Iain Duncan Smith has ripped the gloves off and issued a "Vote Conservative" rally call to the country in advance of Thursday's local government elections.
Ending the domestic political ceasefire enforced during the Iraq War, the Opposition Leader tore into the record of Labour and Liberal Democrat councils in a campaign speech in Guildford. And urging voters to reject the poor services delivered by the other parties at a massive price, he also took a swipe at the "loathsome" British National Party seeking to exploit racial tension resulting from the asylum crisis.
He said: "On Thursday voters all over Britain have a chance to reject Labour and Liberal Democrat councils that are delivering poor services at a massive price. "
Appealing to the electors of Guildford and other districts hit by higher council tax levies forced "through the roof" by Labour, Mr Duncan Smith went on: "You should take the chance for change. Your streets don't have to be dirty. Neighbourhoods don't have to be unsafe, unlit and un-policed. Your child's school can be much better. Thursday is your chance to send Labour and the Liberal Democrats packing. "
In contrast, he insisted, Conservative councils had a strong record for doing a good job at a fair price. "When people want a job done properly and fairly, they vote Conservative, because Conservative councils get more jobs done for less of your money. Our councils across Britain have proved that."
Mr Duncan Smith stated: "All over Britain millions of parents and patients are living with the consequences of Labour's expensive failure to deliver the better public services they promised. My commitment to them - and to you here and now - is that the gloves are off, and come the next general election, Mr Blair and his Government will be made to face up to those consequences too."
Lashing out at the BNP, which is fielding a candidate in Guildford, he described the far right grouping as a "truly loathsome development in British politics" and called on mainstream politicians of every stripe to unite to condemn "these parasites in our democracy".
Warning that the BNP would exploit genuine concern over the chaotic asylum system, he added: "Conservatives are very proud of Britain's ethnic diversity and I will defend that diversity with passion and with actions as well as words. Conservatives will act against the crime and racial hatred that threatens the security and peace of mind of every background. But we need to tackle the issues that feed extremism."