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Last Updated: Tuesday, 28 September, 2004, 15:43 GMT 16:43 UK
At-a-glance: Blair speech
Tony Blair has delivered his keynote address to Labour's conference in Brighton. Here are the key points of his speech.

The prime minister spoke for 55 minutes and won a four minute standing ovation but was twice interrupted by hecklers, first protesting about Iraq and second about hunting.


  • The prime minister began by expressing his "support and solidarity" for British hostage Ken Bigley and his family and sent his condolences to the latest British casualties in Iraq

  • Mr Blair said problems of trust stemmed from decisions and judgements he had made since the 11 September terror attacks

  • Saying he wanted to tackle the Iraq issue "head on", he said: "I can apologise for the information that turned out to be wrong but I can't sincerely apologise for removing Saddam"

  • Terrorists in Iraq were not there to liberate the country and were not provoked by coalition actions, argued Mr Blair

  • Whatever the differences over the war, Mr Blair urged delegates to unite by standing by Iraqis and being determined to see the job through

  • The law should be changed to make religious discrimination unlawful as part of showing British Muslims they were being treated fairly

  • Mr Blair promised to make a personal priority of reviving the Middle East peace process after November, when the US elections happen, saying it would do more to defeat terrorism than bullets ever could.

Election prospects

  • "Here we are, facing the possibility, unique in our 100 year history of governing Britain for a third successive term," said Mr Blair.

  • The "third term mission" had to be making Britain a country "where power, opportunity and wealth are in the hands of the many, not the few"

  • He said he wanted the 21st century to be dominated by progressive politics, with conservatism only punctuation marks

  • "With the courage of our convictions we can deliver the third term and the lasting change," he said

  • He concluded: "I tell you conference, it is worth the fight now let's get out and do it."

The third term

  • Mr Blair gave 10 pointers to what could be expected from another Labour government:

  • Economy: Low mortgage rates, rising living standards, more jobs in every region of the UK, special help for the first time homebuyers and tax reliefs for the "many not the few"

  • Skills: The same commitment to vocational training as given to academic education, including 300,000 modern apprenticeships

  • Schools: A choice of a good specialist school for every parent; 200 new City Academies in inner city areas; new powers for head teachers to tackle school disruption; modern sports facilities as schools are rebuilt; working to bring the Olympics to Britain in 2012

  • Health: Patients able to choose their hospital and book treatment times; waiting times down to 18 weeks; 100 new hospital schemes; 2,700 GP premises improved

  • Families: Universal, affordable and flexible childcare for parents of all three to 14-year-olds

  • Retirement: increased numbers moving off benefit and into work and using the savings to design a pension system with the basic state pension at its core, helping hard-working families

    Technology: An extra 1bn investment in science; more support for small business; broadband would be brought to every home that wants it by 2008 in an effort to end the "digital divide"

  • New approach to law and order: dedicated policing teams for all communities; a radical extension of compulsory drug testing for offenders; doubling of investment in drug treatment; trial without jury for organised criminals trying to intimidate jurors

  • Asylum: More asylum seekers to be removed from Britain than applied each month; electronic registration of all those who cross national borders; but welcome for lawful migrants


  • Mr Blair pointed to key changes Labour had achieved: including record economic success; investment in health and education; drives against pensioner winter problems and Northern Ireland peace

  • "Why is government so tough? Because for all the progress, life is still tough for not hard working families," he went on

  • He saluted Gordon Brown as the country's best ever chancellor and John Prescott as "the strongest, most loyal, occasionally most outspoken deputy any leader would ever hope for"

  • The prime minister said he could not take the Liberal Democrats seriously and Tory leader Michael Howard was no longer doing well because people had remembered him

  • Mr Blair insisted "choice" was not a Tory word as long as it was done equally and not by wealth

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