Tory leadership: How the rivals scored

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Indy Politics

The shadow Home Secretary rejected right-wing demands for him to campaign on Thatcherite Tory policies and declared he would end "grumpy conservativism". He told the Bow Group: "We must be open to all who share our values and our beliefs - young, old, black, white, straight, gay. Under my leadership, there will be no more grumpy conservatism." He positioned his campaign firmly on the centre-ground, promising to deliver a One Nation agenda. As the pace of the campaigning hotted up, his campaign team was joined by Tory girls sporting T-shirts with the slogan "DD for me" emblazoned across their chests.


The shadow Foreign Secretary made a pitch for the Eurosceptic vote as he hinted that the party should contemplate leaving the EU if the price of membership became unacceptably high. He said the Tories should draw clear "red lines" about the extent of European integration and warned the party must accept that it would not back EU membership "at any price". Speaking at a conference fringe meeting, he said: "You either believe in Europe at any price: in other words we have to be in Europe at any price because you can't survive without it, or you don't. If you don't it tends to suggest there is a price which you are not willing to pay."


David Cameron portrayed himself yesterday as the candidate most able to reach out to voters who had never supported the Tories. Supporters of the shadow Education Secretary seized on a poll suggesting he was popular among floating voters, particularly the young. Although rivals claim he is struggling to win the backing of more than 25 MPs, Mr Cameron insisted the contest was "wide open". He said: "If you want a modern, compassionate Conservative go for the real thing: that's me. "I am it. It's what I think and believe. When I'm under pressure and the Daily Mail's having a go at me, I'll stick to my guns because that's what I believe in."


Warned the party not to retreat into "a right wing bunker" as he urged the faithful to recapture 200 years of One Nation Conservatism. The former foreign secretary won an enthusiastic standing ovation as he became the first of the leadership hopefuls to set out their stall on the conference platform. He appealed to the memory of Winston Churchill's victory in 1951, and told party modernisers that "the solution is not to reinvent ourselves, not to ape the Labour party or the Liberal Democrats." He warned against believing that a Gordon Brown premiership would be a "soft option" for the Tories.