Headlines: October 6th, 1998

The Conservative Party conference gets underway in Bournemouth today, operating for the first time under its reformed constitution.The party says that every member, whether volunteer, MP or professional campaigner, now has an equal say in its direction.

The Rt Hon Lord Parkinson, Chairman of the Conservative Party, said: “This week the nation will have the opportunity to see the reformed Conservative Party in action. We must demonstrate our unity of purpose and our common ambition to ensure that we learn the lessons of our defeat last year. Under William Hague’s leadership we have avoided the most dangerous pitfall of opposition.

“There has been no descent into faction or recrimination. Instead the Party has demonstrated a desire to embrace change and is gradually regaining its confidence. We are now back on course to develop new policies based on a set of beliefs which chime with the instincts of the people.”

Like Labour, the Conservatives have set up a special conference website, last year visited by 100,000 people during the week-long conference. Visit the site for a complete speeches service and daily on-line conference newspaper at