David Cameron will face down party members today who want the Conservative Party to sound more like it did in the old days - the party of tax cuts and private health.
In words reminiscent of Tony Blair's many lectures to the Labour Party, he will tell them the only problem with the party under his leadership is that it is not changing fast enough.
He emphasised the point yesterday by warning the party faithful, who have gathered in Manchester for the spring conference, that they still have a "mountain to climb" before they can win back control of big cities, in many of which they have no councillors at all.
An ICM poll for Channel 4 last night had some good news for Mr Cameron - it showed his party drawing level with Labour at 35 per cent each. But the poll also revealed that 61 per cent of those asked think that Gordon Brown is "tough", but only 29 per cent think the same of Mr Cameron, and 58 per cent think that, even under a new leader, the Conservative Party has not changed much at all.
The findings will add urgency to the message Mr Cameron delivers this morning. His spokesman disclosed he has been under pressure from within the party to take a more right-wing line on tax and the NHS but he is not going to give ground.Reuse content