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Last Updated: Tuesday, 5 December 2006, 17:28 GMT
Cameron promises some 'real grit'
David Cameron
Mr Cameron: I've stuck to the path I want to take

David Cameron has promised voters some "real grit" as he reaches his first anniversary as Conservative leader.

He said the past twelve months had been focused on changing the party and moving it back to the centre ground.

But Mr Cameron told BBC political editor Nick Robinson that the next 12 months would see more detail about what the party stood for.

He said: "You're going to hear real grit in terms of how we're going to change this country for the better."

'Part of the picture'

On Wednesday Mr Cameron celebrates a year since he was elected Conservative leader by a margin of more than two to one over David Davis, in a postal ballot of Tory members.

In an eve-of-anniversary interview with the BBC's political editor, Mr Cameron said: "You've heard about the change to the Conservative Party - that was important, we weren't being listened to - we weren't even part of the picture. We are part of the picture now."

It's been a year in which he has turned his back on every sound conservative issue
Nigel Farage, UKIP

He defended his so-called "hug a hoodie" campaign, saying: "I'm a Conservative, I understand, you break the law, you get punished."

But he said people understood that they had to look to the causes of crime.

"There's too much family breakdown in this country. There's too much alcohol abuse and drug abuse, too much sexual abuse in the home, too many people going wrong at school and playing truant," he said.

Policy report

Asked if he saw himself as a future prime minister, Mr Cameron said: "I wouldn't put myself forward if I didn't think I could do it and could do it well."

He said that during the first year of his leadership it had been important to change the Conservative Party and show people a "new team of leaders".

DAVID CAMERON
He is 40 years old
Married to Samantha, two sons, one daughter
Educated at Eton College and Brasenose College, Oxford
Special adviser to Cabinet ministers Michael Howard and Norman Lamont in the 1990s, then communications director at Carlton television
Became MP for Witney in 2001
Tory campaign coordinator at general election, then shadow education secretary

He said there would be more detailed policies rolled out in the coming months, following the launch of his first policy report on education.

He told the BBC: "I do not want to make the mistake Tony Blair and Gordon Brown made when they got into power - they didn't know what they wanted to do when it came to the vital areas of our hospitals and our schools."

He refused to promise "eye-catching policies" but said: "You're going to see that in subject after subject, a rigorous and clear analysis of what is wrong and what we'd put right."

Mr Cameron, who has faced some criticism from within the Conservative ranks for his efforts to change the party, said: "I think I've proved I can change the Conservative party, we're selecting more women as candidates, we're back in the centre ground.

"I've had plenty of criticism this past year. I've ignored them. I've stuck to the path I want to take to get my party to the centre ground, to address the issues people care about, to modernise the party."




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