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Dirty tricks in Tory race

The Daily Mirror, Editorial, 17th October 2005

IT isn't often that the Daily Mirror defends a Tory... but the hounding of David Cameron is a disgrace.

He came from nowhere to become the favourite in the race to lead his party. That was when the dirty stuff started.

First there were whispers that he might have smoked cannabis when he was a student. Then came more sinister whispers involving harder drugs.

Mr Cameron has done himself no favours by not tackling his accusers head on. The assumption is that it is because he has something to hide.

On the other hand, it might be that he doesn't want to get down in the gutter with MPs who want to destroy him because they back another leadership candidate.

Now Mr Cameron has explained that a close family member had a serious drug problem. If anything, that makes him more suitable to be a leader.

He has first-hand knowledge of the sort of drug crisis that affects thousands of ordinary families.

Politics in this country is at its lowest ebb.

A major cause of that is the pathetic quality of leadership of the official opposition.

The Daily Mirror doesn't want a Tory government but we do want an effective opposition - which means it must have a good leader.

Is that person going to be judged on whether he smoked a joint 20 years ago?

Or on whether he understands the needs and problems of the British people?

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