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I'm quite amused by some articles in the press this morning which say that this is a snub to George Osborne because up until now he has been effectively Mr Cameron's deputy.

No he hasn't! As Jonathan correctly points out, Hague has been "Senior Member of the Shadow Cabinet" since day one, chairing the shadow cabinet when Cameron is away, and more visibly standing in for him at PMQs against Harman.

Hague should be deputy full stop, never mind in all but name! But I welcome this "move" very much, anything that means that William Hague is more devoted to the frontbench and to winning the next election gets my approval!

Good news. Cheered me up this morning.

The visible face of the Party at the Election should be a balanced ticket comprising Cameron, Hague, Clarke and Davis.

Grayling or Pickles should be in the role of attack dog Party Chairman.

Osborne should be kept well in the background playing with his soldiers- he irritates ordinary people.

So, Dave finally agrees with That Great Lady, that every Leader needs a Willy.

Someone the other day pointed out the Hague has not put a foot wrong, and challenged dissenters to come up with a single misjudgement etc that he has made since coming back into the Shadow Cabinet.

Please could you republish the 13th July 2006 ConHome photo of Hague brandishing the EPP withdrawal declaration doc that was widely lampooned as a Chamberlain 1938 moment at the time?

It will become very relevant this year...

Osbornes role is pretty clear. He is Shadow Chancellor and right now that is all he should do in this Party. This recession will change this country for decades to come and Osborne needs to concentrate solely on that. I feel its too much to give him the GE campaigning task which should be given to someone else now in light of the severity of the economic crisis. The treasury team needs to tighten right up and be working at it 100%, rather than having distractions. The economy will make or break the Tory election campaign.

Agree with London Tory -this would be a good balanced team. As for Geoge Osbourne - the background would be good from a presentational point of view, though i do think he underestimated, and perhaps sadly undervalued by membership and supporters.

Fair point LT - Cameron, Hague, Davis, Clarke, Grayling and Pickles - come across the best and have fire in their bellys.

GB£ - why don't you change the record - your tedious ability to change any good news into some negative ranting about Europe is soooo boring - as I have said to you and others before - please go and set up UKIPhome again where you can rant to your heart's content in the sure knowledge that no-one will be listening

Thanks NigelJ. I'll take 'tedious ability' over your no ability... ;-)

I've praised lots recently, and won't be bullied out of criticising too.

It does get very tiring this constant talk about the EU on threads on completely different issues. The EPP thing will come up after the elections. You know that and yet you bleat on. You may not know but there is a world outside of Brussels...

The thread is about the promotion of the man charged with delivering a key policy in less than 6 months time. Hardly off-topic.

If you can find a single other mention by me about the EU in the past month then please let me know. A single mention is not 'bleating on'.

Who needs Ken Clarke when we have people like Cameron, Osborne, Hague and Gove? (and hopefully Trimble and Davis soon...)

Hague didnt announce the policy, Cameron did and he made it clear about the timetable. If Cameron doesnt do what he promised then fine, but thats for after the European Elections. The EPP policy isnt a key one for the man on the street who doesnt care. Hague wont be delivering it, Cameron will.

December 12th twice. Not quite a month, but close enough. I have no doubt you will provide further comments on it so please nip it in the bud now. It really does get boring.

A sensible move TBH, though it really is confirming what we already knew. Again Cameron is going for Gravitas (much like with Clarke) by giving a more experienced member of his shadow cabinate this kind of public, higher profile brief.


We need a balanced ticket. As well as being older, Clarke and Davis would act as a counterweight to a team that can appear very metropolitan, a-political [Gove, Vaizey], and privileged.

The Conservative Shadow Cabinet needs to contain Conservatives, not extras from Brideshead Revisted, and political chameleons on a long and unfinished journey from the mean street of Aberdeen !

William Hague well deserves to be deputy leader and I look forward to when he is reinstated as the undisputed Party Leader.

Its about time and will pull those disaffected Thatcherite people back towards the party but not all the way just yet. When I sense that the party has returned to its real Conservative roots then will be the day that I renew my membership and start stumping and working for the party again. As long as Clarke and his cronies hang around now way.

Excellent news, but he officially should be the Deputy Leader.
One day, sometime in the distant future, William Hague will be the Prime Minister.

Well, for me London Tory has it to perfection with the slight exception that I would, if I could, change the batting order.
I welcome this statement by Cameron. He will need all the substance he can get in support, shame he materialised five years too early a few more years of parliamentary experience would have served him well.

Mrs Thatcher promoted Ken Clarke far more often than Heath ever did.

Talking about the EU when discussing the Shadow Foreign Secretary is "sooooo boring". Quite right. No relevance. It's hardly got anything to do with the UK, has it, that EEC thing?

Equally, please do bring back Ken Clarke. You can have lots of fun watching him be nasty to Gordo and Mandy, while we in UKIP weigh our additional votes by the ton. Go on - I dare you.

"December 12th twice. Not quite a month, but close enough"

James, it's Jan 14th today, so more than a month.

And to correct your first inaccuracy, please read ConHome's interview with Hague on 13th July 2006.

If you stop making sloppy errors in correcting a point of mine that is factually correct, or made your own point instead of attacking fellow posters incorrectly, you will keep the thread on topic.

Of course, William Hague is an excellent chap and has untold ability for the highest office in our land. I'm pleased for him and wish him the best of luck in his wider role.
Undoubtedly the country needs his intellect, his ability and his wit to lead it into a win at the next election.

ELECTION is a word I would urge him to keep repeating until we get one !!!

Followed by "Stuff the Lisbon Treaty, I'm going the fling it in the shredder when we're in government".

Hague a good chap, but still a geek and figure of derision to most voters. But with Cameron's hair loss becoming more apparent every day, he needs to have someone as deputy with less hair than himself. A good choice on those grounds.

Good news on the further reduction in outside interests. William gives much needed balance at the top of the ticket.

As a Northern Tory I think William is a great asset and would like to see him working even more closely with the PPC's in the North.

I seem to remember some wise person suggested something similar quite a while ago:- http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2006/aug/09/williegoodwillie

Hague is clearly a major asset to the party, far more so now than when he was leader, but this announcement provides more evidence that the party is top-heavy in its management.

I thought it was accepted that George Osborne had over-stretched himself with covering the election co-ordinator and shadow chancellor roles. Now we learn William Hague will cover shadow foreign secretary, head of campaign north, deputy leader and his outside interests?

"I thought it was accepted that George Osborne had over-stretched himself with covering the election co-ordinator and shadow chancellor roles. Now we learn William Hague will cover shadow foreign secretary, head of campaign north, deputy leader and his outside interests?"

I'm sure they can manage.

But it doesn't send the right message I will agree.

Hague isnt the one leading the EPP change. Cameron is having it been him signing the declaration with the Czechs. Hague did supportive interviews but the policy wasnt Hagues. I readily admitted it wasnt a month.

Europe is obviously foreign policy but its not the only bit. It is very boring when if this site is anything to go by Europe is just about the only forewign policy issue discussed. It was dealt with some time ago and the current policy is very clear. Theres no point in dwelling on the issue which cost the Conservatives so dearly in the past.

I largely agree with Jonathan Isaby.

However I do disagree with: 'it struck me that the story is hardly worthy of the adjective "sensational"'

I think the concept of being "sensationally anointed" is rather fascinating. It brings to mind some sort of Byzantine coronation ritual.
I thoroughly applaud the Sun's use of language. I imagine that for the most part these things are rather mundane.
Hopefully, following David's lead, Friar Pickles will start handing out blessings.
Blessed are those that save the Council Tax payer money, blessed are the meek for they will have to pay the interest and insurance on government borrowing.. etc

Pe3rsonally I think you would get the best out of Hague if he were just deputy leader and not Shadow foreign Secretary. This would give him a more wider brief and he would be free from a brief that although important is basically of little interest to most voters.

Best suggestion yet Jack Stone, short of a miraculous replacing Cameron with Haigue of course.

I agree with Jack Stone (1659). Hague would be better in the role of Deputy Leader than Shadow Foreign Secretary, and will he have sufficient time to devote to the latter hugely important post?

The EU can relax.

Cameron's sending signals that he won't rock the boat, and the growing euroscepticism in Britain evidenced by polling and growing support for fringe parties won't be tempting him.

Bolstering Hague, and keeping Liam Fox on the fringe, should in turn buy more favourable media from the BBC, and stop the BBC from doing things like promoting UKIP during election periods, quite as much as they normally do. Farage intervies will become rarer than usual which is a pity.

The only thing is, what will the Conservatives say about the EU once the Euro has crashed and countries start spilling out of it, as is likely to occur during 2009? Nothing as per usual probably.

Cameron is consistent, in his determination to avoid mentioning the EU unless he has no choice. Promoting Hague to top slot tells everyone that euroscepticism is not going to be tolerated, so don't even try, folks.

It just means that Europe isn't the only issue. There are very few voters out there for whom it is.

But for the media, eurolove is the only issue - I mean the BBC.

Cameron is wisely choosing to avoid a direct confrontation with same, and with Hague, play the media's game of allowing Britain to be governed from elsewhere as we slide into oblivion.

I suppose it's politics after a fashion.

Even if 100% of voters wanted out of the EU, there is no point in seeking direct confrontation with the BBC. They are 60% of British media and I doubt anyone could win an election without them onside to some extent.

100% of voters don`t want out of Europe. Only 16% do according to the latest poll. Something that as been largely ignored on this site of course.

True, only 16% of voters want out of Europe, according to the survey. This despite their being told for 20 years that leaving is impossible.

But a further 48% want "a looser relationship" with the EU (total dissatisfieds 64%).

Those who were satisfied with the EU were 22% - not a huge number more than the 'want-outs', despite the fact that all of our major political parties and our media all back it enthusiastically.

Sadly, one thing we all know about the EU is that "A looser relationship" is not on offer. Ask Ireland – the project only has forward gears. So leaving it (and negotiating a new, more honest relationship with European partners) is the only political option other than capitulation.

And while it isn't the only issue for voters, that's because very few of them understand that, post-Lisbon, all other issues will be subordinated to it.

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