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Monday, 15 April, 2002, 12:44 GMT 13:44 UK
Tories seek local launch for fightback
Iain Duncan Smith
Mr Duncan Smith was in Bradford for the launch
Iain Duncan Smith has launched his party's council election campaign saying the "fightback" for the Conservatives starts at local level.

He said that his party would be focusing on decentralising power down to the local level for councils, schools and health authorities.


What we are finding is that more and more people that support us are from different diverse backgrounds

Iain Duncan Smith
This year's local poll falls on 2 May and the Conservatives decided to launch their campaign in Bradford where the Tory leader had stood for the council in 1987.

Accompanied by shadow local government secretary Theresa May, Mr Duncan Smith said: "The fightback starts at local government. We need to push power down to the nearest level to people."

Overall control

He went on: "Labour centralises and wants to control everything from Whitehall.

"We want to show that the people that are most vulnerable are being treated very badly by this government."

He went on to say that reason behind choosing Bradford for the launch of their campaign was because it was "a good example of Conservatives making a difference in local government".

The party hopes to gain overall control of the authority after ending 10 years of Labour rule there when it became a hung council.

Among the issues that the Tories want to focus on in the campaign is crime.

Mr Duncan Smith said: "We know that the sort of crime that affect people - street crime and muggings - they are all up under the present government."

Working with police?

The Tory leader put the blame for that in a failure in policing under Labour's direction.

"I simply say the Conservatives in power up and down the country work better with the police," he said.

Mr Duncan Smith also had a message for Britain's ethnic minorities.

"What we are finding is that more and more people that support us are from different diverse backgrounds," he said.

"We want to give them power and control over their own lives."

See also:

02 Mar 02 | UK Politics
10 Mar 02 | UK Politics
15 Apr 02 | UK Politics
11 Apr 02 | UK Politics
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