Cameron vows to focus on ‘what matters’, promises
DAVID Cameron on Monday said he gets the message from voters suffering from the economic downturn after the ruling coalition’s mauling in mid-term elections.
But the prime minister said he would not be governed by “ideology”, vowing to resist calls from the right-wing fringe of his Conservative Party and the opposition Labour Party to change tack on austerity.
“My reaction to last week’s local election results is straightforward: I get the message, loud and clear,” Cameron wrote in the centreright Daily Telegraph newspaper.
“The message people are sending is this: focus on what matters, deliver what you promise and prove yourself in the process. I get it.” Britain slid back into recession last month after its economy shrank in the first quarter.
Cameron’s comments came at the start of a week in which he aims to use two events to reinject vigour into the coalition with the Liberal Democrats, which marks its two-year anniversary this week.
On Wednesday the Queen’s Speech delivered by Queen Elizabeth II but written by the government will set out the coalition’s plans for the coming new session of parliament.
Also this week Cameron will renew the coalition’s vows during a joint appearance with Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, the leader of the Liberal Democrats.
But it will be a far cry from their cheery press conference in the sunny rose garden of the prime minister’s Downing Street residence in May 2010 when they launched the coalition.
Cameron in particular faces signs of unrest from within his own party after Labour took control of 32 councils in Friday’s elections and won more than 800 seats at the expense of the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats.
Outspoken Conservative lawmaker Nadine Dorries said the party could remove Cameron by Christmas, accusing him of “arrogance and a sneering disregard for true Conservative values”.
Right-wing Conservatives are particularly upset by plans for legalising gay marriage, and by proposed reforms to the House of Lords, the upper house of parliament.
Cameron also faces potential embarrassment when two former aides of Rupert Murdoch testify this week at the Leveson inquiry into the phone-hacking scandal at the now-shuttered News of the World newspaper.
Andy Coulson, who was Cameron’s media chief from 2007-2011, appears on Thursday while on Friday it is the turn of Rebekah Brooks, Cameron’s friend and the former head of News International, Murdoch’s British newspaper wing.