THE two contenders to be Conservative leader will go head-to-head at hustings in the North-East and North Yorkshire today.

David Cameron and David Davis will answer questions from Tory party members in closed sessions in Newcastle this morning and York this evening.

It follows hustings in the West Midlands yesterday, the first of 11 such gatherings before voting in the postal ballot for Tory leader closes on December 5.

Mr Davis, the Shadow Home Secretary, was quick to claim victory in the first hustings, adding that voters would prefer his "principled politics".

However, Mr Cameron, the party's education spokesman who has been criticised for a lack of policy detail, remains the bookmakers' favourite to win the contest.

The Newcastle hustings will begin at 11am at the Holiday Inn, Seaton Burn.

The candidates will face each other again at York Race Course, at 6pm.

* A thief stole the outline for Mr Cameron's Conservative leadership bid after breaking into an MP's car, but threw the documents away.

Bournemouth East MP Tobias Ellwood had a meeting in Hengistbury Head, near Bournemouth, on Friday. But while in the meeting, a thief smashed the back window of his Mercedes and ran off with his computer bag containing the Cameron battle plan.

Mr Ellwood called his mobile phone which was in the bag and a "more trustworthy citizen" answered, saying they had found the MP's bag, which was returned with nothing missing.