Pro-European Conservatives reacted furiously yesterday after Iain Duncan Smith, the new Tory leader, handed the top jobs in his Shadow Cabinet to Eurosceptic allies.
Mr Duncan Smith's hopes of uniting his party after a divisive leadership battle with Kenneth Clarke were undermined when moderate Tories accused him of making a decisive shift to the right when he appointed his frontbench team.
The four most senior figures in the Shadow Cabinet are all Eurosceptics – Michael Howard, the shadow Chancellor; Oliver Letwin, the shadow Home Secretary; David Davis, the Tory chairman; and Michael Ancram, the shadow Foreign Secretary and also appointed the party's deputy leader.
"It's a bad start," said one aide of Mr Clarke. "Iain has got to lead us back to the centre ground. He is a man of the right and he has shown it with these appointments. If he fails, it will be his failure, not ours."
Clarke allies had expected Mr Duncan Smith to be more conciliatory after achieving a clear victory. They welcomed his pledge to put public services at the top of the party's agenda but questioned whether such a right-wing team would want to fight Tony Blair for the political centre ground.
Ian Taylor, a leading Tory moderate, said: "Iain Duncan Smith has a clear victory within the Conservative Party and I fully recognise that. The problem is that the message on which he won within the party will not make an impact on the country as a whole. That is the issue he must address."
John Downes, the chairman of Basingstoke constituency Conservative Association and a Clarke backer, said that he had heard Mr Duncan Smith described as the "oblivion candidate". He said: "My real fear is that Iain Duncan Smith will lead us into the wilderness and we'll end up as the third party."
Sir Norman Fowler, a former Tory chairman, expressed "great sadness that we've turned our back on Ken Clarke".
The new Opposition team shows substantial changes, with 12 members of William Hague's Shadow Cabinet departing, including Michael Portillo, Francis Maude, Archie Norman and Ann Widdecombe. Mr Duncan Smith has rewarded several MPs who backed his leadership campaign, including Mr Davis and Mr Ancram, who rallied behind him when their own bids for the job failed. MPs noted that he had also promoted right-wing soulmates and personal friends.
The new faces include John Whittingdale, who becomes trade and industry spokesman after John Redwood turned down the post; Tim Collins, who will shadow the Cabinet Office; John Bercow, who becomes shadow Chief Treasury Secretary; Nigel Evans (Wales), David Maclean (Chief Whip); Quentin Davies (Northern Ireland) and Eric Pickles (transport).
The most senior Tory moderate in the line-up is Damian Green, who backed Michael Portillo and then switched to Mr Clarke. He becomes education spokesman. There are also promotions for two women who backed Mr Clarke – Jacqui Lait, the new spokesman on Scotland, and Caroline Spelman, who will shadow Clare Short on international development.
Those switching to new jobs include Peter Ainsworth (environment, food and rural affairs); Tim Yeo (culture, media and sport); Bernard Jenkin (defence) and Theresa May (transport, local government and the regions).
Mr Duncan Smith will complete his new team on Monday. Another right-wing ally, Eric Forth, who is in America, is expected to become shadow Leader of the Commons.
Junior frontbench posts announced yesterday included: Alan Duncan and Richard Spring (foreign affairs); Dominic Grieve, Humfrey Malins and James Paice (home affairs) and Desmond Swayne and James Gray (defence).
The new Tory leader worked on his reshuffle until midnight on Thursday night and was back at Conservative Central Office by 6.30am yesterday to complete the line-up. His timetable was dictated partly by the need to appoint new spokesmen on foreign affairs and defence before yesterday's emergency Commons debate on the terrorist attacks.
Tory officials denied the Shadow Cabinet had lurched to the right. "It does represent a broad spectrum of the party," said one. "Eight members initially supported Michael Portillo in the first round. There are also people who either supported Kenneth Clarke in the initial stages or who later supported him in the final stage."
Mr Davis said the team had been chosen for performance and not because of its views. "It will be probably the biggest change in the Shadow Cabinet in modern times – more than half will be new," he said.
The Front Bench
Frontbench appointments announced by the new Tory leader, Iain Duncan Smith:
Shadow Foreign Secretary and deputy leader, Michael Ancram;
Shadow Chancellor, Michael Howard;
Party chairman, David Davis;
Shadow Home Secretary, Oliver Letwin;
Shadow Leader of the Lords, Lord Strathclyde;
Shadow Defence Secretary, Bernard Jenkin;
Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, David Willetts;
Shadow Secretary of State for Health, Dr Liam Fox;
Shadow Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Peter Ainsworth;
Shadow Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, Tim Yeo;
Shadow Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions, Theresa May;
Shadow Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Quentin Davies;
Shadow Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, John Whittingdale;
Shadow Secretary of State for Education, Damian Green;
Shadow Cabinet Office Minister, Tim Collins;
Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury, John Bercow;
Shadow Secretary of State for Scotland, Jacqui Lait;
Shadow Secretary of State for Wales, Nigel Evans;
Shadow International Development Secretary, Caroline Spelman;
Shadow Transport minister, Eric Pickles;
Chief whips (Commons), David Maclean;
(Lords), Lord Cope of Berkeley;
Foreign affairs ministers, Alan Duncan, Richard Spring;
Home affairs ministers, Dominic Grieve, James Paice, Humfrey Malins;
Defence ministers, Desmond Swayne, James GrayReuse content