Interviewed for BBC1’s Politics Show, Shadow Foreign Secretary William Hague made it clear that he did not believe Iraq was to blame for the latest attempts to terrorise Britain.  The attacks of 9/11 happened before the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, he noted.

He urged the Government to eschew confrontationalism in responding to the latest attacks and promised that Conservatives could support a longer period of detention without trial if presented with "compelling evidence" that it was justified.  That evidence had not been presented so far, he continued.  He also urged the Government to consider adopting Conservative proposals on intercept evidence and post-charge questioning.

Towards the end of the interview Mr Hague rejected calls from Edward Leigh for a greater emphasis on issues like tax, deregulation, stronger immigration controls and strong defence.  He said that Brown was not capable of delivering real change.  He was the very man who had presided over the pensions crisis and one hundred extra stealth taxes.

Earlier today George Osborne told Peter Sissons that there would be "absolutely no change in strategy" and that the party would remain "in the mainstream of British politics":

"We are not changing our strategy. Our strategy is to be in the mainstream of British politics – talking about the issues, like the NHS, like social breakdown, like pensions – that matter to people in this country."

Today’s Mail on Sunday is reporting that Mr Osborne may be given new powers over party campaigns and General Election plans in the forthcoming Conservative reshuffle.

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