I will put country first – Cameron


Published: Tuesday 5th May 2015 by The News Editor

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David Cameron has insisted he will “put the country first” if he fails to secure a Tory majority on Thursday as he kicked off a frenetic push to the finishing line.

The Prime Minister urged people to “shape the future” with their votes rather than dwell on “predictions” about what will happen if there is a hung parliament.

In a combative question and answer session with staff at an internet firm in Hendon, Mr Cameron dismissed jibes about elitism and urged people to back the Conservatives to avoid a disastrous tie-up between Labour and the SNP.

But he stressed that he had acted to give the UK “strong government” by allying with the Liberal Democrats in 2010.

Asked to give a view on the constitutional position if no one party had a majority on Friday, Mr Cameron replied: “You are in the prediction business and you can make lots of predictions in the next 36 hours.

“I tell you what I am in, I am in the business of saying to people … don’t talk about predicting the future – shape the future with your vote.

“There is still time to determine the outcome of this election.”

But after a member of the audience complained that politicians never gave straight answers, he added: “I put the country first, I formed a coalition. I did what was right to give strong government for Britain. So I will always put the country first.”

Appearing alongside London Mayor Boris Johnson at the Utility Warehouse offices, Mr Cameron also batted away suggestions that the Tories were encouraging supporters to vote tactically in some Liberal Democrat-Labour battlegrounds – such as Nick Clegg’s Sheffield Hallam seat.

“I have a very clear message for anyone in a Liberal Democrat-held seat … and that is vote Conservative,” he said.

“Nick Clegg was very clear at the weekend he is just as likely to support an Ed Miliband-SNP government … as he is to support the Conservatives.”

The premier also endorsed comments by Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith that voting Ukip was equivalent to writing a “suicide note” for the country.

“I think that Iain Duncan Smith is absolutely right,” he said.

“If you vote Ukip you are likely to let in a Labour MP and a Labour government that will give you the exact opposite of what you want.”

The PM was also berated by a worker who said people were disaffected because he, the Chancellor and Mr Johnson had gone to the “same school” and had been “dismantling the country’s assets” for reasons of “self interest”.

But Mr Cameron urged her to “judge us on our record”, while local candidate Matthew Offord stepped in to point out that he had not gone to Eton or any other private school.

Mr Johnson added: “It is absolutely true, I did go to the same school as the party leader …Yes I went to the same primary school as Ed Miliband.

“You might as well ask about the sinister grip of Primrose Hill primary school.

“I don’t think people in this country care about where you come from, I think they care about what you are doing, what you are saying to the country and how you are going to take it forward.”

Speaking to LBC, Mr Cameron renewed his criticism of Mr Miliband’s much-derided manifesto monument.

He said: “I had to check it wasn’t April 1 – I just couldn’t believe this was a serious proposition. If you’ve a problem with judgment and you are seen as a bit wonky, really is the answer to have an 8ft tombstone?

“Anyone who has watched The Thick Of It, there’s an episode where the Labour leader comes up with an expression for the hardworking people of Britain as the ‘quiet bat people’.

“I thought this tombstone was almost as odd as the quiet bat people. But there we are – takes all sorts.”

Mr Cameron said the limestone slab demonstrated the “fake” Labour campaign, adding: “I think election campaigns have got to be about getting out and speaking from the heart in front of people and telling them what you really feel.

“I think elections have got to be a mixture of things – yes, there is room for speeches behind a lecturn but you have to get out there as well and talk to people. I think the Labour campaign has been very forced, very fake frankly, and the tombstone for me really sums it up.”

In other comments, the Prime Minister admitted to a weight loss plan after Christmas. He said: “I decided it was time to shed a few pounds – though actually for some reason the bathroom scales now measure it in kgs.”

Mr Johnson took a swipe at comedian Russell Brand, who has urged his fans to back Mr Miliband in most seats.

Hailing the government record in reviving the economy and boosting exports, the mayor said: “We successfully exported Russell Brand to America … But he’s mysteriously come back.”

Published: Tuesday 5th May 2015 by The News Editor

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