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banner Tuesday, 3 October, 2000, 17:21 GMT 18:21 UK
Tuesday news in brief
The Conservatives would introduce a national rail watchdog and specific rail safety laws, the party pledged.

Shadow transport minister Bernard Jenkin promised "eternal vigilance" over rail safety.

In the week of the first anniversary of the Paddington rail crash, Mr Jenkin also promised a "national rail regulator" responsible for stringent performance and safety standards.

"We have proposed to the Paddington inquiry a new rail safety regime. For the first time there should be specific rail safety legislation, like there is in aviation," he said.


'Rising star' attacks Blair

The government is discredited and arrogant and the prime minister is deceitful, a Tory candidate has said.

Solicitor Shailesh Vara, who hopes to take the marginal Northampton South seat at the next election, declared that in contrast, the Tories were "a government in waiting".

Ugandan-born Mr Vara, 40, who spoke in the Conservatives' "rising star" slot, was rewarded with a standing ovation.

Mr Vara said: "This shameful government is resorting to scare tactics, using fear rather than confidence, saying that the euro is inevitable."


Appeal to ethnic minorities

Ethnic minorities and women are under-represented in the Conservative Party, shadow foreign secretary Francis Maude conceded.

Mr Maude, addressing a Tory conference fringe meeting, warned the party had to do more to attract supporters from a wide range of backgrounds if it was to be in touch with multi-cultural Britain.

And he questioned whether individual constituency associations had been sufficiently willing to adopt women and ethnic minority candidates.

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