Tories blast Labour in pounds 1m poster campaign

The Conservative Party will next week step up its general election campaign by launching a pounds 1 million blitz urging voters not to give Tony Blair another four years in power.

The Conservative Party will next week step up its general election campaign by launching a pounds 1 million blitz urging voters not to give Tony Blair another four years in power.

Yellow M has drawn up a hard-hitting campaign, aimed at exploiting the public's discontent with the Government, which asks voters whether they want or can afford another four years of Labour rule.

Four people-based ads, showing the 'victims' of the Government's failures, will run on 1,500 poster sites which are heavily concentrated in the Tories' 180 target seats. They will also appear in regional newspapers.

One ad depicts a school closed until further notice. Another shows a group of patients queuing in a hospital corridor. A third shows a burglary victim whose home has been ransacked. The final ad, on tax, will be finalised after Wednesday's Budget.

Yellow M will stick to the same style used in a previous pounds 1 million campaign on public services launched in January. Tory strategists intend to maintain a constant advertising presence until the election, expected on 3 May.

But the tone of the Tory blitz is bound to provoke Labour charges of 'negative campaigning' since the Opposition does not outline its own policies. Tory officials denied the charge, saying Yellow M had produced ads last month saying the Tories would cut bureaucracy to allow 'nurses to be nurses' and 'policemen to be policemen'.

Labour said that the voters would not be taken in by next week's Tory campaign.

A Labour spokesman said: 'With 38 new hospital developments on the way and 17,000 schools in the process of renovation, Labour's record investment is starting to bear fruit. If the Tories want to raise the question of public services, that is fine by us. Given the choice between investment under Labour and cuts under the Tories, the voters will be more than able to make up their own minds.'



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