Tory heartland backs would-be leader

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Indy Politics

Sir Nicholas Scott was deselected as Kensington and Chelsea MP after being found face down in the street following a boozy 1996 Conservative conference. He was replaced by Alan Clark. More recent MPs include Michael Portillo and the current incumbent, Sir Malcolm Rifkind.

Yesterday, Conservative voters in the borough were largely supportive of David Cameron's refusal to discuss whether he has taken drugs and revelations that he has a close relative battling heroin addiction.

Tony Buckland, 43, a sales manager, said: "He has a great background and he knows what to do. He's new, refreshing and definitely isn't Tony Blair."

Vance Forbes-Webber, 38, an architect, said: "No, I'm not bothered [about the drug allegations] because it was when he was a student. I think he'd make a good leader, but not a Margaret Thatcher type."

Abisha Moyo, 29, a business analyst, thought he should come clean about the identity of his relative with a drug abuse problem. He said: "This shouldn't be brought against him. He should be judged on his own individual merits."

Julie Smith, 49, a housewife, said: "This guy's got charisma, the public will forgive him for anything if he can get Blair out of office."

But Conservative Party member Lyndon Gaborite, 58, a company director, disagreed. He said: "I think that this issue is relevant. If Cameron came under pressure as head of a huge political party, he could head down that path again."