Wednesday, December 15, 2004

I think Blunkett has made the right decision here, see below for my press release about Mr Clarke's appointment as Home Secretary:

Charles Clarke’s Conservative Opponent at the next election has wished the new Home Secretary good luck in his post and has urged the Norwich MP to start “a real fight back against crime” before the next election.

Mr Clarke – the cabinet minister who as Education Secretary introduced top up fees - takes up the job at a time of rising violent crime in Britain.

Mr Little, a 25 year old teacher from Notre Dame High School in Norwich, sent his congratulations to Mr Clarke but also a tough warning of the task ahead.

Speaking to a meeting of the Norwich Conservatives’ Campaign Group at the time of the announcement, Antony said:

”Charles Clarke is now one of the last Blairites in this failing New Labour government. I wish him well in his new job, but he must now get a grip on the crime and anti-social behaviour that is ruining lives in cities like Norwich.”

“I hope Mr Clarke brings a new broom to the job and commits himself to increasing police numbers, like the Conservatives have done, commits to getting more drug addicts into rehab, like the Conservatives have done and commits to scrapping unnecessary police bureaucracy, like the Conservatives have done.”

“Mr Clarke holding his seat after the next election is no certainty, with the Conservatives breathing down his neck in Norwich South. He may not have long to make his mark, so I wish Mr Clarke luck for however long he has as Home Secretary. A few months is more than enough time to start a real fight back against crime.”

“Within a week of being in power the Conservatives will have scrapped Labour’s early release programme, which will stop criminals getting out of prison early and will reduce crime. Let’s see what Charles Clarke can achieve in a week to help reduce crime.”

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