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1992 - Mr Major’s Questions and Answers Following 1992 General Election Results

Below is the text of Mr Major’s questions and answers, held outside 10 Downing Street on the morning of Friday 10th April 1992.


QUESTION:

Are you putting your soap-box back in the box for the next campaign?

PRIME MINISTER:

“Where is the soap-box?” asks Adam. It is temporarily put to one side. As and when it is needed, out it will come out.

QUESTION:

What does it mean to you to have your own mandate?

PRIME MINISTER:

I am delighted to have my own mandate. I think it is very important - I can now accept that the country have elected me in my own right to be Prime Minister. I am immensely proud of that.

I shall try and ensure that I reach the aspirations of people and I let no-one down. I am delighted to have it.

QUESTION:

When is the reshuffle and what can we expect in it?

PRIME MINISTER:

That is a new definition of optimism, to have asked me that just now. In due course.

QUESTION:

Do you promise to put a woman in the Cabinet this time?

PRIME MINISTER:

In due course you will know.

QUESTION:

Not this time?

PRIME MINISTER:

In due course you will know and you won’t have long to wait.

QUESTION:

Prime Minister, you refused to comment on opinion polls throughout the campaign. Would you care to comment on them now? [Laughter]

PRIME MINISTER:

They were wrong, the Conservative Party was right.

QUESTION:

Prime Minister, why do you think you lost some seats which you inherited from Mrs. Thatcher?

PRIME MINISTER:

We have had a recession - you will have heard of that! - and all around the world governments facing elections in recessions have tended to lose seats, many of them have lost power. We have bucked that trend and bucked that trend in a most spectacular fashion. There were not many people on the eve of polling day who forecast the result that we had; it was a result, I think, that shows that the British people understand the realities of what needs to be done to move forward; they understand who is going to get them out of recession, who is going to build recovery; they actually want to have more of their money in their pockets to spend in their fashion - they want those choices and opportunities that we are proposing to give them. I think they made a very mature choice and I am sure they won’t regret it.

QUESTION:

Can you say now when we will be out of recession?

PRIME MINISTER:

No-one can be precisely sure when we can be out of recession. The final ingredient to lift us out of recession was our election victory on Thursday of this week. I believe we can now move forward.

QUESTION:

You said you wanted to represent those who didn't vote for you. How will you do that and in particular in the case of Scotland where the majority of people didn't vote for you?

PRIME MINISTER:

Despite the predictions that we would be down to two or three seats in Scotland wiped out some people said - as far I can see, our vote was up in Scotland. Our seats were up in Scotland and our argument is getting through in Scotland. We will continue to debate all the constitutional issues with Scotland and take stock as I promised.

QUESTION:

How will you represent those who didn't vote for you, which is what you set out to do this morning?

PRIME MINISTER:

We will take into account the interests of all the people in this country when we frame our legislation. Every government that has ever been elected in this country has had people that didn't vote for it - that is inevitably the case - and my job as Prime Minister is to make sure that I never overlook their interests when I frame legislation and when I decide what the Government does. What must be first in my mind is whether in my judgement it is right for the people of this country. If that is so, that is how we will proceed.

QUESTION:

Mr. Kinnock has said the “Have Nots” will lose out under the Tories.

PRIME MINISTER:

I dare say he has - he is wrong!