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IDS Receives Hero's Welcome In Gibraltar

by Jason Gorringe, Tax-News.com, London

30 May 2002


The leader of the Opposition Tory Party in the UK, Iain Duncan Smith received a 'hero's welcome' on his arrival in Gibraltar, according to the Panorama news service.

The Conservative party chief was on the Rock as part of a European tour which took in Portugal and France, and was to have included Spain. However, Spanish Prime Minister, Jose Maria Aznar was reportedly angered by Mr Duncan Smith's intention to visit Gibraltar, leading the Tory leader to cancel a planned trip to Madrid.

Although he only stayed for 24 hours, Panorama reported, the reception he received was in direct contrast to that shown to UK Foreign Secretary, Jack Straw during a similar visit earlier this month.

While the Foreign Minister was greeted by jeers and insults from a crowd of demonstrators, having failed to alert the Gibraltar government of his intention to visit until the last minute, the Tory leader was thanked by Gibraltarian residents for his party's stance with regard to the sovereignty negotiations between the UK and Spain.

Speaking at a press conference on Tuesday, Iain Duncan Smith reiterated that an Anglo-Spanish sovereignty-sharing deal was unacceptable to his party, and criticised the Labour government for its stance on the issue.


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