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1992 - Mr Major’s Response to the General Election Result

Below is the text of Mr Major’s statement made outside 10 Downing Street on the morning of Friday 10th April 1992.


PRIME MINISTER:

About half an hour ago, I learned that we had passed the magic winning post in real seats and not just in a projection. I am absolutely delighted with the outcome of the General Election.

May I say firstly that I feel deeply honoured to have been given the opportunity of continuing the work I have started in the last 16 months. It has been an exhilarating 16 months and it is the most enormous privilege to have the opportunity of serving as Prime Minister; to have, the opportunity of doing so having been elected at a General Election is an even greater privilege and one I shall treasure and do with all that I possibly can.

We have in the next few years the most remarkable opportunities in front of us in this country. I want to make sure that this country is in the right position to take advantage of all those opportunities.

The first thing we must do is to move the country out of recession and back into growth; and then we must begin to extend those opportunities and those choices that make such a difference to people’s lifestyle, such a difference to the way in which they live their everyday lives free of interference from outside. Those are central to the quality of life for people in this country and they will be central to our programme for the 1990s.

I want to see those extra education opportunities that we have spoken of; the extra training opportunities; the chance for an ever-increasing number of our fellow citizens to own their own homes; to build up their own wealth and their own shares and to have the opportunity in due course to make sure that what they have earned in their lifetime can be handed on to the people they love and passed on between generations. We do believe as a party in the cascade of wealth between generations, not least for the security and independence that that provides for people. All these are going to be central to the issues that confront us in the 1990s.

Let me make it clear beyond a doubt that we shall continue to build up and cherish the National Health Service; it will remain, as it is now; it will not be privatised - not now, not at any stage while I am in Downing Street; we will continue to build it up as a National Health Service available for all the people in this country in precisely the way it has been in the past.

We propose to continue to do all we can to build up Britain’s standing in the world; to play a leading role in the Group of Seven; in the European Community; in the United Nations; and in all the international events in the world. I want us to continue to build on the fresh beginning we have begun with the Commonwealth, to bring it closer together so that we can play a role as Head of the Commonwealth in seeing it develop yet further in years to come.

When I first had the opportunity of standing on the steps of Downing Street, I said that I believed in a nation at ease with itself, the development of a truly classless society with opportunities for all from wherever they came to do whatever they can with their own lives by their own efforts and with encouragement to achieve everything that they can. That is the sort of society that my colleagues and I will be working hard to build in the next few years. It is the most immense privilege to have that opportunity. I promise you we will use it well and not waste it.

Thank you all very much!