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Last Updated: Tuesday, 31 July 2007, 20:42 GMT 21:42 UK
Cameron critic axed as MP hopeful
Ali Miraj
Ali Miraj denied he was considering leaving the Conservative Party
A former David Cameron supporter who said the Tory leader was "obsessed" with PR has been dropped from the list of potential parliamentary candidates.

Ali Miraj was suspended because of "his conduct in general", the party said.

Mr Cameron said Mr Miraj - one of a number to recently criticise him - had asked for a peerage before his attack.

Mr Miraj said this was an attempt to "smear him" and responded to his suspension by accusing Mr Cameron of "conduct unbecoming a prime minister".

"David has made himself look completely foolish," he said.

"He has displayed behaviour unbecoming of a prime minister, it's schoolboy, playground tactics."

'Big issues'

And Mr Miraj denied categorically that he was considering leaving the Conservative Party.

What matters is actually delivering for the British people a really compelling alternative that actually meets the things they care about."
David Cameron

He is one of several party figures - including former chairman Lord Saatchi and ex-treasurer Lord Kalms - who have criticised the Tory leader since the party came third in two by-elections on 19 July.

Mr Cameron's decision to visit Rwanda while parts of England were badly flooded has also come under fire.

Mr Cameron has rejected the criticism saying he is addressing the "big issues" which matter to voters.

"What matters is actually delivering for the British people a really compelling alternative that actually meets the things they care about," he said.

He said Labour - under the new Prime Minister Gordon Brown - could not make the changes necessary to mend Britain's "broken society" and was too "wedded to state control".

Criticism 'inevitable'

In a speech on school discipline earlier he pledged to scrap local authority appeals panels which can overrule schools which exclude badly-behaved pupils, saying it undermined the authority of head teachers.

But asked about discipline within his own party, Mr Cameron said that the direction he had taken - including a refusal to promise tax cuts and to adopt "opt outs" from the NHS - had "inevitably" lead to criticism.

But he said he was determined to keep "going on the course I have set".

And he insisted Labour's performance in recent polls - which seem to suggest the "Brown bounce" is continuing following Gordon Brown's succession as prime minister in June - were temporary.

A survey for the Times put the Labour party six points clear of the Conservatives with 39% of the vote compared with 33%. Populus questioned 1,511 adults by telephone between July 27 and 29.

David Cameron defends his actions

Cameron dismisses party criticism
31 Jul 07 |  UK Politics
In full: Cameron on school discipline
31 Jul 07 |  UK Politics
Will Tories pass discipline test?
31 Jul 07 |  UK Politics
Cameron attacks discipline units
31 Jul 07 |  Education
Attack on 'PR-obsessed' Cameron
30 Jul 07 |  UK Politics
Cameron 'failing over key voters'
29 Jul 07 |  UK Politics

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