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Last Updated: Monday, 3 July 2006, 14:19 GMT 15:19 UK
Voting Tory 'no longer shameful'
By James Landale
Chief political correspondent, BBC News 24

Hazel Blears
Hazel Blears has been Labour chairman since May
Labour Party chairman Hazel Blears has warned that people are no longer embarrassed to vote Conservative.

Her comments come in an interview to be carried later this week with the Blairite Progress magazine.

She says: "Until relatively recently people were embarrassed to admit being Tories. That position has changed."

The English local elections this year had showed that "where they are traditionally strong, the Tories are coming back hard", she says.

Ms Blears, party chairman since those local elections in May, says "the vote that stayed at home is now prepared to come out".

She also concedes that the Tories are "managing to dispel some of that reputation that they had" by "some very clever repositioning".

But she says that Labour will build up an argument against the Conservatives by questioning how much trust the public have in Mr Cameron on big policy decisions, such as the economy.


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