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Conservative Party Conference: Me, a liability? - You must be . . .

Michael Howard yesterday promised he would quit as Tory leader if he ever became a liability to the party.

But he side-stepped a challenge to say if he would step down should the Tories lose the next election.

Mr Howard faced former political journalist Michael Brunson in a question and answer session on the closing day of the Conservative conference. Asked if he would go, if he became a liability to the party, he said: 'Absolutely - no ifs or buts.'

But when Mr Brunson demanded: 'Is losing the next election a liability?' Mr Howard answered: 'Everyone in this hall is focused on winning the next election.

'No alternative to that crosses our minds.'

Asked if he was the 'party's problem,' Mr Howard responded to loud applause: 'I don't think I see it like that and I don't think most people in this hall would see it like that.'

He insisted the Conservatives had done the 'hard work' in drawing up policies to win the next election and would now concentrate on getting that message across to the public.
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Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Oct 8, 2004
Words:178
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