Cameron: 'I'll roll back Labour's Big Brother state

DAVID Cameron will launch a radical programme to slash bureaucracy, reform public services and roll back the "surveillance state" within weeks of the General Election if he wins power on Thursday, he said today.

Poll tracker: See the current results forecast and poll trends since January

The first legislative programme of a Conservative administration would include a Great Repeal Bill to dismantle Labour's "Big Brother" legislation by scrapping ID cards and home information packs, restoring jury trial in complex cases and abolishing powers of bailiffs and council tax inspectors to enter homes.

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Mr Cameron told the Sunday Times that his first Queen's Speech - scheduled for May 25 - would also include bills to allow the first new-style "free schools" to open at the start of this autumn's new academic year and to decentralise power and unleash enterprise.

The outline of a Tory agenda for power came as the party edged further ahead in the polls. A clutch of surveys in the Sunday newspapers put Mr Cameron's party between 35% and 38%, with Liberal Democrats dropping back to 25%-29% and Labour on 23%-29%.

If repeated on a uniform swing on May 6, the figures would leave the Conservatives as the largest party in the House of Commons but short of an outright majority.

Mr Cameron told the Sunday Times that he wanted to hit the ground running after the election, saying: "We have got to get started straight away."

Other legislation would include a Quango and Bureaucracy Elimination Bill to start cutting back on official bodies created under Labour and a Local Government and Planning Bill which would feature provisions to create elected mayors in every big city.

Prime Minister Gordon Brown today launched a scathing attack on the personality and policies of Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg, telling The Observer: "We're talking about the future of our country. We're not talking about who's going to be the next presenter of a TV game show."

Mr Brown described Lib Dem policies on immigration and tax as "the sort of stuff you do when you're at a dinner party looking at your policies and writing them on the back of an envelope."

But Mr Clegg told the Independent on Sunday that Labour was facing an "existential crisis" after an election in which it faced being replaced by the Lib Dems as the main progressive force in British politics.

"They've really got to go right back to fundamentals," said Mr Clegg. "What on earth is the point of the Labour Party in these changed circumstances? What kind of brand of progressive politics does Labour possess in terms of the battle of ideas?"

The Lib Dem leader urged voters not to be "bamboozled or bullied or frightened by the other parties into saying they cannot take a chance on big change this time".

He said: "Let's not let this moment slip. Let's not let this extraordinary once-in-a-generation opportunity go by."

Following their endorsement by The Guardian yesterday, the Lib Dems today won the backing of The Observer, while the Conservatives secured the support of the Sunday Telegraph, Mail on Sunday, News of the World and Sunday Express.

The Independent on Sunday urged its readers to vote tactically against Conservatives in the hope of securing a hung Parliament in which a Labour/Liberal Democrat coalition could usher in electoral reform.

The Sunday Mirror and People also urged people to vote against the Conservatives.

Mr Brown insisted that the election result was not yet certain, as many undecided voters remained to be convinced in the run-up to polling day.

But voters were reminded of the low-point of his campaign by an interview in the Mail on Sunday with pensioner Gillian Duffy, who he branded "bigoted" after she spoke to him in Rochdale.

The lifelong Labour supporter said that she had thrown away her postal ballot paper after her encounter with the Prime Minister on Wednesday.

Rejecting suggestions that the Labour campaign is in disarray, Mr Brown told the Sunday Mirror: "I don't sense panic. I sense people are campaigning heavily.

"They know these last few days are crucial. There are many undecided voters. It's an incentive for us to win them over."

And he told The Observer: "We're the underdog, but we're fighting with every inch of our being, every second of every day."

But Mr Cameron said that the Prime Minister was a "shrunken figure" as the election drew near, and accused him of lying over Conservative plans for tax credits.

Mr Brown's warnings to voters that Tory victory would result in economic woe for Britain were "the desperate last-ditch throes of a government that has demeaned Downing Street", said the Tory leader in an article for the Sunday Telegraph.

And he added: "What a shrunken figure Gordon Brown now cuts. Once hailed as an economic colossus and political genius, he resorts to desperate smears and hysterical scares as he tries to cling on to the keys of Number 10."

There will be no let-up in the frenetic pace of campaigning today.

Mr Brown is expected to visit a number of target seats in and around London, while Mr Cameron dashes between Cornwall and north Wales and Mr Clegg crosses the north of England from Burnley to Redcar in a signal of his belief that Lib Dems can challenge Labour in its heartland seats.