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Saturday 19th November 2005

Saturday_9BBCi afternoon update: "The Liberal Democrats are abandoning a policy of calling for higher taxation, leader Charles Kennedy has revealed.  The party, which sought higher taxes at the last three elections, still wants wealthy people to pay more but would match this with cuts for poorer people."


Leadership blog: How many Tories have voted?

Commentators blog: Growth and technology - not Kyoto - will answer the developing world's economic and environmental challenges

Platform blog: Oberon Houston urges Conservatives to oppose Labour's Education White Paper


Telegraph: "Around half of the 253,689 eligible party members are now estimated to have voted in the leadership contest, even though the deadline is Dec 5."

William Hill: Cameron is now the shortest odds favourite he has been since the contest to find a new leader began.

Yorkshire Post: "A survey of Yorkshire's constituency association chairmen has put Mr Davis on 40 per cent, four points ahead of Mr Cameron, reflecting the acknowledged underdog's added support in the region and a recent upturn in his campaign performance.  The Cameron team has claimed that a four point lead among 50 local party chiefs in Yorkshire – where Mr Davis was born and holds his parliamentary seat – actually spells disaster for his campaign."

The Guardian: "Mr Paxman's treatment of William Hague during the 2001 election stays in the memory as being cruelly demeaning to both of them. A Tony Blair, a Michael Howard or a John Reid can usually look after themselves. Mr Cameron has now joined their small club."

Liam Fox calls for EU policy to avoid totems and to become part of a Conservative policy dedicated to the national interest -


KennedyMatthew Parris, The Times: I have been in Mr Kennedy’s Highlands and Islands constituency as I write this. A brisk, November swing through the Inner and Outer Hebrides finds a still and glowing world, becalmed and basking in the late autumn sunshine, breathless before winter. But winter will come; and if, by his party’s spring conference next year, Charles Kennedy has not used those long Skye nights to plot something that looks like a serious course through the next four years, I think he may be in trouble, and deserve to be."

Times leader: "The House of Commons is spending £442,000 on an awning to keep our Members dry. Such is the cost of canvassing over a 40-yard stretch of pavement in Star Chamber Court."

Peter Wilby says that The Telegraph is unsure of itself - Guardian

The French riots revive rabble-rouser Jean-Marie Le Pen - Wall Street Journal


Sir Bill Morris says that Tory votes for Labour's education reforms are "unacceptable" - Times

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