Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Blair Prepares to See off His FIFTH Tory Opponent; Prime Minister Promises a Rough Ride at Question Time Debut for New Boy Cameron

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Blair Prepares to See off His FIFTH Tory Opponent; Prime Minister Promises a Rough Ride at Question Time Debut for New Boy Cameron

Article excerpt

Byline: JOE MURPHY

DAVID CAMERON was today facing the first challenge of his new leadership - taking on Tony Blair in the bearpit of the Commons.

The new Tory leader was facing Mr Blair at Prime Minister's Questions for the first time. He was the fifth Tory leader to stand opposite Mr Blair at the weekly exchange.

Mr Cameron spent this morning training for the baptism of fire, knowing that any slip in the Westminster bearpit would be mercilessly exploited by jeering MPs.

He will be well aware that the hard work begins today after the euphoria of his victory party last night wears off. The ICA auditorium was packed with Tories nursing skyhigh hopes that their new, fresh leader will take them back to power.

But today in the Commons will be a real test of his mettle.

Most of his predecessors were set to be cheering him on. Michael Howard, Iain Duncan Smith and William Hague will watch as Mr Blair tries to dismantle his new opponent - using skills honed since he became Labour leader in 1994. …

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