BBC NEWS VOTE 2001      > High graphics
VOTE2001 | Northern Ireland | Scotland | Wales |

High graphics only: Main Issues | Features | Crucial Seats | Key People | Parties | Results & Constituencies | Candidates | Opinion Polls | Online 1000 | Virtual Vote | Talking Point | Forum | AudioVideo | Programmes | Voting System | Local Elections |

Wednesday, 6 June, 2001, 15:12 GMT 16:12 UK

News conferences

Throughout the campaign, BBC News Online will provide live and on-demand coverage of all the main party news conferences, providing an essential audio/video reference resource for everyone interested in party politics.

Watch/listen to coverage from Week One
Watch/listen to coverage from Week Two Watch/listen to coverage from Week Three


6 June 2001

Conservative leader William Hague

In the last day of campaigning William Hague reiterated proposals on key policy issues; bringing taxes down, hitting crime hard and ensuring discipline, standards and choice for schools in every town and city. He also pointed out that the Conservative Party has shown how it would be possible for Britain to "be in Europe but not run by Europe".

 Click here to watch

Prime Minister Tony Blair

Labour continued their efforts to boost voter turnout. Tony Blair said that the "future of Britain is on the ballot paper tomorrow". He went on to say that the Labour Party had provided economic stability and low interest rates and although the foundations had been laid, there was still much more building to be done.

 Click here to watch

Liberal Democrat leader Charles Kennedy

The Lib Dems highlighed their education proposals on the final day of election campaigning. Charles Kennedy plans to abolish student tuition fees as he said that children should be allowed to get to university "not because of their ability to pay but because of their ability to succeed".

 Click here to watch


5 June 2001

Liberal Democrat leader Charles Kennedy

The Lib Dems returned to one of their main campaigning issues by declaring themsleves the party of the NHS. Charles Kennedy said the first priority should be to increase recruitment of nurses and doctors and that the lowest paid health professionals should be given a minimum pay increase of 1,000 a year.

 Click here to watch

Shadow Chancellor Michael Portillo

The Conservatives returned to the issues of tax and the euro on their penaltimate day of campaigning. Mr Portillo argued that Labour had hit both business and families with "stealth taxes" and the "most expensive" petrol in Europe.

 Click here to watch

Prime Minister Tony Blair

Labour leader Tony Blair has tried to boost voter turnout by insisting that every single vote will count on Thursday. Labour took their conference on health to Wellingborough in Northamptonshire, the seat with the smallest Labour majority and told the public that if they wanted more equipment and hospitals they should go out and vote for them.

 Click here to watch


4 June 2001
Prime Minister Tony Blair

Labour will be concentrating on its plans for schools and hospitals in the last three days of the campaign. Tony Blair outlined proposals for schools which included 10,000 new teachers and 20,000 extra classroom assistants. He said that Labour had achieved a great deal in the last four years but there was still much more to do in the pursuit of high standards in education.

 Click here to watch

Conservative leader William Hague

William Hague said that a Conservative victory at the General Election would ensure a "better Britain". He outlined a 20-point plan which the Tories would implement immediately upon taking office, including a devised foot and mouth recovery strategy and the initiation of a public inquiry into the crisis.

 Click here to watch

Liberal Democrat leader Charles Kennedy

The Lib Dems' news conference focused on "honesty in taxation". They have committed themselves to raising income tax to improve public services, which they say require more resources. This includes providing more doctors and nurses and offering free personal care and larger pensions for the elderly.

 Click here to watch


1 June 2001
Conservative leader William Hague

William Hague sought to promote a brand of "one nation" Conservatism and announced proposals for urban renewal. He would start by fighting crime and improving standards in city schools would begin the process along with pulling down dilapidated tower blocks.

 Click here to watch

Lib Dem leader Charles Kennedy

Ahead of a day of campaigning on law and order, Lib Dem leader Charles Kennedy revealed plans to crack down on petty crime with a new Community Safety Force of civilian officers. The force would deal with vandalism and minor crime at bus stops, in parks and housing estates.

 Click here to watch

Prime Minister Tony Blair

Voters have a clear and fundamental choice on election day between investment in public services or cuts, according to Tony Blair. The prime minister told Friday's Labour Party news conference that public services would be "a vital issue" on polling day.

 Click here to watch


31 May 2001

Lib Dem leader Charles Kennedy

Charles Kennedy outlined the Lib Dem's policies for older people. He stressed that everyone deserved safety and security in old age and pledged an extra 6,000 police officers to ensure fewer people live in fear of crime.

 Click here to watch

Conservative Social Security Spokesperson David Willetts

David Willetts said that Labour were planning another "stealth tax" by taxing child benefit. The Conservatives say that they will not means test or tax child benefit and will introduce a new married couples' allowance worth up to 1,000.

 Click here to watch

Chancellor Gordon Brown

The Labour Party spoke on the core issues of health and education. The message was "schools and hospitals first" and Mr Brown said that this message was not just for the last week of the campaign but the mission for the second term.

 Click here to watch


30 May 2001

Prime Minister Tony Blair

Prime Minister Tony Blair outlined Labour's plans for home owners. He pledged to keep mortgage rates low and stressed that a return to a Conservative government would put new financial pressures on families.

 Click here to watch

Conservative Social Security Spokesperson David Willetts

"Labour has let pensioners down" say Conservatives. The Conservative Party is offering an above inflation pension increase for all pensioners which, they say, will provide a route to real financial security for pensioners.

 Click here to watch

Liberal Democrat Leader Charles Kennedy

In his conference today, Charles Kennedy has pledged that the Lib Dems will treat older people with dignity by providing free long term personal care for the elderly.

 Click here to watch


29 May 2001

Lady Shirley Williams

Lib Dem veteran Lady Williams said it had not been a good election for women. Labour and the Tories had not addressed women's problems properly, she said, and there would be fewer female MPs after the election.

 Click here to watch

Prime Minister Tony Blair

Prime Minister Tony Blair has called for Britain to be confident of its place in Europe - and has dismissed suggestions that his strategy on the EU is being undermined by other European leaders.

 Click here to watch

Conservative leader William Hague

Mr Hague moved to put tax back at the top of his campaign agenda - pitching his party's proposals at young families. He said that under Labour taxes had gone up by 28bn, and insisted that tax was one of the central issues in the election and that his policies would benefit hard-working families on a tight budget, people reliant on their cars and those who saved.

 Click here to watch


28 May 2001

Shadow Chancellor Michael Portillo

The Conservatives say Tony Blair should come clean over the cost of joining the euro, claiming it would amount to 1,500 for every household in Britain.

 Click here to watch

Chancellor Gordon Brown

Labour has announced plans for a new National Lottery fund to target 150m at some of the country's most deprived areas. And it has set out a wider commitment to devolve power and resources to local communities if it wins a second term.

 Click here to watch


26 May

Liberal Democrat Simon Hughes

The Liberal Democrats tried to win the student vote by promising to reform the system of university tuition fees. The party's home affairs spokesman, Simon Hughes, promised to restore maintenance grants for the poorest students and raise the loan repayment salary threshold.

 Click here to watch

Conservative leader William Hague

The Conservatives have dramatically raised the stakes over Europe - suggesting the pound would be scrapped if they lost the election. Tory leader William Hague claimed Labour would "rig" any referendum on joining the euro - making election day, 7 June, the crucial day to decide the future of the UK's currency.

 Click here to watch

Health Secretary Alan Milburn

Tory health policy would use a "trojan horse" to destroy the NHS, Labour has warned. Health Secretary Alan Milburn claimed the Conservatives wanted to create a two-tier health system with 20bn cuts. Labour used its Saturday campaign news conference to insist that its package of measures, including extra staff, better childcare for NHS workers' families, and falling waiting lists outmatched the Tories.

 Click here to watch


25 May

Liberal Democrat leader Charles Kennedy Labour has imposed too much red tape on business, say the Liberal Democrats. In a news conference on the economy and employment, Lib Dem leader Charles Kennedy said the general economic outlook was good but some sectors were suffering.

 Click here to watch

Chancellor Gordon Brown Labour says it can take another million children in the UK out of poverty by 2005. Chancellor Gordon Brown outlined his party's plans at a news conference, which was also dominated by the question of Britain joining the euro.

 Click here to watch

Conservative Leader William Hague

The Conservatives chose education as the focus for their morning news conference. William Hague says Whitehall interference is preventing teachers from bringing proper discipline to Britain's schools.

 Click here to watch


24 May

Liberal Democrat leader Charles Kennedy Lib Dem leader Charles Kennedy said too many children had lost out because Labour had followed Conservative spending plans for the first part of its time in office.

 Click here to watch

Health Secretary Alan Milburn

An extra 400,000 hip, knee, hernia and cataract operations have been announced by the Labour party as part of its plan to boost the NHS. Tory leader William Hague also dismissed Labour's targets to recruit more doctors and nurses, accusing them of "plucking a number out of the air".

 Click here to watch

Tory Leader William Hague

On a visit to the Midlands, William Hague canvassed voters on his favourite themes of tax and public spending - and dismissed theories that he was a liability to the Conservative party, in the mould of Neil Kinnock.

 Click here to watch

23 May


Liberal Democrat Malcolm Bruce

The NHS needs a culture shift to emphasise that prevention is better than cure, say the Liberal Democrats. The party would invest more in scans and tests to prevent the "human misery" caused by not tackling illness early.

 Click here to watch

Education Secretary David Blunkett

A 10-point plan to improve and modernise the education system has been announced by Labour. The party pledged at a news conference to boost the the share of national income spent on education, to provide new teachers and to modernise comprehensives.

 Click here to watch

Tory leader William Hague

William Hague used his news conference on Wednesday to accuse Labour of planning to transfer control of the UK economy to Brussels. The Tories say a leaked European Commission document shows there are plans to harmonise income tax and VAT across the EU - leading to possible rises in the UK.

 Click here to watch


22 May


Prime Minister Tony Blair

Labour's efforts to highlight a major plan to improve the health service compete with a row over media tactics and its refusal to rule out increases in national insurance contributions.

 Click here to watch

Shadow Chancellor Michael Portillo

The Lib Dems make a real difference in government while the Tories are weak, says party leader Charles Kennedy. Mr Kennedy said the Lib Dems were delivering on their promises in the Scottish and Welsh executives and in local government.

 Click here to watch

Lib Dem leader Charles Kennedy

The shadow chancellor launched the Conservatives' manifesto for pensioners. He pledged to boost the weekly pension for a single person under 75 by 3 and by 4 for those over 75.

 Click here to watch


21 May

Social Security Secretary Alistair Darling Labour has presented a "shadow Budget" which it says proves the Tories' sums do not add up. Social Security Secretary Alistair Darling told a news conference the proposed Conservative spending plans would "send us back to boom and bust".

 Click here to watch

Conservative Leader William Hague The Conservatives say they will cut five "damaging" taxes in a move to boost British business. William Hague accused Labour of "swimming against the global tide by continuing to raise taxes" and say government policies are damaging Britain's competitive edge.

 Click here to watch

Lib Dem leader Charles Kennedy

Charles Kennedy laid out the party's plans for Transport and the Environment. They include ruling out plans to renationalise railtrack, but dividing it into two, with responsibility for managing the railways given over to a not-for-profit trust.

 Click here to watch


19 May

Social Security Secretary Alistair Darling

Social Security Secretary Alistair Darling sets out the Labour Party's ten-pledge pensions package, promising to help those in need and new travel discounts. He the proposals could not be matched by the Conservatives either on financial or ideological grounds.

 Click here to watch


18 May

SNP leader, John Swinney

The Scottish National Party launched its manifesto and pledged that its candidates will strive to bring about independence as soon as possible. The document focused on the party's main priorities - education, health, crime and jobs.

 Click here to watch

Conservative leader William Hague

In a speech in Dover, Tory leader William Hague argues that Britain should be a "safe haven" for genuine asylum seekers and not a "soft touch".

 Click here to watch

Lib Dem leader, Charles Kennedy

Charles Kennedy sets out a ten point plan for rural areas, including compensation for farmers after the foot-and-mouth outbreak.

 Click here to watch

Chancellor Gordon Brown

Labour launched its summary manifesto entitled "Your Family" - a magazine which will be sent out to a million households.

 Click here to watch

Green Party candidate Mike Woodin

The Green Party in England and Wales unveiled its election proposals with an emphasis on the environment and social justice. At the heart of the Greens' manifesto is a pledge to raise income tax for higher earners and to make a huge investment in non-nuclear renewable fuels.

 Click here to watch


17 May

Shadow Home Secretary Ann Widdecombe

Miss Widdecombe was given a rousing reception and lengthy ovation at the Police Federation annual conference in Blackpool in contrast to the hostile reception received by Home Secretary Jack Straw yesterday.

 Click here to watch

Liberal Democrat leader Charles Kennedy

Liberal Democrat leader Charles Kennedy, speaking in London, criticised both Labour and Tory policy on pensions, saying as only his party will guarantee the future of the state pension.

 Click here to watch

Prime Minister, Tony Blair

Labour's news conference was dominated by reaction to an incident in which Deputy PM John Prescott confronted an egg-throwing protester. Tony Blair said "Of course he regrets the incident ever happened but he felt a blow on the side of his head and acted instinctively."

 Click here to watch


16 May

Prime Minister, Tony Blair

Tony Blair launches Labour's manifesto and a programme for another 10 years of power, with a pledge to deliver economic stability and public service reform. Speaking in Birmingham, Mr Blair said Labour was asking the British people to allow it to get on with the job of delivering "real and radical" change.

 Click here to watch


Plaid Cymru

Plaid Cymru claims that new Labour has turned its back on Wales. With Domestic Product per head in Wales falling to just 80% of the UK average, Plaid policy director Cynog Dafis told a press conference that his party represented the only credible alternative in Wales.

 Click here to watch


Liberal Democrats leader, Charles Kennedy

The Liberal Democrats have withdrawn from the fight for a marginal seat held by a government minister in favour of an NHS protest candidate. The move in Wyre Forest, Worcestershire, emerged on Wednesday morning. At the Lib Dem campaign news conference Mr Kennedy focused on his party's policies for the NHS.

 Click here to watch


Conservative leader, William Hague

The Conservatives say Britain is losing the fight against crime under Labour. Party leader William Hague said the Tories would increase police numbers and end the government's special early release scheme in an effort to "win the war".

 Click here to watch


15 May

Liberal Democrate leader Charles Kennedy

The Liberal Democrats launch their manifesto promising to raise taxes to fund an extra 9.5bn for education, health, police and pensioners. Other parties claim the figures don't add up - and the Lib Dems would have to raise taxes much higher to pay for their wish list.

 Click here to watch


Chancellor Gordon Brown

Labour tried to stoke up the debate over tax by accusing a Conservative front bencher of "letting the cat out of the bag" over his party's policy. Gordon Brown mocked the shadow Treasury spokesman Oliver Letwin for being in "hiding" after a story was leaked to a newspaper on Monday putting the Tories' planned tax cuts at 20bn rather than the acknowledged 8bn.

 Click here to watch


14 May

Chancellor Gordon Brown

Labour declare that they are now the party of business and entrepeuners. Mr Brown says Labour will introduce tax cuts and increase spending on training courses to help people to create their own jobs.

 Click here to watch


Shadow Foreign Secretary Francis Maude

The Conservatives start the second week of campaigning by outlining their fuel tax plans, claiming that "Only the Conservatives will cut the tax on fuel". They warn that a Labour election victory is a "one way ticket" to permanently high fuel prices.

 Click here to watch


Lib Dem leader Charles Kennedy

The Liberal Democrats launch one of the key planks of their election programme: 3bn of extra investment in education. They revealed a plan to target schools, colleges and universities with the aim of giving every child in Britain a consistently high quality education.

 Click here to watch



12 May

Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown

At this morning's news conference Labour focuses on tax and pensions. The Chancellor Gordon Brown also announces a new deal for pensioners to help protect their savings.

 Click here to watch


Leader of the Conservative party William Hague

The Conservative leader, William Hague has highlighted the difference between the Tories and Labours spending plans by claiming that Labour would have to raise tax on fuel by 52 pence a litre. Speaking to party activists in Newbury, he said ordinary people were fed up with being hit by increases to 'stealth taxes'.

 Click here to watch


11 May

Lib Dem leader Charles Kennedy

Liberal Democrat leader Charles Kennedy today accuses Labour of being "timid" over their reported manifesto pledge not to increase income tax in a second term. Mr Kennedy also attacks Tory tax plans, especially their pledge to cut six pence a litre off petrol and diesel, which he denounces as a "cheap populist gimmick".

 Click here to watch


SNP leader John Swinney

The Scottish National Party formally launches their election campaign with leader John Swinney pledging to promote Scottish interests and promising to fight to complete the process of Scottish independence.

 Click here to listen


Leader of the Conservatives, William Hague

The Conservatives launched their Scottish manifesto in Edinburgh. Conservative leader, William Hague, unveiled a manifesto designed to try and get his party back on the political map in Scotland. Pledges included promises to defend the pound, cut petrol tax and an end to the graduate endowment scheme.

 Click here to watch


Health Secretary, Alan Milburn

Labour announced that it had exceeded its pledge to reduce hospital waiting lists in England. Health Secretary Alan Milburn revealed that figures showed Labour had delivered on their 1997 promise to cut waiting lists by 100,000. The opposition called the figures misleading and asked for the emphasis to be on waiting times instead of numbers on lists.

 Click here to watch


10 May

Prime Minister, Tony Blair

During Labour's first election conference, the Prime Minister Tony Blair announced that tax would be a "defining issue" during the election campaign. Mr Blair continued by stating that the hard won economic stability under Labour underlined the "fundamental" choice faced by voters.

 Click here to watch


Conservative Leader, William Hague

Conservative leader William Hague promised eight billion pounds worth of tax cuts, including six pence a litre off petrol during the launch of his party's manifesto. Families with young children, businesses, and pensioners are among those who would benefit from the tax cuts.

 Click here to watch


Liberal Democrat Leader, Charles Kennedy Visiting Cardiff, Liberal Democrat leader, Charles Kennedy announced he wants greater financial autonomy for the Welsh Assembly and highlighted the importance of allowing more of the decisions that affect Wales be made in Wales.

  Click here to watch


9 May

Chancellor of the Exchequer, Gordon Brown

As the election campaign kicks off, Chancellor of the Exchequer, Gordon Brown, defends the government's taxation strategy, stating the government has kept all their promises on taxation.

 Click here to watch


Conservative Party Leader, William Hague

Tory Leader, William Hague, begins the Conservative party's campaign trail in Battersea park, south London, arguing in response to Labour's tax claims, that 'Never has a party taxed so much and achieved so little".

 Click here to watch


Liberal Democrat leader, Charles Kennedy

Liberal Democrat leader Charles Kennedy is launching his general election campaign with an 11-city whistle-stop tour. Mr Kennedy, who is fighting his first campaign as leader, is planning to visit every region of Britain by Friday.

 Click here to watch



^ Back to top©BBC