the Opposition, deliver a blow to the Government and support British people, who will be concerned if we do anything else. We have a chance for them to take this Government to task and win the next election."

In the second statement, he said:"I know I have the confidence of the grass roots - and I look forward to their original election of me, and their continued support, being validated by my parliamentary colleagues. Then we can begin the campaign to win the next election."

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