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 A/V REPORTS
Carol Maddocks
"It's just not good enough Mr Blair"
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Prime Minister Tony Blair
"There are good parts to the health service and improving parts to the health service"
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Thursday, 31 May, 2001, 16:26 GMT 17:26 UK
Blair agrees to meet patient's mother
Tony Blair
Tony Blair took questions from voters on live television
Tony Blair has agreed to meet the Yorkshire couple who challenged him on live television to do more to help find bone marrow donors.

Carol and Dean Maddocks have an eight-year-old daughter, Alice, who suffers from a life-threatening disease.

Mrs Maddocks put Mr Blair on the spot during a special edition of BBC One's Question Time programme on Wednesday, asking why the government did not put more funding into donor registers.

The prime minister has now agreed to meet them.


Our child is desperately needing a bone marrow transplant - she is going to die without that

Carol Maddocks
During the Question Time question and answer session in Milton Keynes, Mr Blair also faced questions from voters on issues as diverse as the foot-and-mouth crisis, investment in the health service and university tuition fees.

Mrs Maddocks, 34, from Dewsbury, West Yorkshire, asked Mr Blair to make a commitment to help save her daughter Alice's life.

Health service spending

Alice has a rare condition called aplastic anaemia, and doctors have told her parents a successful bone marrow transplant is her only hope of recovery.

Mrs Maddocks told the prime minister: "Our child is desperately needing a bone marrow transplant.

"She is going to die without that.Will you make that commitment and help to save her life?"

Mr Blair replied that although he could not make a specific commitment on bone marrow, he could on health service spending.

Carol Maddocks
Carol Maddocks: "It's just not good enough"
Mrs Maddocks answered: "No, Mr Blair it's just not good enough," adding that individuals were having to campaign to get people on the register.

Mr Blair tried to placate her by saying the UK had the third highest number of people on the register.

But Mrs Maddocks asked for half an hour of the prime minister's time to put her queries to him.

The prime minister now wants to arrange a meeting with the couple.

A furious farmer told Mr Blair he was only interested in the urban vote, asking if the prime minister would accept its handling of the foot-and-mouth crisis was a "shambles".

Mr Blair said the culling of animals had been the only solution.

Farmer's fury

" I can promise you this if there was another way of dealing with this I would have dealt with it in another way," he said.

Tony Blair on Question Time
Tony Blair was in the hot seat
The farmer argued that the government saying the countryside was "open for business" was a costly mistake which had led to a further spread of the disease.

Mr Blair disagreed with this and said farmers had been offered 100% compensation.

He said he did not care that farmers would not support the Labour party.

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