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Saturday 8th October 2005

Saturday_5

Leadership blog, 7pm update: Support amongst party members for a Cameron leadership more than doubles (but collapses for David Davis).

Leadership blog, 4.30pm update: David Davis should fear a Cameron-Fox ticket.

Lunchtime update on the Leadership blog as Cameron Camp announces that Peter Viggers has 'defected' from David Davis.

BLOGS

On the Commentators Blog read John Hayes MP on 'Being Conservative'

CONSERVATIVE NEWS & COMMENTARY

"As nominations for the leadership opened at Westminster, Mr Davis replaced his chief media spokesman Andrew Mitchell with a supposedly more media-friendly quartet of MPs - Damian Green, David Willetts, Julie Kirkbride and Paul Goodman. Mr Mitchell remains Mr Davis's campaign manager." - Telegraph

The Times notes that the Fox and Cameron camps are encouraging defections from Team Davis whilst The Independent reports claims that some MPs had signed up to the DD camp "under duress".  The Times story identifies two new parliamentary supporters for David Cameron; taking his total to 25 MPs.  The Scotsman reports the fact that Michael Ancram and Sir Patrick Cormack have endorsed Sir Malcolm Rifkind.

David Cameron is also the choice of Vicki Woods in The Telegraph.  Ms Woods thinks that politics is like sex and Mr Cameron is the sexiest: "What the Conservative Party needs to elect as a leader is not "a leading candidate of the Right" or a "moderniser" or a man who is "sound on Europe" or whatever it is that poor Sir Malcolm Rifkind is supposed to be (can't remember), but a man who can beat Tony Blair and/or Gordon Brown."

David Cameron takes a day off today before appearing on Andrew Marr's Breakfast AM tomorrow morning - the day on which he will become 39 - Guardian.  A leading article in The Guradian fizzed with excitement about Tory prospects: "The idea that the Conservative party may at last be back in business takes a bit of getting used to... If a smart, aggressive and moderate Tory party can establish itself, it would pose tough questions for the Liberal Democrats, threatening their strongholds in southern England and tightening the pressure on Charles Kennedy's already fragile leadership. And a Tory party that made its peace with Labour's increased health and education spending and embraced cultural diversity, while promising to decentralise and simplify the welfare state, could be a real threat to Labour, especially in the face of growing economic setbacks."  As did Martin Kettle in the same newspaper.  "This week in Blackpool the Tories finally got it: Labour and Liberal Democrats, watch out," he wrote.

UKIP will say that none of the Tory leadership candidates represent those members who want to leave the EU - BBCi

"Fresh controversy erupted over David McLetchie's taxi bills last night after the Scottish Tory leader was forced to admit he used taxpayers' money to pay for journeys to his private law firm in the centre of Edinburgh.  Mr McLetchie, who has run up higher taxi bills than any other MSP, conceded he had used his parliamentary account to claim about £900 in fares to take him to and from the offices of Tods Murray in Queen Street and to the nearby BBC Scotland HQ over the past five years.  But he insisted his claims were legitimate as he had conducted parliamentary or constituency business while in his law firm's offices and had not used public money to do private legal work." - Scotsman

Sikh Labour councillor defects to Tories in Birmingham (Birmingham Post) but Tories lose by-election  to Labour in Kettering (Guardian).

OTHER COMMENTARY

Michael Barone reviews three important observations from President Bush's speech of Thursday on the war on terror.

OTHER NEWS

"The Electoral Commission has cleared the Liberal Democrats of wrong-doing over a £2.4m company donation it received before May's general election." - BBCi

Chinese leaders fear a Ukrainian Orange Revolution - "Official figures reveal that there were 74,000 protests involving almost four million people in China last year. Mr Hu and his colleagues have only to look to Ukraine for a recent example of a people's revolution and the hundreds of millions of dispossessed farmers, urban unemployed and migrant workers are all candidates to lead a popular revolt. "The single-minded emphasis on economic growth without paying attention to social equality and distributive justice will enhance social tensions, thus undermining CCP rule," said the China expert Cheng Li of Hamilton College in New York State." - Independent

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