Blair: "Labour must be the party of change makers"

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Tuesday, September 27, 2005

British Prime Minister Tony Blair

During his address to the Labour Party Conference today, Tony Blair told the party members that there must be further public service reforms. He highlighted reforms needed for the criminal justice system.

Tony Blair intimated that he would not be stepping down early as prime minister with a policy heavy speech. He apologised that Labour had not gone further with it's reforms and that they should stay the change makers. Rather than announcing a date for his retirement, which he says will be before the next election, he praised Gordon Brown's record as Chancellor

"So now in turn, we have to change again," he said. "Not step back from New Labour but step up to a new mark a changing world is setting for us."

Mr. Blair said that he wanted to form a new consensus on public services and respond to concerns over crime.

Opposition responds

As per normal, these statements were scurtinized by the nation's opposition parties.

Conservative chairman Francis Maude dismissed the speech: "What people want from Mr Blair is not more polished rhetoric about the future but practical solutions to the problems of the present."

Lib Dem leader Charles Kennedy said: "What people want are quality schools and healthcare and safe streets. After eight years of Labour, they're still waiting."

Scottish National Party Alex Salmond said: "It was an underwhelming performance from a man with an eye on his own exit strategy, even if he stubbornly refuses to find one for our soldiers in Iraq."


For text of the speech visit Wikisource's 27 September 2005 speech by Tony Blair to the Labour Party.