In November 2013, a news story revealed that the Conservative party had removed pre-election party speeches from their official website. Nor were they indexed on sites that ordinarily store old versions of the web, like Internet Archive. You can see more background in this BBC news story.
This site you’re looking at now was created by mySociety. As an organisation, we’re pretty keen on political transparency. We believe that people should be able to refer back to statements and promises made by politicians in the past - how else can they be held to account?
By happy coincidence, just as the Conservative speeches party story hit the news, we were putting finishing touches to our newest product, SayIt - software that makes it really simple to publish speeches and transcripts. This seemed like a great use for it.
So we’ve scraped cached pages of the Conservative speeches and republished them here, in a format that’s very easy to search, browse and share. In the interests of fairness, we’ve also sourced and republished all the Labour speeches we could find, although at the time of writing, these are currently still publicly available on Labour’s site.
These two sets of speeches represent everything that was previously published on the official Conservative site (covering the years 1998 to 2010) and that is currently on the official Labour site (covering 2010 to 2013). As this is a one-off project designed to fill a gap in the public archive, we have no plans to continue updating it as new speeches are made.
We’ve no objection to someone else doing that, though! If you’d like to take the project over, drop us a line and we can talk.