Conservatives aim to keep room to manoeuvre, by Richard Garlick

It is easy to under-estimate the importance of political parties' general election manifestos. The Prime Minister's struggle this week to explain an apparent change of heart on a manifesto policy for funding social care at home, announced days after the document was published, was only the latest episode in which a political party has been seen to distance itself from pre-election policy commitments with unseemly haste.

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