Tories say Brown is 'locked in past'

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Indy Politics

Tory leaders are determined to frustrate Mr Brown's attempt to project himself as a rounded politician before he takes over party's leadership. Mr Brown has made speeches in the past two weeks on topics ranging from tackling terrorism to what it means to be British, in a drive to broaden his image.

William Hague, who is acting as Tory leader during David Cameron's two-week paternity leave, will target the Chancellor in a speech today to the Policy Exchange - including a swipe at Mr Brown's suggestion that Britons should follow the American example and hoist the Union flag in their front gardens.

Mr Hague will say: "The tragedy of Gordon Brown's attempt to grapple with the question of national identity is that he has failed to recognise the role of common institutions in pulling a diverse society closer. He is a prisoner of the Government's past, unable to admit the damage that has been done by the Government to our institutions ... Vague talk of Britishness and a sudden love of flagpoles is no substitute for renewing faith in Britain's institutions."

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