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  The Tories

Man who had no chance of winning Tory leadership decides not to bother

A man who had no chance of winning the interim Conservative leadership has decided not to bother trying, it was announced yesterday. Malcolm Rifkind, who claims to be a former foreign secretary, said to the surprise of nobody that he had been unable to find the support he needed from Conservative MPs, despite having spent days touring parts of the country where there are none of them. His supporters, who DeadBrain has been unable to identify, are likely to switch their support to someone else, assuming they still care.

A total of 43 other Conservatives who had equally low prospects of winning the sought-after job of being beaten at the next election have also dropped out of the race over the last few days, including:

  • Douglas Ramsbottom, chair of the Bootle Conservative Association, who had the dual disadvantages of not being an MP and being totally unknown outside Bootle and, indeed, within it. Despite this, he had been backed by several local Tories and some former followers of Iain Duncan Smith.

  • The guitar-playing MP Michael Ancram QC, who was more fortunate in that he has been elected, but at the same time he is only known for occasionally and embarrassingly playing the guitar, and for grossly overestimating his chances of becoming leader in every leadership election since the 1970s.

  • Ann Widdecombe, who didn't realise she had been entered into the contest in the first place.

  • Lord Mullet, the former British ambassador to East Sussex, who has switched to supporting Boris Johnson.

  • Edward Leigh, an unknown right-winger who quit after becoming so red in the face that the fire brigade had to be called.

  • Theresa May, who quit after embarrassing revelations in a Sunday newspaper about her alleged foot fetish.

  • Iain Duncan Smith, who had been entered by a group of Labour MPs as a joke.

    Voting amongst MPs is expected to take place sometime next week. The final appointment of the new interim leader has been postponed until 2007 due to delays on the Northern Line.

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