Tory manifesto to critcise Delors

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The Independent Online
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AN ATTACK on Jacques Delors' socialism will form the centrepiece of the Tory European election manifesto, which will attempt to unite the party's right and left wings.

Douglas Hurd, the Foreign Secretary, will complete the manifesto tomorrow before sending it to John Major for approval next week.

Mr Hurd has set himself the target of winning the support of 85 per cent of the Tory party for the manifesto. He does not expect to gain the support of the leading Euro-sceptics. But he could also risk alienating some of the leading pro-European Tory MPs. The Cabinet is more concerned about the battle within Europe over qualified majority voting (QMV). Giving in to QMV over key areas of policy could shatter the uneasy ceasefire in the party over Europe in the run-up to the elections in June.

The Prime Minister will write the foreword to the Tory programme for Europe. It will be based on his own agenda in the Economist magazine in September, but the tone will be seen as 'Euro-sceptic'.

A key passage has been supplied by David Hunt, the Secretary of State for Employment. Although he is firmly pro-Maastricht, the employment agenda reaffirms Tory opposition to the social chapter, the minimum wage and a specified working week with criticism of Mr Delors, the socialist President of the European Commission.

The Tory leadership intends to present the criticism of Mr Delors and the regulations being issued by the Commission as an attack on socialist red tape, which costs jobs, and which Labour supports.