PM refuses to discuss new coalition

Published: Tuesday 17th March 2015 by The News Editor

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David Cameron has said it is for the British public and the Tory party to decide whether he remained Conservative leader after the May 7 general election as he refused to discuss the prospect of a coalition deal to keep him in power until after the poll.

The Prime Minister insisted that winning an overall majority for the Conservative party “can be done” but “if I fall short, you can ask me the next day what I’ll do about it”.

Ukip leader Nigel Farage has said he would prop up a minority Tory government if the party agreed to stage a referendum on Britain’s membership of the European Union in 2015, but Mr Cameron said the chances of completing the renegotiation of the UK’s ties with Brussels by the end of the year were “pretty slim”.

Asked if he would stay on as leader after the election he told Good Morning Britain: “That’s a matter for the public and a matter for the party.”

Refusing to discuss any future coalition he said: ” I’m going to spend the next 50-odd days campaigning for a Conservative majority government, I think it can be done.”

Mr Cameron has vowed to renegotiate the terms of the UK’s membership of the European Union before holding an in/out referendum by the end of 2017, but he has hinted that vote could be held sooner.

“I have said there will be a renegotiation and then a referendum. Obviously, the sooner that renegotiation can get done, the better,” he said.

But in response to the timetable demanded by Mr Farage, the Prime Minister said: “I would have thought, frankly, the chance of doing that in 2015 after an election in May is pretty slim.”

Mr Cameron dismissed suggestions that he was refusing to take part in a head-to-head TV debate with Ed Miliband because he was frightened of taking on the Labour leader one-on-one.

Asked if he was “scared” of the proposed showdown – which Sky News and Channel 4 want to broadcast on April 30, a week ahead of the general election – the PM told Good Morning Britain: “That’s ridiculous. I debate Miliband every week at Prime Minister’s Questions.”

Mr Miliband has said he is willing to take part in the one-on-one debate, as well as two others planned by ITV and the BBC during the election campaign, featuring seven party leaders.

But Mr Cameron has insisted he will only take part in a single 90-minute debate with at least seven leaders, scheduled for before the official campaign begins on March 30.

Published: Tuesday 17th March 2015 by The News Editor

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