Heseltine: Tories must return to 'One Nation' values to win

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Moderate tories told William Hague on the eve of the party conference yesterday that he would not win power with his brand of right-wing populism and urged him to adopt a "One Nation" approach.

Moderate tories told William Hague on the eve of the party conference yesterday that he would not win power with his brand of right-wing populism and urged him to adopt a "One Nation" approach.

Although Mr Hague has made the running on Europe, law and order and asylum, moderates, led by Michael Heseltine, the former deputy prime minister, said these issues would not decide the next election. Mr Heseltine told the BBC's World at One that Mr Hague should "base his appeal ... on classic One Nation Conservatism. His task is not just to enthuse the activists ... but to bring back that very large number of people who have left the Conservatives and still not come back."

He urged the Tory leader to recall Kenneth Clarke, former chancellor, and other pro-Europeans to the Shadow Cabinet.

In interviews and a pamphlet published today, Damian Green, a frontbench Tory environment spokesman, challenged Mr Hague's strategy,warning that attacking gays did not make the party more attractive. He also called for "big efforts to make sure our language on race and our policies on race are extremely sensitive".

Mr Hague, who ruled out a recall for Mr Clarke, will answer Tory critics today by launching new policies to revive inner cities. Arriving in Bournemouth, he said the next election was "wide open". But he suffered a setback when the latest opinion poll put Labour six points ahead of his party.

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