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Last Updated: Wednesday, 5 October 2005, 15:51 GMT 16:51 UK
Tory conference at-a-glance: Day Three
All you need to know about the leadership contest on Day Three of the Conservative conference 2005:


The front runner in the contest David Davis seeks to cement his status as favourite with his pitch for the top job - while Liam Fox hopes to build momentum for his campaign.


Front runner David Davis has made his pitch for the Tory leadership telling the party to "walk tall" and stop apologising for its past.

Liam Fox pledges to fix Britain's "broken society" and sends out a strong Eurosceptic message to supporters on the right of the party.

Former leader William Hague says the party can "leap frog" Labour into power.

Deputy leader Michael Ancram rules himself out of the race to replace Michael Howard.

Local government spokeswoman Caroline Spelman criticises John Prescott's "Soviet-style" plans for house building in south-eastern England.

Conservative leadership challenger David Cameron has secured the backing of one of Britain's most famous Tories - Big Brother contestant Derek Laud.

On Tuesday Ken Clarke told representatives he was a "bigger beast" than either Gordon Brown or Tony Blair and the Conservatives' best chance of winning the next election.

Also on Tuesday David Cameron said he wants to win over a new generation of Conservatives, to make "people to feel good about being Conservatives again".

On Monday Sir Malcolm Rifkind is the first contender to address the conference, putting in a rousing speech in which he says the party must build on its One Nation traditions.


Ken Clarke's wife Gillian huddles quietly in the middle of a row of people at the back of the room, while her husband speaks at the Bow Group's fringe meeting - in contrast to David Cameron's wife Samantha, who joined her husband on stage at the end of his Monday speech, evoking yet more (deliberate?) comparisons with the Blairs. Clarke campaign supporter continue to be pestered for their free fleeces - but demand for the wool-lined jackets seems to be outstripping supply.

1330 BST
Edward Leigh, of the right wing Cornerstone Group, tells a fringe meeting he is still considering a leadership bid. He says he will announce his intentions next Tuesday. Rumours Michael Ancram - or even William Hague - will run as a candidate from the right continue to circulate.

0930 BST
With Michael Ancram and William Hague both tipped to say something important in their speeches the conference rumour mill is going into overdrive, with some Hague fans even daring to dream their man will announce his own candidature.
0830 BST
Despite schmoozing in the Imperial Hotel bar late into the night, David Davis is up bright and early rehearsing his speech in the conference hall. One of the MPs backing him said there was "all to play for" and admits the bookmakers' favourite was not a renowned orator.

The Daily Telegraph executives' party proves to be a happy hunting ground for leadership candidate watchers, with David Cameron reportedly telling the gathering he was the natural heir to Tony Blair.

1925 BST
Oliver Letwin is spotted at a fringe meeting with an "I love DC" badge, trumpeting his support for David Cameron. Michael Howard's ability to turn heads looks to have dwindled as he passes virtually unnoticed through the Imperial Hotel lobby. Some of his supporters wish he had performed his leader's speech on the opening day of the conference rather than sticking with tradition and waiting for the final day, when attention will be elsewhere.

1450 BST
Leadership non-contender (yes, there are some) George Osborne ducks and weaves through individuals handing out "support Ken" water or "I love Cameron" badges in the Winter Gardens, before running into a woman from the "go local" group pushing for more local democracy, who isn't having any of his polite, harassed looking protestations and insists on sticking a badge on his lapel. However, her attempts to get him to sign her petition meet with less success as an aide ushers Mr Osborne away towards the hall where he is about to make his big speech. "He was probably busy going somewhere," she says. "Anyway, who was he?" she asks.


Did 'big beast' Ken Clarke see off the challenge of young pretender David Cameron?


The Daily Telegraph takes a look at Tuesday's leadership speeches, comparing the elegant young gazelle David Cameron with Ken Clarke the big beast - roaring and crashing through the undergrowth. The Daily Mirror continues the theme but concludes that it was "Ken Kong" who trampled all over the young pup. Less flatteringly, The Sun sees Mr Clarke as a political dinosaur - a grizzled old bruiser bereft of fresh ideas, perhaps about to be eaten by a hungry young lion. Both have "raised the stakes" ahead of the final two speeches, by Liam Fox and David Davis, The Times says.

Latest betting: David Davis 8/13; Ken Clarke 7/2; David Cameron 4/1; Liam Fox 12/1; Malcolm Rifkind 50/1 (source: politicalbetting.com)


Doreen and David Davis
David Davis and wife Doreen soak up the applause following his speech


David (Cameron) made a good speech, Ken Clarke made a good speech, Malcolm Rifkind made a good speech. That is brilliant, you know, because one of the things that we've got to do in this party is raise our entire game, not just the leader and I am pleased about that.

David Davis praises his rivals.

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