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David Cameron releases Tory manifesto ahead of UK general election

With the UK general election campaign in full swing, Tory leader David Cameron unveiled a Conservative Party platform Tuesday that he hopes will lead the party back to power after 13 years in opposition.

By Correspondent / April 13, 2010

Britain's Conservative Party leader, David Cameron, delivers his speech during the launch of his party's manifesto in London, Tuesday. Britain goes to the polls in a general election on May 6.

Lefteris Pitarakis/AP

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London

Hoping to deliver a killing blow to the ruling Labour Party in the UK’s tight election race, would-be Prime Minister David Cameron unveiled Tuesday a Conservative Party platform that promised voters smaller government, lower taxes, and more of a say in government affairs.

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Indeed, the Tories presented British voters with their starkest electoral choice for decades, in a race that has tightened sharply since the campaign for the May 6 vote got under way.
 
 While the Labour platform, released Monday, emphasized preserving and improving public services, the Tories called for voters to have the power to directly elect police commissioners, sack members of Parliament, set up their own US-style charter schools, and veto some local tax increases.

The 130-page Tory manifesto was also aimed at silencing critics of Mr. Cameron who charge that his rebranded party is all about style over substance.
 
“One of the things that it does, by being quite long and detailed, is to at least convey the idea that he is putting flesh on the bones of what he has been saying,” says Tim Bale at the University of Sussex, an expert on the Conservative Party. “Its weight, as well as the absence of any pictures of Mr. Cameron on its front cover, is designed to suggest that he is more than just a salesman and emphasize that he is part of a serious team.”

Releasing the manifesto inside Battersea Power Station, a decaying symbol of neglect in the heart of London, the Tory leader, who is hoping to lead the Tories back to power after 13 years of Labour control, said that Britons must “stop asking who will fix this and start asking, what can I do?

"People power, not state power. Big society, not big government. We're all in this together,” he added. "Government has an important role to play. But the people's role is even bigger."

Team Cameron

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