Conservative Home

« Thursday 13th October 2005 | Main | Saturday 15th October 2005 »

Friday 14th October 2005

2pm update: "David Cameron is refusing to answer questions about a close relative who a newspaper revealed had received treatment for heroin addiction.  The Tory leadership contender said he was "very proud" of this person's efforts to kick the drug but hoped they would be "left alone" by the media." (BBCi and

"Conservatives made two gains as Liberal Democrats slumped in the latest council byelections." (Guardian)


Thatcher"Baroness Thatcher had the perfect excuse to be a little late last night for her 80th birthday party in the presence of the Queen, Tony Blair and some unlikely names from the showbusiness world.  She was delayed by an unexpected telephone call from President Bush wishing her a happy birthday. The ten-minute call from the White House was the latest in a series of tributes that poured in from around the world. It marked yet another highlight in the life of a woman who still casts a huge shadow over the Conservative Party." - Times

Telegraph leader: "In an age of social breakdown and a swelling state, of ever-closer European integration and of international terror, we could do with a leader who showed the moral clarity, the strength of character and the power to command of Margaret Thatcher."

Andrew Gamble in The Guardian: "Thatcher's legacy has been double-edged. She helped destroy her own party and its great governing tradition, ending the political hegemony it had enjoyed for 100 years. But this was partly because her success helped to transform Labour, forcing it to modernise and so removing the enemy against which the Conservatives had organised for so long."


In the Leadership blog there is news that four new endorsements for Liam Fox put him on the verge of overtaking Ken Clarke.  The blog also spotlights The Economist's endorsement of David Cameron and an attack on Ken Clarke's tobacco interests in the British Medical Journal.

On the 'Your Platform' blog Mark Pritchard MP raises the issue that everyone is talking about in Westminster - drugs.  Mr Pritchard, who raised the issue of drug use at Wednesday's '92 hustings,  does not think it acceptable for MPs to avoid questions about their own personal exposure to illegal substances: "My personal view is, that any politician, aspiring to become Prime Minister, should be prepared to say how their own exposure to drugs, or lack of it, will impact on their government's drugs policy. What leadership would they provide? Would they liberalise drugs laws still further or would they toughen up the laws? These questions should not be no-go areas for any politician. Politicians are public servants and they should not expect to pick and choose what questions are put to them - however uncomfortable the questions might be. "  I expect a lively reaction from you...

Two days ago Oliver Letwin announced a very important pact on the environment with the LibDems.  The Commentators blog examines its potential importance.


"Look David, we can work it out for ourselves. Posh boys mess around with drugs. You had the money and the opportunity." - Muriel Gray to David Cameron on last night's Question Time

Cannabis_1The Telegraph reports that "David Cameron, the bookies' favourite for the Tory leadership, has backed away from the hard-line anti-drugs policy championed by the Conservative Party at the last general election.  Aides to Mr Cameron, who has refused to disclose whether he took drugs while at Oxford University, said yesterday that he was undecided about whether cannabis should be upgraded from a Class C to a more dangerous Class B drug".  The same article notes that Dr Fox has uncompromising views on drugs: "I have seen too many blue, lifeless, young people being brought into A & E wards to have any kind of truck with any liberalisation of the drug laws."

"David Cameron's leadership election team fear that Associated Newspapers is out to destroy his campaign and determined to dig up dirt on him, his wider family and his supporters, mainly concerning allegations of cocaine taking.  Other campaign teams are predicting that Associated Newspapers, especially the Mail on Sunday, will damage Mr Cameron this weekend. Some appear to be close to abandoning hope of finding another means of preventing Mr Cameron reaching the runoff between two candidates among the membership." - Guardian

'Brown takes ERM pot shot at Cameron' is The Scotsman's hardly accidential choice of headline above an article about David Cameron's role in Black Wednesday.

The Guardian reports on the outcome of the leadership hustings with the 'Contact Group' of Tory spouses and families.  Fraser Nelson (in The Scotsman) does not think that David Davis did well: "He bombed in half a sentence. "I don't know if many of you listen to the Today programme on the radio," David Davis told the roomful of Tory wives, temporarily forgetting that he was speaking to the most politically-aware and lethal audience in Westminster.  With 15 words, Mr Davis had managed to patronise the influential members of the Contact Group, open to "wives, husbands and partners" and "women interested in politics" - women who start each morning listening to BBC Radio 4's Today programme."

The Sun suggests that Tory MP Phil Davies and Labour MP Stephen Pound brawled after a clash on talkSPORT radio station.  Also see The Mirror.

And I missed this from yesterday afternoon - BBCi profiling the net's role in the leadership election.


Do you remember Oliver Letwin's warnings of third term tax rises under Labour?  Six months after polling day today's Independent reports; "Gordon Brown has refused to rule out the prospect that taxes will have to rise to plug the gap in the nation's finances. Aides played down his refusal, but the Conservatives seized on his remarks, claiming he had let slip his future intentions."

Have the law lords opened the door to Lords reform?  That is the government's reported view after "an announcement from the law lords that the Parliament Acts can be used for constitutional change." -

Have I missed any important story?
Please use the 'comments' option to tell other visitors about interesting links...


You must be logged in using Intense Debate, Wordpress, Twitter or Facebook to comment.