New Times,
New Thinking.

  1. Long reads
25 February 2010updated 12 Oct 2023 10:20am

10 people Dave should fear: Kenneth Clarke

Shadow secretary of state for business, innovation and skills

By Staff Blogger

Cameron is lucky that the Tory party rejected its most popular MP’s third attempt to become leader in 2005. Many believe that Kenneth Clarke would have been a bolder leader, whose opposition to ideological tax cuts would have provided the “Clause Four moment” that Cameron believes unnecessary. The two men are not natural allies, and Clarke rejected appeals from Cameron to hold back from running. A passionate pro-European, Clarke remains a threat because a principled resignation from such a prominent figure would spark a crisis
for the leader.

The other danger with Clarke is that he is never afraid to speak his mind, as he has done already on the Tories’ flagship policy of inheritance tax cuts. He declared that it would not be a “priority”, before he was reined in by party officials (frequently infuriated in any case by this unspun man in the Hush Puppies, whose mobile phone is almost always switched off). Clarke is probably too old for another tilt at the leadership, but if Cameron dares to drop him from the cabinet once in government, having used his popularity in the campaign – or if the party loses the election because it has not changed enough – he remains one to watch.

Previous: Boris Johnson

Next: Liam Fox

Select and enter your email address Your weekly guide to the best writing on ideas, politics, books and culture every Saturday. The best way to sign up for The Saturday Read is via saturdayread.substack.com The New Statesman's quick and essential guide to the news and politics of the day. The best way to sign up for Morning Call is via morningcall.substack.com
  • Administration / Office
  • Arts and Culture
  • Board Member
  • Business / Corporate Services
  • Client / Customer Services
  • Communications
  • Construction, Works, Engineering
  • Education, Curriculum and Teaching
  • Environment, Conservation and NRM
  • Facility / Grounds Management and Maintenance
  • Finance Management
  • Health - Medical and Nursing Management
  • HR, Training and Organisational Development
  • Information and Communications Technology
  • Information Services, Statistics, Records, Archives
  • Infrastructure Management - Transport, Utilities
  • Legal Officers and Practitioners
  • Librarians and Library Management
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • OH&S, Risk Management
  • Operations Management
  • Planning, Policy, Strategy
  • Printing, Design, Publishing, Web
  • Projects, Programs and Advisors
  • Property, Assets and Fleet Management
  • Public Relations and Media
  • Purchasing and Procurement
  • Quality Management
  • Science and Technical Research and Development
  • Security and Law Enforcement
  • Service Delivery
  • Sport and Recreation
  • Travel, Accommodation, Tourism
  • Wellbeing, Community / Social Services
Visit our privacy Policy for more information about our services, how Progressive Media Investments may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications.
THANK YOU

Back to list

Content from our partners
An innovative approach to regional equity
ADHD in the criminal justice system: a case for change – with Takeda
The power of place in tackling climate change