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Orders of the Day — Local Government Finance

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 9:38 pm on 1st February 1995.

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Photo of David Curry David Curry , Skipton and Ripon 9:38 pm, 1st February 1995

I wish to make some important points.

I make my next point with particular emphasis so that the Opposition understand it. The characteristics in the method which give support to Westminster are precisely the same characteristics which benefit Camden, Lambeth, Hackney and the other inner-city Labour authorities. If the Labour party thinks that it will get hold of a system and try to distort it to disadvantage Westminster, the first to suffer will be inner-city Labour authorities with the same characteristics.

I shall do something unusual and pay a mild tribute to Lambeth. It has at last freed itself from the scandal of Labour control and it is actually trying to make efforts to pull itself around. It recently appointed a new chief executive, Miss Rabbatts. She is paid more than the Prime Minister, but she will have to earn every penny of it.

The Liberal Democrats have been running a campaign. The right hon. Member for Yeovil (Mr. Ashdown) was good enough to pop into the Chamber for a brief 15 seconds or so. He has been inviting all my hon. Friends to subscribe to a revolt of the west country. I have no doubt that the right hon. Gentleman's letter arrived on the desks of all the news editors before it arrived in my hon. Friends' postbags.