HC Deb 16 October 1995 vol 264 cc16-7
33. Mr. Winnick

To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what are his responsibilities in respect of the presentation of Government policy. [35887]

The Deputy Prime Minister

I am chairman of the Cabinet committee with responsibility for the co-ordination and presentation of Government policy.

Mr. Winnick

As he has completed his pantomime act in Blackpool, will the right hon. Gentleman, who is often described as the Archie Rice of British politics, tell us when he expects a substantial improvement in the standing of the Government? Are we right to believe that if, as seems likely, no such improvement occurs, the right hon. Gentleman will resign, or will he try once more before the next general election to get the job that he really wants?

The Deputy Prime Minister

No, I shall help the Prime Minister win the fifth term which he is entitled to expect.

To describe the party conference that I attended in the terms that the hon. Gentleman does misses the cynicism of his own party conference, which saw the leadership of his party deny the record of his party for as long as I have been in active politics—a total and cynical abdication of everything most Labour Members believe in. The concept of new Labour, with the hon. Members for Stratford-on-Avon (Mr. Howarth) and for Bolsover (Mr. Skinner) on the same side of the House is mesmerising.

Mr. Bill Walker

Does my right hon. Friend agree that he and I have listened over many years to the Opposition's comments on the Government's policy and that it is those policies and the way in which we have practised them that have won us successive general elections and that will win the next one?

The Deputy Prime Minister

As always, I find myself in complete accord with my hon. Friend.