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Breakfast with Frost
Iain Duncan Smith MP, Conservative party leader
Iain Duncan Smith MP, Conservative party leader
On Sunday 12 January 2003 Sir David Frost talked to Conservative Party leader Iain Duncan Smith, Andy Gilchrist, general secretary of the Fire Brigades' Union and Rudy Giuliani, former mayor of New York.

He also talked to the United Nations High Representative to Bosnia, Lord Ashdown and Andrew Cooney - the youngest person ever to reach the South Pole on foot.

The Sunday papers were reviewed by the new head of the Bar Council, Matthias Kelly and Ann Leslie, foreign correspondent of the Daily Mail.

Tell us what you think about the programme by using the form at the bottom of the page.

The Conservative leader, Iain Duncan Smith launched a fresh attack on the Prime Minister today, telling Sir David Frost that Tony Blair was failing the country on crime, health and education. Speaking on "Breakfast with Frost", Mr Duncan Smith said British politics had reached a turning point, with disillusioned voters now looking for an alternative to what he called the "tax and waste" Labour government.

"This is the first time since Mr Blair came to power that they have really decided that he has failed and they want to know what the alternative is. My concern is that I as a party leader and we as a party take the fight to Labour and show how their failure in all these areas - particularly this week on crime - is actually hurting people. That is how we will end up winning the next election."

Mr Duncan Smith said that a 20% rise in spending on health had resulted in fewer than 2% more operations actually being carried out. Mr Blair was "specifically responsible for this failure", he said. And he re-iterated his belief that a Tory government could make reductions in public spending, without cutting services, by reducing waste and bureaucracy.

On the subject of Iraq, Mr Duncan Smith accused the Prime Minister of "wobbling" over the question of British involvement in any military action - because the government was divided.

"I'm not in favour of simply following the Americans," Mr Duncan Smith said. "I think we have a requirement to make the case for British involvement on British interests, protecting British citizens. That is the key. My concern is that Labour and the Prime Minister have not made that case....That worries me because it means the British people are still waiting to hear what the case is for British involvement."

Click on the highlighted links to read the full transcripts.

On the same programme, the leader of the firefighters' union told Sir David there was "no point" in attending talks at the conciliation service ACAS this week, unless the employers' side came up with an improved pay offer. Andy Gilchrist said he had not ruled out participating in the talks, scheduled for Tuesday. But he said the local authorities would have to drop their insistence on implementing the Bain report on reform of the service - which the Fire Brigades' Union says would lead to 4,500 job losses.

"I the employers meet on Monday and confirm what we were told last Thursday, there is no point, because it is not about negotiation, it is about capitulation and the decimation of the fire service. If the situation is different, then somebody with authority and a singular message from the employers needs to tell us that, and then we will look at that very seriously", Mr Gilchrist said.

The programme also included interviews with the former Mayor of New York, Rudy Giuliani;

the United Nations High Representative to Bosnia, Lord Ashdown;

and Andrew Cooney - the youngest person ever to reach the South Pole on foot.

The Sunday papers were reviewed by the new head of the Bar Council, Matthias Kelly and Ann Leslie, foreign correspondent of the Daily Mail.


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