Below is the text of Mr Major’s letter to John Redwood (made public on the day of writing, 29th June 1995) declining Mr Redwood’s offer of a debate on the European Union. John Redwood was standing against Mr Major in the Conservative leadership contest.
I recall when I was a Tory candidate fighting a hopeless seat with no chance of winning, I was advised to challenge the incumbent MP to a debate.
The gist of his reply was, “nice try; but no”.
You may wish to know he went on to win a handsome victory.