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Tuesday, 5 June, 2001, 20:37 GMT 21:37 UK
Don't go naked - Kennedy
Liberal Democrat leader Charles Kennedy has described a vote for the Conservatives as a "wasted vote" - in a final rally speech disrupted by a streaker.
The streaker - with the word "vote" scrawled on his bottom - was hustled away by security men after stripping off his clothes and leaping on to the stage in London.
Mr Kennedy was unfazed.
He told his audience that the incident reminded him of the political saying: "Don't go naked into the conference chamber."
Five key tasks
In the speech itself, Mr Kennedy set out five tasks for his party in opposition.
These were to hold the government to account, to be unified, to offer alternatives, to inspire and to provide a voice for the 'voiceless'.
Lib Dem peer Lady Williams warned that a huge majority for Labour would put democracy at risk - and mean that an "effective opposition" was essential.
She said: "I don't need to be told we are lapdogs of the government.
"For I know we are bulldogs in favour of freedom and democracy."
Party of the NHS
Earlier the Liberal Democrats had said they were the party of the NHS.
Attacking both Labour and the Conservative proposals for health, Mr Kennedy said the first priority should be the recruitment of nurses and doctors.
And the lowest paid NHS professionals, such as nurses and lab technicians, should be given a minimum pay increase of £1,000 a year.
He blamed the current problems in the health service on Labour's failure sufficiently to increase spending.
"Labour has failed the NHS and William Hague's Conservative party would kill it off once and for all by making those who could afford it opt out to expensive private provision," he said.
"Everyone knows you can't get something for nothing.
"Improving the NHS can't be done for free - but it is affordable."
Taking questions from journalists, Mr Kennedy predicted some "very quirky results" around the country this Thursday.
Asked if Tory leader William Hague was competent to be prime minister, Mr Kennedy said: "I suspect he is.
"I suspect it is easier to be prime minister than leader of the Tory Party."
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