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Wednesday 5th October 2005


New on the Leadership blog:

  • Liam Fox appeals to right in confident performance
  • Party democrats urge more than two candidates to be presented to rank-and-file membership
  • Andrew Lansley confirms he won't stands but will Theresa May or Edward Leigh?


Leadership blog - David Davis fails to inspire plus A good morning for David Cameron.


"Tory leadership favourite David Davis is set to tell his party to stop apologising for being Conservatives. In the most important speech of his career, the shadow home secretary will tell Tories they must "walk tall" and not be ashamed of their core beliefs. He will also tell the Conservative annual conference in Blackpool that the party must not covet a return to power for its own sake, but for what it can do for Britain." - Daily Mail

"Young gun David Cameron and old warhorse Ken Clarke blew the Tory leadership race wide open last night. Mr Cameron became the darling of the Tory beauty contest in Blackpool with the promise of a glittering future for Britain. He won an army of female admirers and wowed the party, young and old. But within hours, lumbering Mr Clarke stormed back into contention with a vintage display of political knockabout at the party conference." - The Sun.  In its Sun Says column the newspaper (whilst keeping its options open) warmed to Mr Cameron: "Leadership contender David Cameron delivered a passionate pitch for the party crown.  His pledges to protect the less well-off, improve schools and understand the problems of mums and families defined clearly the concept of compassionate Conservatism."

Matthew d'Ancona, The Daily Telegraph: "Mr Cameron looked and sounded like what Tony Blair would call a "change-maker". He managed to pull off the hardest task that faces any party moderniser before his own members, which is to challenge them without causing offence. Perhaps wisely, he chose to drop the refrain "Are you with me?" from the final version of his speech, although, as it turned out, the conference would certainly have responded favourably to the question. Whatever happens now, Mr Cameron can count himself a winner: he and his chief lieutenant, George Osborne (also excellent yesterday), have established themselves as forces in a party that no leader can ignore."

Andrew Pierce in The Times reports how David Cameron is claiming to be Tony Blair's heir.

The Guardian detected a new "self-belief" in the Conservative Party and identified the optimism in the fact that Gordon Brown is about to succeed Tony Blair: "Mr Cameron attacked Mr Brown as the great roadblock, the great complicator and the great regulator. Mr Clarke was more savage, casting Mr Brown as lucky, arrogant, power-crazed and obsessed with control. He had the best lines too - "Mr Brown is a team player who believes in a team of one ... With Mr Blair we have had a president; with Mr Brown we are going to have an emperor." There is a lot of water to go under the bridge before 2009. But make no mistake: when both men spoke it felt, somewhat in defiance of the electoral facts, as if Mr Cameron and Mr Clarke want the leader's job because they actually think they can win."

The Tory chief whip has ordered the leadership candidates to stop their teams from attacking one another - Times

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