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Last Updated: Thursday, 30 October, 2003, 16:14 GMT
Key quotes: Michael Howard
Here are some of the key points from Michael Howard's speech launching his campaign to be the next Conservative leader.

Michael Howard:

  • "I'm announcing today that I'm a candidate for the leadership of the Conservative Party.

  • "I pay tribute, first of all to Iain Duncan Smith, to his courage, to his dignity, to his decency and to what he has achieved for us in the last two years.

  • "This is a great party - the longest standing, most successful party in the history of democracy. There has been no other party that has done so much or achieved so much as ours. We are its trustees.

    There will be no narrow political opportunism from us - I will tell the truth. I will tell it as I see it

  • "At its best, we have a party broad and generous, broad in appeal and generous in outlook - a party capable of representing all Britain and all Britons.

  • "I will lead this party from its centre. I will call on the talents of all of the party and the party will expect all to answer that call.

  • "There will be no narrow political opportunism from us - I will tell the truth. I will tell it as I see it."

  • Mr Howard said he was determined to offer the public "realistic alternatives", saying that was the only way to "revive people's trust" in politics.

  • "We must look forward, not back ...

  • "Today we know there are pockets of desperate poverty. No party that aspires to govern can ignore that.

    I have been in the party for 20 years now ... I have learnt that if you want to persuade people, you need to preach a bit less

  • "Many of our great provincial cities are Conservative deserts. Today it's my mission to change that.

  • "We will offer a new kind of politics ... we won't hesitate to give credit to the government when it gets things right.

  • "We won't oppose for opposition sake. People want better than that."

  • Mr Howard said his party will trust people, patients, families, teachers, nurses and police officers.

  • "Choice for all, not just to those who can afford it," he said.

  • Mr Howard said he would not be afraid to make the case for lower taxes, adding: "Not for us pledges that mortgage Britain's future."

    Britain deserves better than it has today - it is our destiny to provide it

  • "Our party will be internationalist in outlook. My parents were immigrants. They saw Britain as a beacon in a dark and threatening world ...

  • "We know that all our obligations begin within our shores. They don't end there."

  • Mr Howard said that if people had concerns about the Europe, it was "not because we are little Englanders", it was because it was "too intrusive, too regimented".

  • "I wasn't born into the Conservative Party. I chose it. I chose it because I thought, as I still do, that it offers Britain it's brightest future.

  • "I have been in the party for 20 years now ... I have learnt that if you want to persuade people, you need to preach a bit less.

  • "I have learnt that politicians won't be respected by the public unless they respect each other and people won't trust us unless we trust them."

  • Mr Howard said there was "no place for ancient feuds or ranking discord".

  • "Britain deserves better than it has today - it is our destiny to provide it. We must prove that we are equal to that challenge."

  • Mr Howard disclosed that he will be meeting with former Tory chancellor Kenneth Clarke later on Thursday.

  • "Ken Clarke is a very old friend of mine ... had been for 44 years and we have very much more in common than divides us.

  • "I shall be discussing with Ken this afternoon the best way we can work together for the future of our party and the future of our country."




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