Howard is new UK Tory leader

Michael Howard has won the one-horse race to become head of United Kingdom's main opposition Conservative party.

    Michael Howard will challenge Tony Blair in the next elections

    Soon after being crowned the new leader, Howard, 62, urged party men to bury their differences and unite.

    "We are all crew on what, at its best, is the most superb campaigning vessel politics has ever known," Howard said.

    As successor to Iain Duncan Smith, who lost a confidence vote and was forced out, Howard will lead the Conservative-challenge against Prime Minister Tony Blair's Labour party in the next general elections.

    Challenges

    "Our high and heavy duty is to ensure that as disillusion with Labour turns to dismay, we are there as the next government … united in our common goal," Howard said.

    Michael Spicer, the senior Conservative who chairs the party's committee of parliamentarians, earlier announced that Howard had been unopposed and the deadline for nominations had passed.

    "Our high and heavy duty is to ensure that as disillusion with Labour turns to dismay, we are there as the next government"

    Michael Howard
    Conservative Party Leader

    Analysts said Howard's greater stature and sharpness in debate would test Blair more sternly that Duncan Smith did.

    A former home affairs minister under former Prime Minister John Major, Howard faces  daunting odds and uniting his fractious party is just one among them.

    Critics

    Opponents call him slippery and deceitful.

    But Conservative lawmakers insist he is the best bet to unite a party riven by in-fighting in the post-Thatcher era.

    Howard has had a passion for politics from an early age, joining the Conservative's youth party at the age of 15.

    He quickly carved out a successful legal career before entering parliament in 1983 from a safe Conservative seat.

    He is an Euro-sceptic and a die-hard fan of Liverpool Football Club.

     

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Survivor stories from Super Typhoon Haiyan

    Survivor stories from Super Typhoon Haiyan

    The Philippines’ Typhoon Haiyan was the strongest storm ever to make landfall. Five years on, we revisit this story.

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    We Are Still Here: A Story from Native Alaska

    We Are Still Here: A Story from Native Alaska

    From Qatar to Alaska, a personal journey exploring what it means to belong when your culture is endangered.