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Iain Duncan Smith: Conservatives are committed to a fair deal

In a speech in Birmingham tonight to Conservative Party members, the Rt Hon Iain Duncan Smith MP, Leader of the Conservative Party, will say:

"The Conservative Party is committed to a fair deal for everyone.

"There are those, however, who claim this is little more than a dream.

"They argue that leadership is about choices.

"They say you have to penalise one group to help another. You soak the rich to help the poor or you neglect the poor to help the rich.

"This Government believes this argument.

"That became clear again last week when Peter Hain broke the golden rule of New Labour and told the truth about their tax raising agenda.

"But as Conservatives we reject this false choice. We recognise that you don't help vulnerable people by making the rest poorer, and nor do you make our country richer by leaving large sections of society behind.

"Our fair deal for everyone demands that we are just as committed to leaving no one behind as we are to holding no one back. It is a realisable goal, but it requires leadership, vision and ambition.

"These are three qualities this party has shown before. And we have them again today.

"We have always been the party of one nation. The social and economic reforms of the 1980s were only possible because we built a coalition across social groups and reached out to the inner cities as much as to the leafy suburbs and the shires.

"Today we are still that party, but we must renew our commitment to solving and not merely managing the problems of places like Handsworth here in Birmingham.

"We believe the problems faced by parts of Britain's inner cities are not insurmountable. No one should be excluded from society because of where they live.

"We believe in the creation of the neighbourly society - not as an unachievable utopia but as a real and possible vehicle of sustained social progress.

"We believe that we can transform our representation in our inner cities because by supporting community groups such as Parents United who I met earlier today, we are showing that only the Conservative Party believes in the potential of every single person who lives in some of the most deprived areas of our country.

"Our challenge is not to attack those who create our nation's wealth, but to focus instead on ensuring everyone shares in that wealth to the benefit of society as a whole."

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