Biography Chronology Home Search Speeches/Statements

1995 - Mr Major’s Doorstep Interview in Huntingdon

Below is the text of Mr Major’s doorstep interview, held in Huntingdon on Friday 7th July 1995.


QUESTION:

[Mr Major was asked if there were still divisions in the Conservative Party]

PRIME MINISTER:

I think the prospects are now very bright. We have sorted out many of the problems that were there. I think there is a huge determination in the Party to unite. What must worry the Labour Party is a united Conservative Party. And that worries the Labour Party because it means the battle will resume on policies and not on the trivia that has dominated political debate for the past 2 years. And once we get into the question of policy, I believe Labour's policies are ruinous for this country.

People have no real wish to go towards socialism. They do not want the policies the Labour Party advocate. And now we are back on the policy debate, I think you will see a very rapid change in the fortunes of the Conservative Party.

QUESTION:

[Inaudible]

PRIME MINISTER:

I do think Tony talks nonsense from time to time. If you actually look at the Labour Party's European policy for example, the Labour Party have more dissenters on European policy than the Conservative Party.

Tony Blair knows that very well. They have kept it very quiet. They have hidden it. They have managed to spend most of their time attacking the Conservative Party with soundbites. But the reality is that there is no unity in the Labour Party on that particular policy or many others.

What Tony Blair is concerned about is that we will concentrate on policies such as education, where he would wish to deny choice. On health, where he would wish to reverse all our reforms and presumably stop a huge number of people being treated each year. On defence, where he would like to have another defence review; and no doubt cut defence in Europe where he is committed to a wholly federal European and we are not.

Now there are very sharp differences on real interests to the British nation and what I have said right the way through this leadership campaign, and will say again, is that the British nation deserves a debate upon those issues and not the political claptrap about the Conservative Party from the Labour Party and from others that it has had over the past two or three years.

QUESTION:

[Mr Major was asked about the Euro sceptics in the Conservative Party]

PRIME MINISTER:

Our European policy is now absolutely clear. I have spelt it out without a shred of doubt. That is my policy. That is the policy of the Cabinet. The policy of the Party. And it is certainly the policy that businesses wish to follow.

There are differences on Europe in all the parties. If anybody thinks Tony Blair's party is united on Europe, then I suggest they go and talk to some members of the Parliamentary Labour Party.

Across the broad strands of policy there is now unity.

QUESTION:

[Inaudible]

PRIME MINISTER:

It is a great issue and it has always been a great issue. You can find just as many Labour members taking part in similar rallies. They are sitting back at the moment because they do not believe it is necessary to do so. This is one of the great issues of British politics. People will express their views on it. But the majority view is quite clear. I have expressed it and the Party have endorsed it.

QUESTION:

[Inaudible]

PRIME MINISTER:

I think we have got a very good Cabinet now. A Cabinet that stretches across all strands of opinion in the Conservative Party. The Conservative Party is not a faction. The Conservative Party is a national party that embraces people of all sorts of background; of all sorts of interests who share the broad Conservative philosophy. That is the sort of Conservative Party I joined. That is the sort of Conservative Party I grew up in. And it is the sort of Conservative Party I lead.

QUESTION:

[Mr Major was asked about the Luton riots]

PRIME MINISTER:

I have asked for a report on what happened in Luton during the last couple of nights. I do not yet have it and I would like to reserve comment until I have it.