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Last Updated: Sunday, 10 August, 2003, 11:24 GMT 12:24 UK
Tories 'should be further ahead'
Michael Howard
Howard told the BBC there was 'more work to do'
The Conservatives should be further ahead in the opinion polls a senior party member has admitted amid reports of fresh infighting.

Shadow chancellor Michael Howard said the Tories had not done "anything like enough" to win the next General Election.

Earlier, remarks by shadow trade secretary Tim Yeo were seen as a challenge to beleaguered chairman Theresa May.

Party leader Iain Duncan Smith is understood to have reassured her that her position is secure.

Mr Yeo had warned that Mr Duncan Smith's attempts to refashion the party were being "blocked".

Mr Howard's own position is reportedly under threat from shadow home secretary Oliver Letwin.

It has become a British tradition along with hose pipe bans and Bank Holiday traffic jams that the Tories begin in-fighting in August
Mark Oaten
Liberal Democrat

Speaking on BBC1's Breakfast With Frost programme on Sunday, Mr Howard admitted that with the government's current problems over the war with Iraq, his party should be "much further ahead".

"Our present lead isn't anything like enough," he said.

"The electoral system is such that if we are to win the next election and save the country - which is what we need to do - we certainly need to be much further ahead."

However, he praised Mr Duncan Smith's "clear strategic vision".

'Jockeying for position'

On Saturday, backbencher John Redwood admitted senior Tories were "jockeying for position".

Mark Oaten, chairman of the Liberal Democrats' Parliamentary Party, said no one should be surprised that as soon as the sun came out, the Tories turned on each other.

"It has become a British tradition along with hose pipe bans and Bank Holiday traffic jams that the Tories begin in-fighting in August," he said.

"This year they have not disappointed.

"The longer they continue to fight amongst themselves the further they get from government."

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