EDITORIAL: Holding back the Tory back-biters

The more unpleasant aspects of political communications have been

on display during the last two weeks as the three declared Tory

leadership candidates jockey for position. For non-candidate Ann

Widdecombe to have to single out 'backbiters' in the Michael Portillo

camp is an extraordinary step to take - even for someone so nastily

stitched up over zero tolerance for cannabis users at last year's party

conference. It should be a source of deep embarrassment for the many

spiteful briefers attached to the current hot favourite.

Campaigning against the apparently unstoppable force of Portillo's

cakewalk is for those made of stern stuff - it is no coincidence two

former soldiers have decided to stand up against him. Their only hope

can be that his excitable band of advocates cause him more harm than

good before he claims the crown.

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