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Tuesday 11th October 2005

5pm update: A new 'Who's backing who?' list incorporates the news that Michael Ancram and Anne Milton have endorsed David Cameron.

3.45pm updates on the Leadership blog: Enter our first round predictions competition and report on how your Tory MP (if you have one) is consulting you...

The Telegraph has also invited MPs to comment on 'Cameron & Cannabis'.

Rifkind_612.30pm update on the Leadership blog: Sir Malcolm Rifkind quits contest.



Leadership blog: Commentators call for candour from Cameron on cannabis plus new poll puts David Davis third amongst Tory voters.


Davis_perplexedDavid Davis uses an article in The Telegraph to explain how he will respond to 'The Cameron Phenomenon': "After last week in Blackpool, people will have gathered that flamboyant platform oratory isn't my style. But, much as I admire great rhetoric, it's not what ultimately counts.  I'd rather learn from John Howard, Australia's prime minister, whose no-nonsense style of government and clear mission to change his country have won him four elections in a row. The public have had their fill of spin. In the post-Blair era, I believe they will be looking for substance."

Tim Hames (who endorsed David Davis early in the summer with a suggestion that Mr Cameron wait ten years before seeking the leadership) is unhappy: "It is not quite too late for Mr Davis to recover but, in truth, he requires Mr Cameron to make a big mistake to afford him any second opportunity. The latest opinion poll findings by Populus for The Times today almost suggest the last rites. It will be hard to erase the memory of the Shadow Home Secretary being invited to electrify Tory delegates and instead chloroforming them... Although he has since, wisely, reshuffled his team, Mr Davis might have to be firmer. He believes in restoring the death penalty. He should have practised what he preaches on Andrew Mitchell MP, his hapless campaign manager." - Times

Independent: "At least two of Mr Davis's declared list of 65 supporters have hinted to the Clarke camp that they will back Mr Clarke rather than Mr Davis in the secrecy of the polling booth when Tory MPs hold their first ballot a week today. Clarke supporters are now hoping to prise more Davis backers away from the shadow Home Secretary after he lost his position as the bookmakers' favourite to Mr Cameron during last week's Tory conference in Blackpool."

The Times presents a guide to the contenders' campaign headquarters.

Letters to The Telegraph discuss the case for David Cameron.

Independent: "At a two-day strategy session in Hertfordshire which ended yesterday, senior Liberal Democrats agreed to exploit to the full the "window of opportunity" until the Tories choose Michael Howard's successor.  They will accuse the Tories of taking their eye off the ball as they oppose legislation on anti-terrorist measures and identity cards and attack the Government's record on the economy, social mobility and the environment."


Ann Treneman's Political Sketch focuses on David Davis at Home Office Questions - Times.

Craig Brown uses his Way of the World column to feature some humorous perspectives on who should be the next Tory leader - Telegraph.


A Telegraph leader argues against Lord Joffe's Bill of Assisted Dying: "To one side flows the argument that the value of human life is found in its utility, in the use or happiness it brings to the individual or to society; this argument runs all the way to totalitarianism. To the other side runs the argument that human beings are intrinsically valuable, irrespective of their own strengths or attitudes; this argument flows back to the source of life itself."

Trial by media is bad for democracy says John Lloyd - The First Post


Edward Leigh MP, Chairman of the public accounts committee "finds that in 2003-04, the Department of Work & Pensions lost an estimated £3 billion out of its total expenditure of £109 billion to fraud and error." - BBCi and  Mr Leigh's Cornerstone Group of socially conservative Tory MPs meet today to discuss who they might back in the leadership election - or whether they should field a candidate of their own.

"The BBC wants to increase the licence fee by 2.3% above inflation to boost its digital services and other output." - BBCi

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