Issues at Stake in British Election

Key issues in the British election campaign:



Prime Minister Tony Blair's Labour Party (search) government stands by the decision to go to war in Iraq, even though no weapons of mass destruction being found. It says British troops should remain in the country to help the new government restore order.

The Conservative Party (search) backed the U.S.-led invasion and agrees British troops should stay in Iraq. Leader Michael Howard has accused Blair of lying about intelligence on Iraqi weapons of mass destruction and the legal case for war.

The Liberal Democrats (search) opposed the war, and leader Charles Kennedy advocates a phased withdrawal of British troops.



Labour has pledged to maintain low interest rates, low unemployment and low inflation. It says there won't be income tax rises, but won't rule out other tax increases.

The Conservatives plan to cut taxes and trim "wasteful" government spending.

The Liberal Democrats propose a tax boost for earnings over $190,000 a year.



Labour plans tighter immigration controls so only English-speaking skilled workers would be allowed to settle permanently. It promises to speed up deportation of failed asylum seekers.

The Conservatives propose an annual quota for immigrants and want to withdraw from the 1951 U.N. Refugee Convention, which obliges countries to take in asylum seekers based on need.

The Liberal Democrats say asylum seekers should be allowed to work, so that they don't rely on state benefits while their claims are processed.



Labour promises a further 20,000 police support staff, compulsory drug testing and treatment for some offenders.

The Conservatives pledge 40,000 extra police officers, 20,000 more prison places and a tenfold increase in capacity at drug rehabilitation centers.

The Liberal Democrats promise 10,000 extra police, decriminalization of marijuana use and more education in prison.


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