New Articles 16-year-old William Hague rails against the evils of socialism in his famous speech to the Conservative Party conference in 1977

The annual release of secret papers from the National Archive reveals Mrs Thatcher’s scornful response to a plan to put the precocious young Tory in the Treasury

Don't look at me

How much more turmoil can the Tories take?

`If Tory MPs don't dump Mr Hague there won't be a Conservative Party left for anyone afterwards'

Leading Article: The defection of Shaun Woodward illuminates the Tories' fatal flaws

THE STRANGE Death of Conservative England, part 23. The defection of Shaun Woodward is one of those lightning flashes which lets us see that what we thought was a familiar landscape has assumed a new shape. It seemed that British politics was settling back into its comfortable two-party assumptions. The Conservatives - at least until their latest disaster over the London mayoralty - seemed to be slowly climbing back to a position of credible opposition, a process which would always take two elections.

TWO MONTHS OF PURGATORY FOR CENTRAL OFFICE

ON TUESDAY Steven Norris was safely reinstated on the mayoral candidates list and William Hague thought his problems were, if not over, at least eased, writes Jo Dillon. Little did he know.

Monitor: LONDON MAYORAL CONTEST

Comment on the twists and turns in Steven Norris's attempt to win the Tory candidature

Leading Article: The Conservatives have no alternative to Mr Norris

HERE WE go again. The return of Steve Norris to the cast of the long-running London mayoralty farce is welcome, and not just because the colourful former minister gives good copy. Mr Norris is by far the best qualified of his party's candidates and it was folly for the Conservatives' mayoral selection committee to disbar him from consideration by the wider membership. That they did so because of irregularities in his private life tells us a good deal about the state of mind of the modern Conservative Party and how out of touch with the electorate it has become.
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