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British Tories, in conclave solemn over their ratings

By With Analysis from Monitor Correspondents around the world, Edited by Randy Shipp / October 8, 1980

Brighton, England

Britain's Conservative Party, its popularity at the lowest point since taking office 18 months ago, has opened its annual congress, with Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher likely to face criticism from both the left and right wings of her party. The left wants her to ease tough monetarist policies that have driven up unemployment, reduced the health services spending, and pushed interest rates to record levels. The right wants her to tighten the policies even further to cut inflation, now at 16 percent a year, and to impose tougher curbs on union power. But sources say Mrs. Thatcher and party's leaders have no plans to change their policies, which they argue needs only time to cure Britain's economic ills.

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