LONDON, OCT. 1 -- With British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher at his side, Vice President Bush stood before a video camera supplied by his presidential campaign today and insisted that his trip to Europe has been "all substance and no politics."

The vice president's remark appeared to contradict the assessments of his own staff, senior U.S. diplomats and officials in the host countries he has visited, all of whom have said that the Bush visit to Poland and Western Europe was designed as a prelude to his Oct. 12 announcement as a formal candidate.

When asked by a reporter outside Thatcher's official residence at 10 Downing Street whether the journey was the "opening salvo in your campaign," Bush replied, "No, it was not."

"Most people that are serious about foreign affairs I hope by now realize it was not," he added. "I recall going to China in 1983 and the first question off the plane was, 'Are you here to help yourself politically?' I wasn't then and I'm not now . . . So hopefully this trip will be viewed as what it's supposed to be and that is continuing consultations."

Bush, who spent four days in Poland, is now criss-crossing Western Europe for meetings with allied leaders. He returns to Washington Saturday.

A reporter outside 10 Downing Street pointed to the Bush campaign camera and asked the vice president, "If you say this is not a political trip, why are you having this camera?"

"I hope those pictures will be very good when I get into politics and {when} I get back I'll be in it right from the beginning," Bush said. He added that there is "nothing inappropriate," citing President Reagan's campaign cameras in his 1984 visit to Normandy. "For that to be the whole focus simply would be misunderstanding the importance of this trip," he said.

Asked about the U.S. presidential campign, Thatcher replied, "I have no vote." Pressed as to whether she would want to see Bush in office to carry on the arms control process, she said, "You are tempting me into spheres in which I shall not be tempted. I am not easily provoked."

Thatcher said she wanted to "confirm" that the meetings with Bush were substantive and then, turning away, said, "Now, I'm not quite sure about you. I have some other engagements."

"It's the best news I've had in ages," Bush said. "Thank you, I'll go with you."

Senior U.S. officials have said there is no urgent need for talks now with the allies, who generally have supported the forthcoming U.S.-Soviet accord eliminating medium-range and shorter-range missiles in Europe.