29/09/2005

Conservative rivals launch leadership campaigns

Conservative leadership rivals David Davis and David Cameron have launched their campaigns for the party leadership.

The Shadow Home Secretary and Shadow Education Secretary both gave speeches to their supporters within an hour of each other on Thursday.

Mr Davis used his speech to present a “manifesto for modern Conservatism,” calling for “radical” reforms in order to improve the lives of people in the UK.

Shadow Home Secretary David Davis said that although Britain was an “affluent nation”, too many people were being “left behind”. He said: “The best off in society can move house or go private if they want to get their children into good schools. They can take out health insurance or pay if they fall ill and want to get treated quickly. They can afford to live in a better neighbourhood with safer streets. But most families simply don’t have these options.

“People feel the country is going in the wrong direction, but they also feel powerless to change the situation.”

Mr Davis also called for lower taxation and less dependence on welfare benefits.

Launching his own leadership bid, under the campaign headline “Change to Win”. Mr Cameron said that the Conservative party had to leave its “comfort zone”.

The Shadow Education Secretary said that people did not trust the Conservatives and said that the party needed to change.

In his speech, Mr Cameron stressed the need for “shared responsibility” between government and business and emphasised the need to continue to engage in international politics.

Three other contenders for the Tory leadership, Kenneth Clarke, Liam Fox and Sir Malcolm Rifkind have already launched their leadership campaigns.

(KMcA/SP)

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