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Wednesday, 6 June, 2001, 21:35 GMT 22:35 UK

Campaign unfolds

Over the course of the election campaign, BBC News Online will provide an on-demand record of the story of the campaign.


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

7 June 2001

Tony Blair wins an historic second term for Labour after a landslide leaving the commons much as it looked before the poll. William Hague resigned as leader of the Tory party and Charles Kennedy celebrated a record number of seats for the Liberal Democrats. The BBC's Mark Mardell reports.

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6 June 2001

Lady Thatcher returned to the campaign trail, as all the political parties urged people to go out and vote on Thursday. Mr Hague thinks he can see a Tory revival, a claim swiftly rebutted by Labour, as the BBC's Andrew Marr reports.

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5 June 2001

Lady Thatcher returned to the campaign trail, as all the political parties urged people to go out and vote on Thursday. Mr Hague thinks he can see a Tory revival, a claim swiftly rebutted by Labour, as the BBC's Andrew Marr reports.

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4 June 2001

A BBC investigation discovers that it is possible to obtain polling cards in the names of people who have died, highlighting the potential for fraud in the postal vote system. The BBC's John Pienaar reports.

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Four years since the last election, congestion on the roads is no better, two serious accidents have caused chaos on the railways, and fuel protestors have managed for a brief period to bring the country to a halt - and yet, transport has barely featured in this election. The BBC's Paul Moss reports.

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1 June 2001

The UK's 36,000 family doctors concentrated the minds of the politicians on health, with a dire warning that the service they provide is on the brink of collapse. The BBC's Andrew Marr reports.

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Labour accuses the Tories of encouraging voter apathy in an attempt to get in by the back door, as Lady Thatcher warns of the danger of a Labour landslide.

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31 May 2001

With seven days to go to the election, and all the opinion polls still showing Labour way ahead, the Conservative leader, William Hague has warned of the consequences of a Labour landslide. Tony Blair has said he will devote the next week to what he called a "crusade" for schools and hospitals. The BBC's Andrew Marr reports.

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30 May 2001

Opinion polls suggest the public has hardly been influenced at all by three weeks of campaigning, with the Liberal Democrats gaining slight support at the expense of the other two main parties. The BBC's Peter Snow examines the latest figures.

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The election in Northern Ireland has been dominated by the decommissioning of terrorist weapons, and the future of the Good Friday Agreement. Weapons inspectors say they are satisfied that IRA weapons dumps are secure, but that statement was not enough to satisfy some unionists, who remain bitterly opposed to the agreement. The BBC's Kevin Connolly reports.

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In Scotland William Hague attacked Labour on pensions, while the SNP pledged to increase police numbers. The BBC's Scottish Political Editor, John Morrison reports.

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29 May 2001

The election took a much more personal turn with the two major parties trading insults about each other's leaders. The former Prime Minister, John Major, talked of Tony Blair's "blatant deceit", and Labour brought out a new poster of William Hague. The BBC's Andrew Marr reports.

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European Commission president Romano Prodi's call for an EU-wide tax to pay its 60bn-a-year running costs has fanned the flames in the election debate over Europe. The BBC's John Pienaar reports.

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28 May 2001

The arguments over Europe were again at the heart of the election campaign. The Conservatives claimed that converting the pound to the euro could cost Britain 36 billion. Labour called the figure nonsense, while the Liberal Democrats dismissed the Tory campaign as a single issue obsession. The BBC's Mark Mardell reports.

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The row was fuelled by a speech from the French Prime Minister Lionel Jospin, who outlined his plans for the future of Europe, including the spectre of tax harmonisation. The BBC's Justin Webb reports.

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27 May 2001

The political temperature was raised when the Lib Dems claimed that language used by the Conservatives on asylum could have been a factor in causing riots in Oldham. Tory leader William Hague denied they had fuelled the disturbances, a claim supported by Labour.

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Scottish Nationalist leader John Swinney made a keynote speech saying full independence is the only way forward for Scotland.

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26 May 2001

William Hague has stepped up his campaign on the pound and Europe. On Friday, Tony Blair told a newspaper that he was confident he could convince people to join the Euro, if the conditions were right. The Liberal Democrats said Mr Hague's campaign on the pound was the act of a desperate man. The BBC's John Pienaar reports

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25 May 2001

Tony Blair, intent on highlighting another big divide from the Conservatives, accused them of playing with fire, by pursuing policies that could end with Britain leaving the European Union. William Hague accused Mr. Blair of being hell-bent on taking Britain into the Euro, and said it was a funny form of patriotism to say we couldn't run our own affairs. The BBC's Political Editor Andrew Marr reports.

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The BBC's Peter Morgan examines what joining the euro - or leaving the EU - could mean for the UK.

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All three parties have been accused of failing to give women key campaigning roles and one poll has suggested that women are now less likely to vote than they were at the start of the campaign. The BBC's Reeta Chakrabati reports.

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24 May 2001

Tony Blair said public services were the central dividing line from the Tories, whom he again accused of being the party of cuts. William Hague said Conservatives would match Labour spending on schools and hospitals. The Liberal Democrats focussed on schools, and their promise to find extra money from higher taxes. The BBC's John Pienaar reports.

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All three parties spent the day in Bristol, Gavin Hewitt gauged the city's reaction.

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Church leaders warn politicians against indulging in negative, short-term and self-serving campaigning. The BBC's Grant Ferrett reports.

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23 May 2001

The Conservatives say EU proposals on tax harmonisation will lead to the UK having to put up taxes; Chancellor Gordon Brown denies the charge, accusing the Tories of another "smear". The BBC's Mark Mardell reports.

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A new poll suggests the highest Labour rating of the campaign, but follows another this morning showing the lowest Labour lead so far. The BBC's Peter Snow explains.

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22 May 2001

Former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher has launched a scathing attack on "artificial" new Labour. She also categorically states she would never be prepared to join the European currency. The BBC's Gavin Hewitt listened to her intervention.

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Tax rumbled on as a central issue in the campaign, with Gordon Brown and Michael Portillo slugging it out over national insurance contributions. The BBC's Andrew Marr reports.

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Foot and mouth returns with some voters complaining that the issue is being ignored by politicians during the election campaign. The BBC's Richard Wells reports:

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21 May 2001

Mr Blair has explained how a re-elected Labour government would renew the big public services. But Labour wouldn't be drawn on the Conservative allegation that National Insurance would have to go up. The BBC's Mark Mardell reports.

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Charles Kennedy has been hammering home the Liberal Democrats' environmental policy. The leader said his party offered a genuine commitment to green principles as he visited a conservation project in Cornwall. The BBC's Gavin Hewitt was with him.

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Former Conservative Prime Minister Sir Edward Heath refuses to say whether he thinks Tony Blair or William Hague will make the better Prime Minister. He was first asked about his reported comment that it would be "good" for the Tories to lose the election.

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19 May 2001

Tony Blair at the launch of his party's policy on pensions is treated with respect by pensioners in Cardiff despite his government's notorious decision to raise pensions by just 75p. The BBC's John Pienaar reports.

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18 May 2001

The Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott is interviewed by police in connection with his brawl in Rhyl, North Wales. The BBC's Philippa Thomas reports.



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The day was dominated by the brawl involving John Prescott at a rally in Wales. The Prime Minister praised his deputy, and attempted to play down the incident, while William Hague and Charles Kennedy both expressed regret that the incident ever happened. The BBC's Gavin Hewitt reports.

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17 May 2001

The election takes an ugly turn with the Deputy Prime Minister getting involved in a fight in Wales. John Prescott turned up to talk at a local Labour Party meeting when an egg was thrown and punches flew. The BBC's Philippa Thomas reports.

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 Watch unedited footage of the incident

Tony Blair's "radical" manifesto for transforming Britain's public services over the next decade was launched in Birmingham - but was spoilt almost immediately when he was confronted by a voter, Sharron Storer over the state of the NHS. The BBC's Andrew Marr reports.

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16 May 2001

Conservative defector turned Labour candidate Shaun Woodward is to face opposition from a party activist who is to run against him as a Socialist Alliance candidate. Labour member Neil Thomson - who faces expulsion from the party - will challenge Mr Woodward in the St Helens South constituency. The BBC's Reeta Chakrabarti reports.

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15 May 2001

Other parties attack a striking Conservative party election broadcast in which the Tories say the early release of prisoners is leading to more crime. The BBC's Margaret Gilmore reports.

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The Liberal Democrats launched their manifesto, with a unique promise to raise taxes in order to fund a sustained growth in public services. Other parties said their figures didn't add up, as the BBC's Andrew Marr reports.

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14 May 2001

Martin Bell, the former BBC war correspondent, has confirmed he will seek re-election to parliament as an independent candidate by taking on another Conservative stronghold, Brentwood and Ongar in Essex. The BBC's Reeta Chakrabati reports.

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The BBC's Political Editor, Andrew Marr, looks at how tax dominated the day's campaigning for the three main party leaders.

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9 May 2001

On the first full day of the campaign the main party leaders got their only chance to square up to each other face to face. Labour also introduced their election pledge card, with five new promises - opposition parties said they had not fulfilled their old ones. The BBC's Mark Mardell reports.

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Two venerable parliamentarians, Sir Edward Heath and Tony Benn, say goodbye to the House of Commons with a shared warning to younger members. The BBC's Andrew Marr speaks to them about their hopes and fears for the future.

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Watch Sir Edward Heath's farewell speech in full.

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Listen to Tony Benn's goodbye speech in full.

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10 May 2001

Conservative leader William Hague launched his manifesto, which includes massive tax cuts at it's heart. He described it as "the most ambitious Conservative manifesto for a generation", but it was immediately derided as unworkable by the other parties. The BBC's Mark Mardell reports.

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Later that night, Shadow Social Security Secretary David Willetts seemed to suggest on Newsnight that the 8 billion worth of tax cuts might be more like 7 billion.

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11 May 2001

In Wales, Glenys Kinnock joined Labour's campaign against apathy. The Liberal Democrats attacked the government's handling of the foot-and-mouth crisis, while the Conservatives claim they have won the battle on fuel. Plaid Cymru launched their campaign, promising to 'fight for Wales'. The BBC's Caroline Evans reports.

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Meanwhile in London, Shadow Chancellor Michael Portillo travelled to Brick Lane, centre of London's Bangladeshi community to try to heal recent party wounds on race. The BBC's Gavin Hewitt was there with him.

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The Tory party leader William Hague kickstarts his campaign in Scotland, taking the opportunity to challenge Labour on taxes. Mr Hague challenges Labour to commit itself to a tax freeze. He sounded the Scots Tory election call when he launched the manifesto entitled Time For Common Sense in Scotland.

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12 May 2001

Labour minister Clare Short has described Tony Blair's decision to announce the general election date at a south London school as "odd". She also said that Labour's manifesto would include a pledge not to raise income tax rates and was due to be launched on Wednesday. The BBC's Shaun Ley reports.

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William Hague is challenged by Labour and the Liberal Democrats over comments made by a Conservative MP over the single currency. The BBC's Shaun Ley reports on the reaction to Sir Peter Tapsell's comparison of Germany's blueprint for future European union with Hitler's Mein Kampf.

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