Sir George Young, Shadow Leader of the House in the last Parliament and a member of John Major's last Cabinet, announced that he would be voting for Ken Clarke in next week's Leadership election.
- "All five candidates are personal friends and I have worked in Government or Shadow Cabinet with all of them. But Ken is the one best able to lead the Conservative Party to victory.
- There are four specific reasons why I support Ken.
- We need to hold the Government to account on the delivery of key public services - health, education, law and order, and transport. Ken has served in all those departments, championing the cause of patients, pupils, citizens and travellers. I believe he is best able to represent the interests of all our constituents and ensure, whether in Opposition or in Government, we get value for money and the quality of these services is driven up.
- I believe Parliament should be the place where Government is held to account. Ken loves the House, and is a formidable debater. Those who are concerned at the way that Parliament has been undermined, bypassed and side-lined should support Ken, who wants to see Parliament at the heart of our democracy, and a more effective and relevant institution.
- Having worked with Ken in the Treasury, I know he can build and lead an effective team. He can motivate and delegate; and he can give himself the time to take key strategic decisions and has the judgement to get them right.
- Finally, he is the candidate best able to lead us to victory and the one our opponents most fear. They are praying that Ken will not be in the last two. A Parliamentary party, seeking to recapture millions of lost voters, risks losing public confidence if it does not support the man that the public most warm to and identify with.
Those are the reasons why I am backing Ken. The final decision of course rests with Party Members; I hope they may come to the same decision."