Election '97: Major takes on Mohican in Brecon

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A man with a red Mohican haircut supporting the Labour Party yesterday gave John Major his best day on the campaign trail.

In glorious sunshine in south Wales, the Prime Minister strip-ped to his shirt sleeves to deliver an attack on Labour from the platform of his battle bus in the market square at Brecon.

With real feeling, Mr Major told the crowd of rival Tory, Labour and Liberal supporters that it felt good to "escape from that mad circle of opinion- formers" in London.

At that point, the heckling began. "God help us if you are still there in government."

Mr Major retorted: "I will be - I sometimes remember someone else with less exotic hair say- ing to me the same thing five years ago."

Mr Major then harangued Mr Blair and the Labour Party for threatening to bring higher taxation in spite of all their denials. The man with the Mohican shouted "bollocks". The Prime Minister said: "That is the most intelligent remark I have heard from the Labour Party in this whole campaign."

The street theatre had a serious purpose. Mr Major was campaigning in one of the "super marginals" in South Wales which the Tories are desperate to hold. Brecon and Radnorshire was held by Jonathan Evans with a 130 majority at the last election and is being challenged by Labour and the Liberal Democrats.