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UK Tories elect eurosceptic leader

LONDON, England -- Eurosceptic politician Iain Duncan Smith has been elected the new leader of Britain's opposition Conservative Party.

Shadow defence secretary Duncan Smith defeated former chancellor Kenneth Clarke by 155,933 votes to 100,864 in a ballot of party members.

Sir Michael Spicer, chairman of the 1922 committee of backbench Tory members of Parliament, declared the victory in an announcement at the party's London HQ.

A total of 256,797 members took part in the ballot, he said.

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William Hague's successor had been due to be revealed on Wednesday but the announcement was delayed in the wake of the U.S. terror attacks.

The result brings to an end a damaging three-month campaign that has further exposed party divisions over Europe and the future course of the party.

Duncan Smith thanked Clarke for his comments and called on the "great Conservative" not to abandon the party.

"I look forward to working with him in the coming years," the new leader said.

Duncan Smith said the number of members who took part in the ballot proved the Tories still had a great future.

"The turnout shows the party is alive and well and we can build on this."

He also praised Hague, who resigned in the wake of a second Labour election landslide in June, for leading the party with "determination, courage and good humour".

"It was a privilege to serve under him," Duncan Smith added.


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