British Prime Minister launches web site

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LONDON -- No. 10 Downing Street, the official London residence of British Prime Minister Tony Blair, launched its own Web site April 16 and - in what's heralded as a first in Europe - plans to have a live interview with the Prime Minister on the Internet at the end of April.

The strategy, creative development and project management of the site is the work of BMP Interaction, the interactive division of BMP DDB, London, which won the business via a pitch in January. BMP handles advertising for the ruling Labour Party.

The Web site will include daily updated news (with live stories fed directly from No. 10), government publications as soon as they are released and a searchable database of the Prime Minister's speeches. Visitors to the site can also go on a virtual tour around the house, learning about the history of the building and the prime ministers who have lived there previously.

More radically, an Interact section will allow users to contribute to 24-hour discussion forums on topical issues in which, occasionally, senior government ministers, including Mr. Blair, will take part.

The aim of the site is to give easier access to government information on the Internet and to enable users to put their views directly to Downing Street.

The live 30-minute-long video interview with Mr. Blair will be shown exclusively on the Internet on April 29, the eve of the first anniversary of his party's election to government. He will be responding to questions previously submitted by users to the site.

Copyright April 1998, Crain Communications Inc.

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