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Last Updated: Wednesday, 7 December 2005, 15:18 GMT
Cameron seeking 'social justice'
David Cameron
Mr Cameron said he was 'deeply committed' to change
Tory leader David Cameron has announced a social justice policy group to tackle the UK's "broken society".

Former leader Iain Duncan Smith will chair the group, Mr Cameron announced on a visit to east London.

"I want us to come up with the right policies to help communities to turn themselves around," he said.

The group would tackle problems such as drugs, family breakdown, crime and poor public spaces, Mr Cameron added.

'Open and challenging'

The social justice group is the first of six to be set up to inform Conservative policy.

Mr Cameron said he wanted the party's policy development to be "open, transparent and challenging".

"This is a really important agenda and our policies should be tested by what we do for people would have the most difficult lives."

He added: "These challenges are complex and interconnected. They don't sit inside simple boxes. They need serious, long-term thinking.

"So that's exactly what we will do - and the hard work starts today."

Mr Cameron also said: "For far too long, the social problems which affect people's lives, particularly in our inner cities, have been addressed by piecemeal policies and short-term solutions.

"It will study the causes and consequences of poverty in Britain and will develop practical ideas to empower the least well-off to climb the ladder from poverty to wealth."

The group will consider the care of the elderly and disabled.

Mr Cameron said: "I am deeply committed to social action for social justice.

"In the end, the test for our policies will not be how they affect the better off, but how they help the worst-off in our country - empowering them to climb the ladder from poverty to wealth."

Mr Duncan Smith said: "The work of this group will make a major contribution to the building of a Conservative Party that offers policies that are good for the floating voter and good for Britain's most disadvantaged communities."

See the exchanges between Cameron and Blair


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