Tory attacks on Blair were unwise, says Osborne

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Indy Politics

Mr Osborne, who has pulled out of the Tory leadership contest, said the Tories had too often sacrificed long-term credibility for the prospect of winning the support of an aggrieved section of the population.

His remarks came the day after Michael Howard, the Tory leader, praised Mr Blair's "statesmanlike way'' he had responded to the London bombings.

Mr Osborne criticised the Tories in a speech to the Centre for Policy Studies for opposing foundation hospitals and student fees, while giving tacit support to the fuel protesters who brought Britain to a virtual standstill. Mr Osborne said: "I am not looking for any scapegoats. As someone involved in the Opposition since 1997, I blame myself as much as anyone else. But I've learnt my lesson."

His criticism echoes attacks on the Tories by Gordon Brown, the Chancellor, in the run-up to the election.