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Andrew Lansley: Conservatives will be unpopular

The Conservative party has been warned to expect a backlash of unpopularity when the spending cuts begin to affect public services.

Health Secretary Andrew Lansley expects Chancellor George Osborne's spending review to generate anger among voters, when most Whitehall departments are expecting to be told to make cuts of around 25%.

Mr Lansley was speaking at a fringe event at the Conservative Party conference, when he said the Government will be judged on public service reform making a "real difference".

He also lavished praise on David Cameron for leading the changing attitudes of the Conservative party and explained that Tory popularity also fluctuated between 1979 because they have had to make tough decisions.

"What we were aiming to do was to do the things that needed to be done so that at the subsequent election people would recognise that a Conservative government had succeeded and a Conservative government should be re-elected," he said.

"I think, frankly, that is the position we are in. We will not be popular. We must expect not to be popular because, much as we know that the nature of the difficult decisions that we have to do are in that sense of our making, we didn't create the debt crisis."

Copyright © Press Association 2010

Conservative Party

Your comments (terms and conditions apply):

"The Labour party didn't create the crisis either people need to be made aware of the fact that it is a global recession hence people are demonstrating in  France and the Irish economy is in crisis. Further to this it is rubbish to say that the NHS is ring fenced when in the area where I work a local hospital has to save £56 million by March" - Louise Baker, Midlands

"Conservative popularity may have fluctuated in 1979 but have we forgotten it then stumbled on through riots, elderly people being sent to prison for pox tax defaults, homelessness, rising TB levels, a rich/poor divide similar to the 1880s, scapegoating single parents and the near destruction of the NHS ... here we go again. Same ludicrous ideals just a different figurehead" - Susan, Newcastle upon Tyne

"I fully support the Conservative party's decisions and actions.
Yes it will be tough but necessary. It's not a matter whether they will be popular, it is what is needed. What legacy are we leaving our children thanks to Labour's squandering" - Kathrin Hills, Norwich

"The Conservatives may not have created the huge debt left, they just contributed to it when they were in government as all previous parties did. This huge debt did not materialise overnight just because the Labour Party were in office. Thatcherism years played a very significant part in how the framework of this country now is becoming unstable. Yes cuts have to be made but are they being made in the best interest of the country or for the interest of those who reside in the capital city. Do I think they will be unpopular, YES they will, but I didn't cast a vote for the popularity of an individual, but I did vote for those who had a good grounding of what was needed and how best to prepare the nation of how these outcomes would have to be implemented" - Angela Riley, Manchester