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Charles Kennedy, Lib Dem leader
"If you are fairly straight with people I think they will take you at face value"
 real 28k

Sunday, 3 June, 2001, 19:45 GMT 20:45 UK
Kennedy steps up a gear
Lib Dem leader Charles Kennedy
Mr Kennedy is "buoyed" by recent opinion polls
The Liberal Democrats have called on Labour and Conservative supporters to vote for them in the general election.

Charles Kennedy said people who wanted better public services and a strong opposition party should vote for the Liberal Democrats.


A Lib Dem vote this time gives Tony Blair the marching orders that he has been asking for

Charles Kennedy
He said a vote for his party would send a strong message to Labour to boost spending on key services and would show the Tories the country wanted a strong opposition in the House of Commons.

Mr Kennedy has said he wants to maximise the Lib Dem share of the national vote and its number of MPs at this election.

He has rejected calls to back tactical voting as part of a campaign to squeeze the Conservatives.

Good campaign

Mr Kennedy said he was buoyed by opinion polls which showed the party was gaining support.

Speaking in south London on Sunday Mr Kennedy said the election campaign had gone as the party hoped and called on more people to back the Lib Dems.

"A Lib Dem vote this time gives Tony Blair the marching orders that he has been asking for which is we want not just Labour levels of investment in schools, hospitals, pensions and police, we want Liberal Democrat levels of investment in these things," he said

"It also sends a very important signal to the Tory party that the country needs decent and effective opposition politics if there is to be a second term Labour government.

"You are not going to get it with William Hague's shambles of a party at the moment but you will get it with us."

NHS plans criticised

Earlier, Mr Kennedy criticised Labour plans to bring in the private sector to help reform the NHS.

He said proposals to apply the disciplines of the commercial world to the Whitehall machine were mistaken.

Mr Kennedy told GMTV's The Sunday Programme: "I think Tony Blair is a bit blinded by the light when it comes to corporate instincts and interests."

He added: "If Tony Blair tries to rush his fences on this one, he will make a great mistake right at the beginning of this parliament."

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01 Jun 01 |  Vote2001
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