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Last Updated: Sunday, 6 November 2005, 10:35 GMT
Tory leadership two
Sunday AM, Sunday 06 November 2005

John Hutton
John Hutton MP, Secretary of State for Work and Pensions

Cabinet minister John Hutton said opponents of the government's new anti-terror legislation would be "tying the hands" of the police, if they blocked plans to allow suspects to be held for up to 90 days without charge.

Although Downing Street confirmed that the Prime Minister would negotiate on the issue, Mr Hutton told Andrew Marr that the policy was right.

In his first television interview since he replaced David Blunkett as Work and Pensions Secretary, Mr Hutton also talked about welfare reform. He denied that the government had "run out of steam":

"What I want to do is build a consensus," he told Andrew. "There is no point in me coming in, doing some reforms and two years later they are all unravelling and unpicking.

"We have got to get it right and it has got to last 30 or 40 years," he said.

David Cameron and David Davis
David Cameron MP and David Davis MP

Tory leadership

Andrew also interviewed the two Conservative leadership candidates - appearing for the first time since ballot papers were sent out to the 300,000 party members who will decide the contest.

David Davis acknowledged he was behind in the opinion polls, but insisted his message was gaining support as he campaigned around the country.

"What I am arguing is that we should have a distinctively different approach to Blair. Blair is a declining product," he said. "Image-led politics is very dangerous.

"What the British people want is actually to be able to see both the principles and the outcome of an alternative Tory government."

Young pretender?

Mr Davis's rival, David Cameron told Andrew that the Conservative Party needed to undergo an "intellectual revolution", to understand why it had lost three successive elections, and how Britain had changed since it was last in power:

"There is a big choice opening up here. Do we go down a sort of core vote, right wing agenda playing the same tunes.

If we play the same tunes we end up with the same song, we end up with the same position in the charts, second and I do not want that to happen," he said.

Mr Cameron also defended his controversial suggestion that the drug Ecstasy should be down-graded from Class A to B.

Sarah Sands, PJ O'Rourke and Gerald Scarfe
Newspapers reviewed by Sarah Sands, PJ O'Rourke and Gerald Scarfe

"I do not underestimate the dangers of Ecstasy and it has taken young people's lives but we have got to be clear that drugs policy in this country under all governments has been a monumental failure.

"I think we have got to make some new approaches."

The newspapers were reviewed by the American satirist, P J O'Rourke; the editor of the Sunday Telegraph, Sarah Sands; and the cartoonist, Gerald Scarfe.

Sunday AM returns on Sunday 13 November at the usual time of 9.00am

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