Redwood asserts claim to lead right issues right-wing reminder

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The Independent Online
JOHN REDWOOD, Secretary of State for Wales, yesterday issued a pre-conference reminder of his credentials as a standard bearer of the Conservative right, committed to a minimum of state aid and the upholding of traditional family values, writes Stephen Goodwin.

With the Tory Party conference just 10 days away, Mr Redwood published a collection of his speeches and writings over the last 18 months. It is entitled Views from Wales, but as he asserts in a foreword, 'my brand of Conservatism' strikes a chord way beyond the confines of the party in the principality.

Less than a fortnight ago extracts from speeches by Michael Portillo, the current favourite of the Tory right- wing, were published under the title Clear Blue Water.

Mr Portillo, as Chief Secretary to the Treasury and now Secretary of State for Employment, has been able to burnish his image as tough on spending and interference from Brussels while his political soulmate has been out of the limelight in Wales.

Mr Redwood denied yesterday that he was mounting a challenge to his Cabinet colleague. 'This is a statement of what the Government is doing in Wales,' he said.