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Fiennes to be approached to seek Tory leadership
3 Nov 2003 by Malcolm Drury
DeadBrain has learned that following his seven marathons on seven continents in seven days triumph, Sir Ranulph Twistleton-Wykeham-Fiennes may be approached to take on the ultimate challenge: uniting the Conservative Party and making it a credible contender for power.
According to sources on the backbenches, a group of unidentified Tories who were supporters of their recently deposed "leader", Iain Duncan Smith, are considering approaching Sir Ranulph to take on Michael Howard, currently the only contender for the Party leadership. As well as being an intrepid explorer and finder of lost places, Sir Ranulph is considered to be one of the world's top motivational speakers - qualities that the group considers are essential of the leader if the Conservative Party is to have any chance of winning the next election.
The group's spokesman, speaking on condition of anonymity, told our reporter that they believed that for all his virtues, Michael Howard might not be the man to lead the Party. "We need someone of high profile and high stamina, someone who can face an enormous challenge and overcome it, and Sir Ranulph fits the bill perfectly," he said.
"We believe that there is no greater challenge at present than to unite us and lead us to victory," he added, "and we are confident that Sir Ranulph will accept it."
Informed of this potential development, an aide to Michael Howard dismissed it as wishful thinking. "Michael may not have been to the poles," he quipped, "but it's the polls that count." Asked if that included poll taxes the aide declined comment.
DeadBrain was unable to contact Sir Ranulph, who is thought to be wearing slippers, for a comment.
In related news, Mr. Howard's aide denied any involvement on the part of Mr. Howard or his team in an incident in which a firework was put through the letterbox at the home of fellow MP Ann Widdecombe. "It was probably just a prank, something of the night," he said dismissively, "and absolutely nothing to do with us."
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