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Iain Duncan Smith speech in Loughborough

Speaking at a press conference at 10:00am, on Thursday 23 October, prior to visiting the University of Loughborough

"I know that the reputation students have for staying out late and drinking too much is only rivalled by the reputation journalists have for doing the same - so it's particularly good to see so many representatives of both groups here today.

This is an important event.

It's our opportunity to introduce to you some of the key people who will be fighting next year's local and European elections for the Conservative Party in this area.

And those elections are extremely important.

Local councils are increasingly spending more and more of people's money and being asked to deliver more and more of their services. That's why next year's local elections will be fought on the key battlegrounds of value for money and service delivery.

In May this year, people across the country put their trust in the Conservative Party to deliver better standards of service for lower levels of tax.

They did so, because Conservative councils have a good record of doing so. On average, Conservative councils charge £81 less on Band D homes than Labour councils, and £99 less than Liberal Democrat councils.

Yet an analysis of performance figures provided by the Audit Commission shows that the standard of our service delivery far outstrips that of our political opponents.

This is why today we are the largest and fastest growing party of local government in Britain.

But next year's elections are not just about the day-to-day issues of local government - they are also of crucial importance to the way Britain conducts its future relations with Europe.

I pay tribute particularly, to the work of your two local Conservative MEPs in this region - Chris Heaton-Harris and Roger Helmer, who is here today.

They have both worked extremely hard over the past four years to expose the fraud and maladministration at the heart of the European Commission.

And they have been prepared to stand up for the interests of the East Midlands by opposing Labour's destructive plans for regional assemblies and by supporting local industry and commerce.

They will also be part of this team that will be at the forefront of the Conservative campaign we have launched this week to give the people a say on the proposed European Constitution which is as unnecessary as it is unwanted.

We have a record of success on which to campaign next year.

But we also have new ideas and solutions in many policy areas that we will continue to promote.

We will show that it is once again the Conservative Party that is coming up with solutions to people's problems.

And it is once again the Conservative Party that is committed to holding no one back while leaving no one behind.

John spoke earlier about the specific problems we want to address here today. Problems faced by young people who are under pressure to achieve their best but who get little help from their government to do so.

For students in Loughborough those problems can take two main forms.

For those who hope to go on to a successful sporting career, one of the key concerns is the pressure to use performance enhancing drugs to be able to train and compete better.

As Conservatives, we are proud of our record in supporting British sport. For example, we established the National Lottery that has helped to fund many great sporting initiatives around the country.

But today, the distribution of lottery funds is carried out by the same body that funds our doping control programme.

That programme is often inconsistent and the grounds for appeal are sometimes unclear.

It's time to give a fair deal to Britain's young athletes so that they know where they stand and so that we can keep our sport drug-free.

So today, we call on the Government to establish a new UK Independent Agency for Doping Control in Sport - an agency that is completely free of interference from government or from those who fund sporting projects.

This would strengthen the existing mechanisms for dealing with doping cases in a robust, consistent and fair way under a unified system to cover all Governing bodies of Sport.

We hope the Government will accept this proposal now, so that our young sportsmen and women can have confidence they will be treated fairly and that we can be confident that our sport is as free from drugs as possible.

There is, however, a further threat to our nation's future potential that is not specific to this town or this area.

Labour's plans to impose a huge tax on learning - a charge of £3,000 a year for the average student - will deter many of our brightest and best young people from going to university in the first place.

At the same time, their plans to socially engineer the selection process for universities are simply unfair and are unthinkable for our party - a party that believes in opportunity and achievement for all based on merit and hard-work.

While the Government ploughs on with its plans in defiance of every strand of opposition and with arrogant disregard for general public opinion, I am happy to restate our commitment on tuition fees once again here today:

We will abolish all Labour's tuition fees.

We believe access to university should be based on merit and merit alone.

And we believe those young people who don't want to go to university should have just as much opportunity in life as those who do.

That's our fair deal for young people.

I'm delighted to be here today. To be able to visit this beautiful area, to be going to see the excellent facilities at Loughborough University and to be able to launch this excellent campaign team for next year's elections.

And I'm pleased to be able to bring the Conservative message of a fair deal for everyone to the people of the East Midlands.

A fair deal for everyone is our ambition for this country. And we will continue to demonstrate how we will achieve that ambition by delivering practical solutions to the problems the people of Britain face today.

Solutions like those I've spoken about this morning.

A fair deal for everyone will be the message we campaign on through next year's elections and on into the general election.

It's what British People deserve.

It's what we will deliver."

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