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Last Updated: Wednesday, 17 November, 2004, 09:14 GMT
Blair stole our clothes - Howard
Michael Howard
Mr Howard still believes his party can win
Tory leader Michael Howard has accused Tony Blair of stealing his party's language on health and education.

In an interview with The Guardian, Mr Howard admitted he had not been able to get Tory policy over to the general public "as well as I would like".

But he claimed Mr Blair's ability to "look and sound like a Tory" had made his job harder.

He said Mr Blair had both poisoned public trust in politics and cynically stolen Tory clothes.


The Tory leader said he thought his party could still win the next general election.

But he said it had become difficult for voters to distinguish between Tory and Labour policy on health and education.

The key to winning election campaigns is building a good team...and having a leader who knows what he's on about
Lynton Crosby, Conservative campaign adviser

He told the newspaper: "I am frustrated. I think we have better policies on health and education than the government.

"I think that they would be better for everybody in this country. They are the way to better healthcare and higher standards in education.

"The government stole our language. Their policies are very different from ours, much less effective than ours.

"After all they've had nearly eight years in which to put in place their policies and they have manifestly failed to do so. Any notion that they're going to be able to do so in a third term is for the birds."

Mr Howard branded Mr Blair a "very bad prime minister", who had inherited favourable economic conditions when he was elected in 1997 with a huge parliamentary majority but had squandered his opportunities.

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