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Dan Hannan, Guido Fawkes and Peter Mandelson shoot up the league table of Britain's most influential right-wingers

Top25 Iain Dale's annual exercise for The Daily Telegraph of rating Britain's top right-wingers is published today.

Two of the biggest risers are internet phenomena: Dan Hannan and Guido Fawkes.

Since The Telegraph last published its list - compiled by a panel of experts chaired by Iain - Dan made that famous anti-Brown speech in the European Parliament that has now been watched by millions of people all around the world.  In Hannan, says today's Telegraph, "the Right of the Conservative Party found a voice."  Given Dan's libertarian philosophy it could be added that the libertarian Right has found a great champion.  Dan rises 76 places and into the top ten at number ten.  Guido rises fifty places because of his central role in the McBride emails scandal.

A new entry at number 18 is Lord Mandelson. He gets in the right wing list because of his "pro-business" policies and his alleged role in pulling Labour back to the fiscal centre.  Also from the Government (but only at number 80) is Transport Secretary Lord Adonis.  Adonis' central role in Labour's academy programme has inspired much of Michael Gove's own radicalism. Talk of Mandelson joining a Conservative government is, I hope, extremely unlikely but a job for Andrew Adonis is very possible. 

I thoroughly agree with the big rise for Philip Hammond, the very powerful Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury. I'm very surprised not to see Chris Grayling in the top 25. I would have put Oliver Letwin ahead of Eric Pickles.

The list remains flawed in one key respect; it does not include journalists.  I've never quite understood this but it has been said that The Telegraph does not want to publish a list where its own journalists are ranked against each other.  That decision means, of course, that big hitters of the Right like Fraser Nelson, Daniel Finkelstein and Peter Oborne do not appear.

The highest ranked woman in the top 25 is Samantha CameronMargaret Thatcher is at 13, Theresa May at 24. I would have also included Kate Fall, Cameron's Deputy Chief of Staff.  With Chief of Staff Ed Llewellyn she acts as principal gatekeeper to David Cameron and is the most important woman who attends the Conservative Party's top meetings.

I'm up one place on the list to number 20.  I regard that as a tribute to everyone who makes this website a success - particularly, of course, to my co-editor in it all; Jonathan Isaby.

Tim Montgomerie

PS I cannot link to The Telegraph's list because, although in the printed newspaper, it is still not online. For a newspaper that prides itself on its digital vision this is not unusual. Throughout the expenses crisis we were having to link to Daily Mail accounts of Telegraph scoops because the newspaper was slow to put them on to its website.


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