David Davis took a wry swipe at his leader’s “hug a hoodie” campaign as he promised that a Tory government would break the cycle of reoffending.
The shadow Home Secretary also pledged to bring immigration “back under control” and defend traditional civil liberties in the face of the terrorist threat.
He backed early intervention to stop teenagers getting on the “carousel of crime” in the first place. Mr Davis added: “The papers claim David Cameron wants us to ‘hug a hoodie’. I support that. The only difference between David and me is I would hug them a little harder and a little longer I suspect.”
“Under a Conservative government, people who mug, rob and assault will be brought before the courts and treated like the criminals they are. They won’t be slapped on the wrist as if they have forgotten to buy a TV licence,” he said to applause.