The Rt. Hon. Sir John Major KG CH

Prime Minister of Great Britain and Northern Ireland 1990-1997

1990Prime Minister (1990-1997)

Doorstep Interview – 28 November 1990

Below is the text of Mr Major’s interview with journalists at the doorstep of 10 Downing Street on 28th November 1990.


Good morning to you all.

May I say firstly that I am extremely grateful for the trust that my Parliamentary colleagues have put in me and for the tremendous support that we have already had from so many people up and down the country. I hope in the next few years that I will be able to prove that that trust is justified.

I am grateful also for the enormous achievements that I inherit from Margaret Thatcher. I think history will record that she was a towering Prime Minister who left our country in a far better condition than she found it eleven years ago.

I hope in the next few years to build on those achievements. I certainly hope in those years to build a society of opportunity. By that I mean an open society, a society in which what people fulfil will depend upon their talent, their application and their good fortune. What people achieve should depend particularly upon those things and I hope increasingly in the future that that will be the case.

I believe very firmly in the 1990s that we will have a decade of the most remarkable opportunities. We have soon the full opening and flowering of the single Market in Europe. We have seen in the last few years the remarkable ending of the Cold War and the bringing together of nations in a fashion that no-one would have imagined just a few years ago. We have in front of us the building and development of an entirely new Europe, a building and development in which this country will play a full and leading role.

In the past week we have seen openly and publicly the uniting of the Conservative Party. I would like to express again my thanks to all members of the Party and particularly Douglas Hurd and Michael Heseltine for the enormous contributions they have made during the leadership contest to ensure that the Party can remain united for the future.

There is no ill-feeling at the end of this contest, at the end of this week for the leadership of the Conservative Party. At the end of this week I believe that there is a smile on the face of the Party that will mean we are fully united for the future.

I hope in the next few years that we will carry on with much of the work that has been done in the last few years. In particular I want to see us build a country that is at ease with itself, a country that is confident, and a country that is prepared and willing to make the changes necessary to provide a better quality of life for all our citizens.

I do not promise you that it will be easy and I do not promise you that it will be quick, but I believe it is an immensely worthwhile job to do. Because it will be neither easy nor quick, if you will forgive me, I will go into Number 10 straight away and make a start right now.

Thank you very much indeed.