Iain Duncan-Smith MP


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Former leader of the Conservative party talks about his time as leader, what regrets if any he has, and how he is now going out to bat for the little people, in his role in the Social Justic arena.

Iain was elected as Member of Parliament for Chingford at the 1992 General Election. In 1997, he was re-elected for the re-drawn constituency of Chingford and Woodford Green. During the last decade in Parliament Iain’s courteous and straight-talking approach to politics has won him many admirers.

Under William Hague, Iain was promoted to the Shadow Cabinet in 1997. As Shadow Secretary of State for Social Security, Iain dedicated his time to exposing the gap between the Labour Government’s rhetoric and the reality of their failure on welfare reform.

After much success in this role, he was promoted to Shadow Defence Secretary in 1999. Over the next two years, Iain gained an international reputation for his contribution to the debates on the European Army and the US missile defence initiative as well as his success in exposing the Government’s failure to give British forces the right money and equipment.

In September 2001, at the age of 47, Iain was elected Leader of the Conservative Party in the first ever ballot of the Party’s membership. He served as Leader until November 2003.

In December 2005, he was appointed Chairman of the Party’s new Social Justice Policy Group.

Greg Clark MP

Jonathan Sheppard talks to Greg Clark MP.

Greg is the Conservative Member of Parliament for Tunbridge Wells. Greg lives in Tunbridge Wells, and is married to Helen – they have two little girls aged 5 and 2.

Prior to the 2005 general election, Greg served as the Conservative Party’s Director of Policy. Since becoming an MP he has been appointed to the Public Accounts Committee and to the Social Justice Policy Group, the first of six policy commissions set up by David Cameron to renew Conservative thinking on contemporary issues.

Greg was born in Middlesbrough in 1967. He went to the local comprehensive school in South Bank, Middlesbrough and went on to study Economics at Cambridge University. He was awarded his PhD at the London School of Economics.

Greg’s background is in business. He worked for the Boston Consulting Group, one of the world’s top business strategy firms. He was subsequently the BBC’s Chief Adviser, Commercial Policy. Between 1996 and 1997 Greg served as the Special Adviser to the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, Rt Hon Ian Lang MP.

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Grant Shapps MP

Below is my run down of some of the subjects touched on in the interview with Grant Shapps MP.

Campaigning

Have to out there for years – 3/4/5 years. (basically he indicates you cant just turn up at last minute without actually saying it).

Technology in campaigning

Email – push politics – where you build up lists of constituents. Pushing information out is crucial and one of the biggest factors in winning my seat with an 8% plus swing

People will often join email lists on specific campaigns – such as saving a hospital

Its a cultural shift. Money usually spent on brochures/newsletters. There are more subtle ways of campaigning. People WILL read local information about what’s going on in their street – thats what campaigners should focus on

Shapps and Sheppard

Tomorrow I will be conducting the first interview for “Tory Radio” with Grant Shapps. Grant in Vice Chair in charge of campaigning – and successfully deposed a Minister to win his seat at the last election.

It will be interesting to get Grants take on how he feels technology like blogging and podcasting can help political campaigning.

Watch this space for when the podcast is uploaded!

Jowells Japes

Just received an email from the DTI which states:-

08-Mar-06, 11:45INTERNATIONAL WOMENS DAY – JOWELL URGES CHANGE

Minister for Women, Tessa Jowell, will today speak about two important issues to women, at two separate events.

I wonder if one of those “important” issues is making sure you know what your husband is up to??

Mings honeymoon over

If Ming Campbell thought his honeymoon period was going to last as long as that of David Cameron he must have been brought back down to earth with a bang.

A poll currently being run on AOL asks

Is Sir Menzies the right man to modernise the party?

So far, 63% of respondents say NO!

Roger Helmer MEP

There is a great new site which has just been published which is aiming to ensure that one of the best MEPs in the country, Roger Helmer is reinstated with the Tory whip.

Roger is my MEP and I have a tremendous amount of respect for him – so we should all be pushing to Re-instate Roger

He has agreed to be interviewed by Tory Radio – so you can expect to hear what’s really been going in in Europe direct from the horses mouth.

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