Modernisation will stay on track, says Byers
Saturday 16 January 1999
Giving his first speech in his new post, Mr Byers told French and British politicians in Versailles last night that there would be no turning back from the party's modernising reforms. In an address seen as a rebuff to John Prescott's recent call for Labour to return to its "traditional values", Mr Byers underlined his Blairite credentials by heaping praise on Peter Mandelson.
Despite backbench criticism about Mr Mandelson's continued closeness to the Government, Mr Byers pledged to continue his predecessor's approach. "New Labour runs deep in the country and the party. It is about ideas, values and principles. If we are to create a modern Britain and a decent society, then the status quo is not an option.
"The process of reform must continue and I want the DTI to be in the vanguard ... I will be following the path set by Peter." Mr Byers said he was "delighted" Mr Mandelson was attending the meeting.
Robin Cook, Foreign Secretary, will today echo the New Labour line with a speech to the national policy forum when it meets in Swansea to develop a manifesto for the next election. Mr Cook, who chairs the forum, said New Labour was much more radical than Labour governments of the 1960s and 1970s and said a second term was vital to establishing its lasting impact.
- 1 BBC told new political editor must be 'impartial' with Nick Robinson reportedly stepping down
- 2 Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
- 3 The map showing the most dangerous tourist destinations in Europe, according to the Foreign Office
- 4 The biggest first date turnoff has been revealed
- 5 German man found living with 300 rats in tiny apartment
BBC told new political editor must be 'impartial' with Nick Robinson reportedly stepping down
Humans of New York image of crying gay teen receives best response yet from Ellen DeGeneres
Isis propaganda video shows 25 Syrian soldiers executed by teenage militants in Palmyra
Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
Budget 2015: George Osborne to axe subsidies for higher income earners in social housing
More Britons believe that multiculturalism makes the country worse - not better, says poll
Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
Greece crisis: IMF was pushed around by Angela Merkel and Nicholas Sarkozy – and now it is being humiliated
'I wish the BBC would stop calling it Islamic State' – David Cameron unleashes frustration at broadcaster
Forget little green men – aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert
Girl, 7, stares down hate preacher at Ohio festival with pro-LGBT rainbow flag gesture
£27000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A growing, successful, friendly...
£16000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This family owned, independent ...
£17000 - £21000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...
£17000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...