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Getting a nose in front

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Hosting a shindig conference at one of Britain’s most prestigious racecourses in the genteel spa town of Cheltenham hardly sends out a message that David Cameron’s opposition Conservatives are trying to reach out to the masses.

But the decision to come to the rolling hills of the Cotswolds sheds light on one of the obstacles standing between Cameron and the keys to No. 10 Downing Street.

Britain’s third main party — the Liberal Democrats.

The LibDems won the parliamentary seat of Cheltenham in the 2005 election with a majority of about 2,000 over the Conservative candidate.

It is the kind of seat the Tories will want to win next year if they are going to get a decent majority over Gordon Brown’s Labour and be able to push through their agenda.

Charles Clarke keeps out of Brown debate

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Charles Clarke refused to fan the flames of the Labour Party revolt when he attended a fringe meeting at the Liberal Democrat autumn conference in Bournemouth on Sunday.

Charles ClarkeThe former home secretary was appearing a day after Prime Minister Gordon Brown sacked his second senior party member in two days for breaking ranks and calling for a leadership contest.

Big task looms for Boris Johnson

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(Updated on May 3 with new headline, election results, reaction and photos)

**For full coverage of the elections go to our special page**

The man described by some as a joke, by others as a brilliant mind has ended Ken Livingstone’s eight-year reign at City Hall.

The verdict is still out on what exactly Boris Johnson’s victory means for the Conservative Party overall but his performance as mayor could help determine whether people will vote for the Tories in a general election next time.

Ken dismisses negative poll

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livingstone.jpgKen Livingstone talks to Tim Castle about standing for a third term as Mayor of London.

He dismisses a recent YouGov poll that shows him trailing Conservative rival Boris Johnson and says his rival candidates are all “Ken Lites” who have moved their policies closer to his.

Paddick: “Not being a politician is an advantage”

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Brian PaddickBrian Paddick talks to Tim Castle about his autobiography and his candidacy for the mayoral election in London.

He says not being a politician is a “distinct advantage” when running against Ken Livingstone and Boris Johnson.

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