Portillo says he will never again run for leadership
Michael Portillo has ruled out a challenge to Iain Duncan Smith by saying he will never again stand as a candidate for the leadership of the Conservative Party.
The MP for Kensington and Chelsea was for many years regarded as the natural heir to the Tory throne. But he said yesterday: "I have weighed the evidence as to whether I think the Conservative Party would want to accept me, and I have weighed the evidence as to whether that is the sort of life I want to take on. I have been in Parliament 15 years on and off, and I think I've really had enough of all that."
The news will hearten allies of Mr Duncan Smith who have been fending off talk of a leadership challenge if he fails to revive the party within a year. A poll this weekend found two-thirds of Tories believe Mr Duncan Smith will never be Prime Minister and only 43 per cent believe he is the best leader the party could have.
Yesterday Mr Portillo expressed support for Mr Duncan Smith's programme of change and urged him to be "his own man" in pursuing reform.
He said the Shadow Cabinet should not be blown off course by voices from the past, such as Lord Tebbit, who have criticised the policy of exorcising the Tories' "nasty" image.
MPs called last night for the Tory chairman, Theresa May, to investigate allegations by Lord Tebbit that unnamed figures he calls the "movement" have been plotting to oust him from the party. Derek Conway, Tory MP for Bexley and Sidcup, said he was "deeply concerned by reports that a shadowy group exists within the party".
Mr Duncan Smith will begin a three-week tour today to promote the party's new policies with a visit to Manchester.
- 1 The difference between a migrant and refugee, in one sentence
- 2 Miley Cyrus calls out hypocrisy of women’s nipples being taboo
- 3 Celebrity Big Brother 2015: Tila Tequila kicked off show after 'describing Hitler as a good man'
- 4 Watch the Supermoon live: How to see the brightest Moon of the year tonight
- 5 iPhone 5c to be discontinued, no iPhone 6c to replace it
Spain accused of 'provocation' after letting Russian submarine refuel off Gibraltar
The difference between a migrant and refugee, in one sentence
Allonautilus scrobiculatus: World's 'rarest' creature spotted for only the third time ever
Miley Cyrus calls out hypocrisy of women’s nipples being taboo
Bangkok Bomb: Thai police name Adem Karadag as suspect arrested over blast that killed 20
Climate change: 2015 will be the hottest year on record 'by a mile', experts say
'Women only' train carriages: Jeremy Corbyn unveils radical move to tackle public harassment
Black holes are a passage to another universe, says Stephen Hawking
Iain Duncan Smith 'should resign over disability benefit death figures', says Jeremy Corbyn
Stock up on canned food for stock market crash, warns former Gordon Brown adviser
Labour leadership: Jeremy Corbyn voters most likely to believe 'world is controlled by a secretive elite'
£18000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Sales Executive or Senior Sal...
£40000 - £55000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
£22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This industry leading company produces h...
£20000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This IT provider for the educat...