David Davis has warned that his rival for the Tory leadership David Cameron could be destroyed within 100 days by a Labour offensive if he becomes party leader.
In a strong criticism of Mr Cameron, Mr Davis argued for himself as the only candidate with the strength and experience to withstand the onslaught to be waged by Labour against whoever takes over as Tory leader on 6 December. His remarks were seen by the Cameron camp as a "desperate last throw".
Mr Davis said: "The Labour counter-offensive will be swift and savage. Blair and Brown know that the first 100 days of a new Conservative leadership will be critical to the future direction of politics in this country. If they can inflict lasting damage on the new leader, their chances of reviving Labour's declining fortunes will be greatly enhanced."
The shadow Home Secretary told Tory students at Lincoln University: "I am ready for that fight. I know what to expect from Tony Blair. And I believe I have the skills to face him down.
"It will take guts, resilience, a vision of a new Conservative future for our country and, above all, experience, to withstand the fire to come."
Mr Cameron called for radical reform of the police yesterday. Speaking in Ludlow, he said: "After two years of probation, police constables are virtually unsackable, even if it's clear they're not up to scratch. This must change."Reuse content