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Conservative Conference - Joe Ashton

Who could be better placed to report from the Tory party conference at the height of Mrs Thatcher's powers, than the outspoken Labour MP Joe Ashton?

Current affairs 1983 10 mins

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Joe Ashton appears to relish the chance to attack the Tories at their party conference but the Conservative front bench, including Thatcher, Heseltine and Lawson, are notably absent from his interrogations. Conservative MP Cecil Parkinson's misdemeanour is the elephant in the room at this conference, but Ashton's biggest surprise comes when he encounters a group of proudly Tory trade unionists.

A few months after victory in the 1983 General Election the Conservatives gathered for their autumn conference in Blackpool. Previously riding high in the polls their support had been cut by the recent appointment of Neil Kinnock as Labour leader and a scandal surrounding the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, Cecil Parkinson. Joe Ashton was the Labour MP for Bassetlaw in Nottinghamshire from 1968 until 2001.