Cameron told to attack new rival
David Cameron was last night warned by his own candidates that he has to sharpen his attacks on Nick Clegg in next week's televised leaders' debate to counter a "yellow surge" after being eclipsed by the Liberal Democrat leader in the first round.
Mr Cameron appeared to pull his punches and now faces a dilemma over whether to mount more aggressive attacks as he reviews his strategy with key advisers this weekend.
Senior Tories denied there were jitters over Mr Cameron's performance.
However, some were privately disappointed that his showing was not strong enough to prevent Mr Clegg from stealing the limelight.
"It was supposed to be about us, not him," said one Tory candidate.
The inquest among some Tories focused on the three-party format. "We should never have allowed Clegg to have an equal footing. That was a big mistake," said one party insider.
Mr Cameron regained the limelight yesterday when he shared a platform with Take That star Gary Barlow in front of an audience of comprehensive schoolchildren.
Asked whether he backed Mr Cameron after joining the Tory leader in launching a new plan for a national "School Stars" competition for budding musicians, Mr Barlow said: "I wouldn't be here if I wasn't.''
The Tories launched their plans for an X Factor-style singing competition for schools at Brine Leas High School, in Nantwich, Cheshire.
If they win the election, they say they will launch a national "School Stars" competition to encourage musical achievement among young people. (© Independent News Service)