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UK Prime Minister Tony Blair
"The era of Thatcherism is over - it is time to move on"
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Tuesday, 22 May, 2001, 20:17 GMT 21:17 UK
Thatcherism over - Blair
Tony and Cherie Blair visit the Institute of Cancer Research
Blair sought the female vote
Prime Minister Tony Blair has said it is time to draw a line under the era of Thatcherism.

He launched an attack on the government of the 1980s as he sought to win the female vote at a question and answer session in London.


This is today's world, we need today's solutions for it

Tony Blair

Mr Blair was responding to Lady Thatcher's endorsement of Conservative leader William Hague on Tuesday.

He said: "It's time to draw a line under the era of Thatcherism."

"That is not to say there were not things that were got right - but there were things that were got badly wrong."

The prime minister accused the Conservatives of failing to invest in public services or maintain economic stability.

"They were indifferent to social division.

"If people were unemployed it was tough luck.

"That wasn't the right way of running the country.

"We ended up wasting the talents of literally millions of people," he said.

Michelle Collins and Tony Blair
Actress Michelle Collins hosted the Wimbledon event

Mr Blair said it was time to move on and invest in everyone's ability, regardless of their race, class or background

"This is today's world, we need today's solutions for it," he said.

At Wimbledon Chase Middle school, Mr Blair faced questions on subjects as diverse as why there were not more women MPs to queries about education, childcare and health.

Despite Labour's attempts to introduce women-only shortlists for MPs coming up against a brickwall, Mr Blair said that there were now more women ministers in government than ever before.

Earlier on Tuesday the prime minister had announced more money for childcare and opened new laboratories for research into breast cancer.

He said there would be a third more cancer specialists because of investment in the health service.

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