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Wednesday, 14 March, 2001, 17:20 GMT
The Westminster Hour

Andrew Rawnsley
Presenter Andrew Rawnsley
Radio 4's The Westminster Hour presents the political headlines of the coming week and goes out each Sunday at 2100GMT/2200BST.

This page will be updated with analysis and reaction to the election result on Sunday, June 10 at 2200BST.

Week 4 - June 3

The Conservatives have used their toughest language yet about what they see as the threat to Britain if Tony Blair wins a second term in office on Thursday. William Hague has warned of the risk of a 'devastating blow to democracy' and talked, in a speech in London, about the chance that a Labour landslide would lead to dissent being suppressed. So are the Tories really saying that democracy could be in peril? Conservative chairman Michael Ancram is interviewed.

Click here to listen to our interview

The future of farming is the forgotten issue. Foot-and-mouth was the reason why the election was delayed, but then the debate about the direction of agriculture in Britain stopped. David Grossman has been talking to the politicians and some of those who think that an opportunity has been wasted.

Click here to listen to our report

Week 3 - May 27

David Blunkett
David Blunkett
Tony Blair is keen on the idea of using private sector money, expertise and management to tackle the problems of the public services. Already health and education have been given the treatment. So what is Labour planning if they win the election? Are any parts of the public sector off-limits? David Blunkett, education and employment secretary and tipped for a move to the Home Office if Labour do win, is interviewed.

Click here to listen to our interview

Green issues have shaken the Government. There was the furore over GM food, the fury over high petrol prices last autumn and the verbal left hook John Prescott got from a French minister over climate change. But the environment still does not seem to strike a chord with campaigning politicians. Why is that? David Grossman reports.

Click here to listen to our report

Week 2 - May 20

Matthew Taylor
Matthew Taylor
Everyone knows that the Liberal Democrats, Britain's third party, want to raise an extra penny in the pound on income tax to spend on education. But are their leaders just calling for more taxing and spending and imitating old-style Labour policies? And when should the referendum on the Euro be held? The Liberal Democrats' treasury spokesman Matthew Taylor is interviewed in the first of The Westminster Hour's set piece interviews with leading figures from the big parties.

Click here to listen to our interview

Plaid Cymru, the party of Wales, is optimistic about making real inroads into Labour's support, after their success in the elections for the National Assembly for Wales. They are offering left-wing policies, committed to redistribution of wealth, with the hope of winning over disillusioned Labour voters. But the party's dilemma is what to say about its long-term vision. Its manifesto calls for 'full national status' for Wales. But is that not just independence by another name? Hear Plaid Cymru's parliamentary leader at Westminster, Elfyn Llwyd, interviewed.

Click here to listen to our interview

Week 1 - May 13

Andrew Lansley
Andrew Lansley
Will the Conservatives really cut taxes if they win the election? Their manifesto promises a culture of tax-cutting in government but does not absolutely rule out ever increasing the basic or higher rate of tax. Labour has seized on that and claims Tory policies are 'unravelling by the hour'. Shadow Cabinet member Andrew Lansley is interviewed by Andrew Rawnsley.

Click here to listen to our interview

Tactical voting was a big factor at the general election in 1997, contributing to Labour's huge landslide win and the increased representation for the Liberal Democrats. But what impact will it have this time? There are moves to encourage Labour supporters in seats where they have no chance to opt instead for the Lib Dems -- but the party officially recoils from the idea. Is Labour in a tizz about tactical voting? Some Labour MPs say it is the best way to beat the Tories. Iain Watson has been talking to them.

Click here to listen to our report.

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