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Rifkind really ought to consider stepping down as an MP.

Apparently, he made the return to Parliament after eight years absence solely to run for Leader.

Can't imagine why he thought that *he* was the answer to all the Conservative Party's woes, but there you have it.

Given his very divergent views from the mainstream on foreign issues, i.e. he is pro-EU, anti-war on Iraq and increasingly anti-American, he could never have played any role whatsoever in the new Conservative Party on foreign policy. He should have loyally acceptable a role in the domestic policy fields, but he wasn't interested.

Let him go be a critic in the House of Lords and vacate his seat for a younger man or woman.

Surprising but understandable. Rifkind as a former Foreign Secretary can not be expected to take a lesser role in the Shadow Cabinet.

Nonsense, as usual from Clare. He is currently Works & Pensions shadow. What's wrong with that? There were any number of jobs in the Shadow Cabinet that he could have been very useful at: Leader of the House, Constitutional Affairs etc.

If he thinks he's "too good" for those kinds of jobs, he should have kept K&C available to a new talent.

Sir M and all ex ministers the so called 'bid beasts' (even if they are only big beasts in their own eyes) have got to be supportive and loyal. The Party cannot and should not tolerate disloyalty from anyone in the Party. We the members have got to enforce this.

"that necessary stage of the war on terror"

Anybody would think you approved of the Iraq War (also known as British troops in Hell on Earth which is actually increasing the terrorist threat - the War on Terror is very badly served by the Iraq conflict - recommended reading for you Tim a book called 'The Next Attack')!

Although I understand the point about it being unlikely Rifkind would be Shadow Foreign Sec.

As I said on the other thread, this is really disappointing. I hope a role similar to that given to Iain Duncan Smith and Ken Clarke can be found for Sir Malcolm at one of the policy groups.

I must second Goldie. If Rifkind wants to pursue a specific agenda of his own conscience in great detail, that's wonderful for political discourse, but he should do so in the Lords and free up a safe seat for fresh new talent.

Are we witnessing the beginning of a 'get rid of Rifkind' campaign?

Let's organize a recall. Good American habit!

Very disappointed in Rifkind throwing his toys out of the pram. You can why we lost the 97 election so heavily when the 'big beasts' behave like this.

I think it is extremely unfortunate that Rifkind has chosen the route Ken Clarke took after 1997 and 2001 - taking his ball home.

It is very dissapointing that Sir Malcolm won't be featuring prominantly in the shadow cabinet. It really would have been very helpful to have someone at the top table who had experience of high office. While I wouldn't describe myself as ideologically close to Sir Malcolm I have great respect for his ability. He held ministerial office for 18 years and was still functioning effectively as Major's government fell apart. Maybe Shadow Foreign Secretary was unrealistic but I am sure that some kind of role could have been found that would have convinced him to stay. He would have been ideal as Deputy Leader.

His comeback turns out to have been a bit of a waste of time then doesn't it? All that effort for six months as Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary.

All pro-Iraq war people. Oh goody! Fair enough though. I know Im in the minority with the Iraq issue.

Ed: there is a good (Conservative) argument for believing that the War on Iraq had nothing to do with the War on Terror. Saddam Hussein was an enemy of Osama Bin Laden and unlikely to support any action that threatened the UK or USA. Invading Iraq merely allowed the terrorists to establish themselves in another country and substantially increased the grievances held by Muslims against this country. George Bush is wrong sometimes!

Well said, James and Rob C!

The neo-cons on our frontbench (and on this blog) are silent on extraordinary rendition now that the Bush administration is being exposed as an abuser of human rights. Those responsible (including Cheney and Rumsfeld if reports are true) should be put on trial!

Let's hope that Rifkind and Clarke speak out.

What shall they say Selsdon? 'let's make war friendly and cosy so all the family can play.'

Foreign Policy is one of the few areas where I feel pretty comfortable about Cameron.

But even there he is no different to Blair.

Goldie is spot on.
Why do we tolerate this kind of arrogance and selfishness?
He should quit as an MP and make way for someone willing to be a team player.

I am very sorry about this,Sir Malcolm is an extremely talented man who could and should be adorning our front bench in some capacity.He is in my opinion one of the most effective debaters in the house and I hope he can make a contribution from the backbenches.
Goldie-Sir Malcolm is about as far removed from being a Europhile as it is possible to get,I've no idea where you got the idea he's 'pro EU' from.
James M-I think you'll find that perhaps the 'minority'of anti Iraq war Tories is much bigger than you think.There needs to be some very hard thinking about this issue in the days to come.Carrying on with seemingly no strategy at all on the coat tails of the government seems to me to be very foolish.

Actually polls show that Tory members where overwhelmingly against the war.

Glad he's gone. Just a reminder of the arrogance of the so-called "grandees" who can't accept that the party has moved on from the Major-fudge days. No doubt Malc will go the way of Hezza and appear on a pro-Euro platform with Blair......

This is a crying shame for the parliamentary party, as Rifkind has the debating skills and razor-sharp mind to tear apart his Labour opposite number.
Alas, however, we can't force him to take a post he doesn't want.
I agree we should try to co-opt him into some role, a la KC and IDS.
But to suggest forcing him to resign his seat just for not wishing to serve in the shadow cabinet is ridiculous.
On that basis, do we kick out Michael Howard for no longer wishing to serve?
As well as ambitious young MPs, we need elder statesmen with gravitas in the Commons.

No - Howard has already served very well.
Rifkind on the other hand appears to have thrown his toys out of the pram on the assumption that he deserves a top job.
Well, does he really?
He has made no impression whatsoever (at least on me) on pension reform - the key issue of the past couple of weeks.

"Actually polls show that Tory members where overwhelmingly against the war."

Which polls and when were they taken?

Coxy,why would Sir Malcolm ever want to share a 'pro-Euro platform' with Blair'?

But Chris, that's my point... Rifkind has also served us well in the past, as Foreign, Defence and Scottish Secretary.
As for Work and Pensions, hardly anyone on the Tory benches has made a big impression in their day job in the last six months, given the focus on the leadership at the expense of all else.
As I said, I'd rather have Rifkind on the front bench but, I repeat, to suggest he should resign his seat is madness.
It would make us look totally intolerant, just as DC is building a big tent.

Well I find it very difficult to respect someone so arrogant.
I just hope he won't join the list of "big beasts" to whom the BBC turn when they want a hostile comment!
If he plays that (Heseltine/Clarke) game then he should certainly be sent packing...

Until now I was a big fan of Sir Malcom, but if he can't accept anything other than Foreign Secretary then he must step down and give his safe seat to someone who has a wider skill set.

Pledge your support now for the 'Get rid of Rifkind' Campaign!

What a surprise we want to increase our big tent of supporters but less than a week after seeing their man win the Cameron surporters on this site are already out with the daggers.
In a democratic party people can have different views you know?
Anyway Yulia Tymoshenko got a new website hope everyone here would support her getting her job back as PM after the next elections?

I think we are being unfair to Chief Rifkind.

He was being honest by pointing out the area of politics he had an interest in.

Thats not to say that he is useless because he is not in the shadow cabinet.

That would suggest that other Chiefs in the commons should give up their seats because they are not in the shadow cabinet.
There is more to being a chief than being on the front bench.

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