Tories courting the Manchester vote

By Jonathan Kalmus, January 21, 2010
William Hague with Michelle Wiseman

William Hague with Michelle Wiseman

Shadow Foreign Secretary William Hague became the most senior Tory figure to back Michelle Wiseman’s campaign to unseat Labour minister Ivan Lewis in Bury South when he addressed 70 Manchester Jewish community members at Whitefield Golf Club.

Mr Hague took questions on Conservative policy and his own political career. Martin Gilbert, who asked about simplifying benefits, was impressed by his competence.

“Some local children asked about faith schools. He didn’t say outright that he supported them but said every type of school has a place. He also said how good Michelle would be for the community and country.”

In November, shadow Health Secretary Andrew Lansley also spoke in support of Mrs Wiseman at a similar event at the golf club.

And on the same day as the Hague meeting, the candidate addressed King David High sixth-formers, along with shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury Philip Hammond.

Mrs Wiseman said the visits de-monstrated the importance her party attached to the constituency. “It’s always been a barometer in elections historically.”

Last updated: 3:39pm, January 21 2010