CONSERVATIVE Party leader William Hague unveiled a pastel by North Yorkshire artist Mackenzie Thorpe at the weekend.

The picture of a shepherd and his sheep was unveiled at the Friary Hospital, Richmond, on Saturday.

The Richmond artist has designed Mr Hague's official Christmas cards for the past three years. The pastel is in the same style as the cards.

Mr Thorpe decided to accept the project after receiving a letter from Richmond shopkeeper John Meynell, who regularly visited his mother in the hospital before her death.

Mr Thorpe has given the Friary Hospital the picture on permanent loan.

Norma King, of Mackenzie Thorpe Ltd, said: "During his frequent visits to the hospital, John was very much aware of the empty expanse of wall space, and as an expression of his gratitude thought how Mackenzie's artwork would brighten and enhance the environment, whilst giving a sense of hope and a focal point to those visiting their loved ones.