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Will Cameron last as PM until Election 2015

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Re: Will Cameron last as PM until Election 2015

Post  Panda on Sun 27 Jan - 13:47

There are many comments about Cameron's speech but this one I think sums up his hot air Politics :-

EdmontDantes1861223.01.2013 | 18:43Link

Cameron spin-doctor ???

Sorry Mr. Cameron, please explain us how with a separate currency (GBP) a separate central bank (BoE) a separate from all policy and position from EU you managed to have a national debt that is higher than Spain and Italy growing at subsonic speed and having a sloppy economy. Keep repeting that EU is the problem is not solving the true problems you have. Last question why in 4 years? If it is so urgent do it now or is a simple negotiation with EU? Or strategy on elections? Bye Bye
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Re: Will Cameron last as PM until Election 2015

Post  Badboy on Fri 1 Feb - 18:40

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Re: Will Cameron last as PM until Election 2015

Post  Panda on Fri 1 Feb - 19:02


The problem Cameron has is he could only become MP by joining up with the LibDems,pro EU who are faring very badly . UKIP is becoming more popular who want out of the EU so Cameron is caught between a rock and a hard place.
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Re: Will Cameron last as PM until Election 2015

Post  Panda on Sat 2 Feb - 9:26

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  1. David Cameron given a lecture on 'debt' and 'deficit' by top statistics official

David Cameron has been taught the difference between "debt" and "deficit" by Britain's top statistics official, after he was accused of confusing the two economic terms.

David Cameron was sent an explanation of the difference between debt and deficit Photo: Getty Images

By Rowena Mason, Political Correspondent

3:28PM GMT 01 Feb 2013


The Prime Minister was issued with the explanation by the UK Statistics Authority, after he claimed in a Conservative Party political broadcast that "we are paying down Britain’s debts.”

Labour wrote to the statistics body objecting to Mr Cameron's use of the phrase, as the Treasury has only been reducing the country's deficit. The national debt is still rising and will continue to do so until 2016 at the earliest, although the deficit has been cut by around a quarter.

Andrew Dilnot, chairman of the Authority, wrote back confirming that national debt has risen from £811 billion to £1,111 billion at the end of 2012. He copied the Prime Minister's Chief of Staff in Downing Street into his letter.

"It is clearly important for all parties to public debate in this area to understand the relevant statistical definitions and to distinguish changes in the level of debt outstanding from changes in borrowing per period, and to reflect these in their communication of the statistical trends involved," he wrote.

"These are definitions which accord with concepts set out in European and international statistical accounting frameworks."

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Mr Dilnot explained that debt is a measure of how much the country owes overall, while the deficit is the difference between income and expenditure over a given time.

Rachel Reeves, Labour's shadow chief secretary to the Treasury, originally wrote to Mr Dilnot asking for him to "bring some clarity to the situation and advise on how we can ensure that in the future debate on the national debt is accurate and based on the facts".

“It is hugely embarrassing for David Cameron that he has had to have the difference between borrowing and debt explained to him by the chair of the UK Statistics Authority," she said today.

"Now that his false claims have been exposed, it's time the Prime Minister stopped deliberately misleading people about his economic record.

“Andrew Dilnot’s letter confirms that, contrary to David Cameron’s pre-scripted claims in the Party Political Broadcast, national debt is not being paid down, but is actually going up."


The definitions:

Public sector net debt

A measure of how much the UK public sector owes at a given time.

Public sector net borrowing

The difference between total accrued receipts and total accrued (current and capital) expenditure over a specified period; this measure is frequently used by commentators to summarise the extent of any public sector ‘deficit’.
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Why Tory plots Should Worry David Cameron

Post  Panda on Sun 3 Feb - 9:28

Why Tory plots should worry David Cameron

There is discontent in Conservative ranks about the direction of the Government

The PM is making a very obvious effort to look prime ministerial Photo: REX

By Iain Martin

9:00PM GMT 02 Feb 2013

Is the plot to remove David Cameron serious?

The Prime Minister should be concerned. Even though it remains unlikely that it will coalesce into a leadership challenge imminently, and the numbers involved are at this stage small, the plotting reflects broader unhappiness in Conservative ranks about the direction of the Government, and the party’s prospects.

Indeed, one of the most striking aspects of the speculation is that there has been so little in the way of a backlash. When the first suggestions of plots against Margaret Thatcher emerged in the late 1980s her opponents were widely denounced as traitors by her cadre of supporters, who accused them of undermining one of the Conservative Party’s great leaders, a three-time general election winner.

This time there was virtually silence. Even a Tory modernising MP loyal to Mr Cameron says: “The plot is all completely mad, but No 10 really need to listen. I’m afraid they simply don’t understand their backbenchers. What is most significant is that some people feel the need to do this.”

Why is there such unhappiness?

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The Government is under fire on several fronts. The economy continues to struggle and the Conservatives look forward to the Chancellor’s forthcoming Budget with little optimism. “George’s plan isn’t working, that’s what’s wrong,” says an MP.

The Prime Minister has also picked a fight with a large part of his own party over gay marriage. On Tuesday, as many as 150 Tory MPs, potentially even more, are expected to vote against him.

Conservative MPs of all shades of opinion do not much like the propensity of the No 10 machine to get itself ensnared in messes of its own making, either. On his tour of North Africa last week the Prime Minister announced that defence spending would be protected after 2015, before retreating within hours when the Ministry of Defence pointed out that this is at odds with the extra cuts the Chancellor wants the Armed Forces to find. And there was the loss of the boundary changes, which the party had hoped would redress the historic bias in the electoral system against the Conservatives. The Lib Dems allied with Labour to vote it down. All in all, it is quite a cocktail.

Is Adam Afriyie MP a serious contender?

The emergence last week of the largely unknown Mr Afriyie as the figurehead of a potential putsch only underlines that one of the weaknesses of the anti-Cameron faction in the Tory party is that it lacks a potential leader to unite around, a “Hezza”.

When Michael Heseltine brought down Mrs Thatcher, he was a widely recognised public figure who had been in the Cabinet and resigned on a point of principle. Even then he did not get to be Prime Minister. In contrast, Afriyie has so far made little impact at Westminster or in the country. Says a veteran MP: “Afriyie is a proxy for a generalised malaise and dissatisfaction.” Cameron loyalists have been mocking the pretender’s credentials and pointing out that he has no experience comparable with that of the Prime Minister, although Mr Afriyie arguably has no less experience than Mr Cameron had when he became Tory leader in 2005. In fact, Adam Afriyie, who emerged from a council estate, arguably had more experience, having built a business and made himself rich through his own efforts before he entered the Commons.

What will the plotters do next?

Even if Mr Afriyie is not the next leader of the Conservative Party, MPs who want to be ready for a change if an opportunity presents itself are organising and signalling they want a different approach. Says an MP: “It is far too early to be talking about a post-Cameron team, but if there is regime change some of the experienced grey-hairs who have been overlooked by Cameron and Osborne should come back. We would want to see David Davis, Sir Malcolm Rifkind, Stephen Dorrell and John Redwood included”.

How is Cameron responding to the plotting?

He is making a very obvious effort to focus on foreign policy and looking prime ministerial. The hope of his supporters is that the plotters will be seen as small-time lunatics attempting to take on a great statesman who is more popular than his party. While this approach is understandable, emphasising experience abroad hardly ever helps see off plotters if a leadership crisis really does erupt. In the end it does not influence voters much either. Recently it did President Sarkozy little good in the French election. And the Cold War warrior Margaret Thatcher was at the height of her international powers when she was deposed
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Re: Will Cameron last as PM until Election 2015

Post  Panda on Mon 4 Feb - 23:08

Tories suspected of plotting against David Cameron summoned to see Chief Whip

Conservative MPs suspected of plotting to replace the Prime Minister with rising star Adam Afriyie have been hauled before the Chief Whip, according to sources.

Mr Afriyie was revealed earlier this week as a potential challenger to Mr Cameron’s leadership Photo: AFP

By Rowena Mason, Political Correspondent

7:23PM GMT 03 Feb 2013


The alleged rebels and Mr Afriyie were summoned by Sir George Young, who is in charge of party discipline, amid reports that a band of backbench Tories have been conspiring to topple their leader.

Sources close to the Whips Office said Sir George called in all those mentioned in connection with the plot to quell any talk of a rebellion against the Prime Minister.

Sir George only returned to the role of Chief Whip after Andrew Mitchell resigned the role when he was accused of swearing in front of police in Downing Street over the "plebgate" scandal.

It is understood Mr Cameron is now considering bringing back Liam Fox, the former Defence Secretary, as Chief Whip in a mini-reshuffle this spring to exert a firmer hand over his party.

Mr Afriyie, described by some as a "British Barack Obama", has repeatedly denied that he has any plans to unseat his leader.

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He said he would “never stand against David Cameron” but managed to fan the flames by admitting he has regular talks with colleagues about the “long-term future of the party”.

He was spoken of widely last weekend as an MP favoured by backbenchers as a candidate to replace the Prime Minister.

This sparked one politician to claim there are actually 16 potential contenders, including several cabinet ministers, who are privately gathering supporters in preparation for future leadership bids.

These were named as Theresa May, the Home Secretary, Chris Grayling, the Justice Secretary, Owen Paterson, the Environment Secretary and George Osborne, the Chancellor.

Two former leadership contenders - Mr Fox and David Davis - were also the subject of speculation. On the backbenchers, Graham Brady, Jesse Norman and Steve Baker were tipped for higher office in future.

Loyalist Tory MPs last night dismissed the talk of replacing Mr Cameron, who is more popular than his party according to many polls.

Douglas Carswell, Conservative MP for Clacton and a frequent rebel over Europe, said it would be “daft to even contemplate a leadership contest”.

“Voting against the government because of differences of policy is honourable,” he wrote on his blog. “But briefing journalists about some dim-witted ‘plot’ because you didn't get the ministerial job you wanted is not."

The speculation about Mr Cameron’s job sparked off rumours that another contender could be looking to depose George Osborne as the Chancellor.

William Hague, the Foreign Secretary, had been named as a possible replacement for Mr Osborne if the Chancellor fails to turn the economy around.

However, Mr Hague told the BBC Sunday Politics that there would be no “job swap”.

“These things are up to the Prime Minister but if he was here, he would tell you very clearly there will be no such job swap. The Chancellor is doing a great job.”

"I’ve said I don’t want to be a politician in my 60s. I’m 51 now, that gives me a bit of mileage yet. But I did come back into politics to do this job, to support David Cameron and to do this job. So it’s always been my intention – and his intention thankfully – that I would be Foreign Secretary. We haven’t set a time limit on that.”
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India Visit: David Cameron Leads Trade Mission

Post  Panda on Mon 18 Feb - 9:08

India Visit: David Cameron Leads Trade Mission

David Cameron lands in Mumbai as part of his latest attempt
to "open doors" for British businesses.

7:18am UK, Monday
18 February 2013

Video: David Cameron is joined by
British business leaders

gross domestic product (GDP) in dollars.


World Bank

Graph: India's Rocketing GDP

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By Joey Jones, Deputy Political Editor, in Mumbai

David Cameron has arrived in India where he is heading the
largest ever trade delegation to travel overseas with a British Prime

Mr Cameron is anxious to drum up the prospects for business deals, but knows
that there is a risk that his trip will be clouded by corruption allegations
surrounding the sale of luxury AgustaWestland helicopters to India.

The Indian media and political arena has been dominated for days by a
corruption probe, which has led to arrests in Italy where AgustaWestland's
parent company Finmeccanica is under investigation.

The Prime Minister knows there is a risk that the deal - which has already
been part-completed - could end up cancelled, but is anxious to ensure his
schedule is not derailed by the helicopter affair.

On arrival, Mr Cameron travelled to Mumbai for a day of business-focused
meetings ahead of talks with the Indian Prime Minister and President in

Mr Cameron has frequently stressed the value he places on working to improve
the UK's trade relationships overseas.

Among the party of more than 100 joining Mr Cameron are representatives of
major companies like Rolls-Royce, BAE Systems and BP, small businesses,
universities, football's Premier League, the London Underground and nine

On this trip he is likely to suggest that the relationship with India had
been neglected under the previous Labour government, but that it is a priority
for the current government.

Before the visit he told the Hindustan Times: "Frankly, Britain did neglect
this relationship during the first decade of this century.

"But under my Government we're determined to turn that around.

"Trade grew at over 20% in 2010 and 2011. We're reaching out beyond the
biggest cities, with the biggest diplomatic footprint of any country in

Ministers have set themselves a target of doubling bilateral trade over the
course of the parliament.

But the speed of growth in India is such that Mr Cameron knows opportunities
to trade are continuing to expand above expectations; and UK ministers and
companies alike need to be ready to take advantage.

He has also indicated that he is planning to relax visa requirements to
attract Indian business visitors to the UK.

Asked by the Hindustan Times about business concerns about the difficulty of
obtaining UK visas, Mr Cameron said: "I think there's more we can do here and
that's an area where I hope we can put an even more attractive offer on the
table during this trip."
See what I mean!!! Cameron is reactive, not proactive, copying Boris
Also, his wife tells him he needs more Women in Cabinet, so he is going to do something about it.
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Re: Will Cameron last as PM until Election 2015

Post  Panda on Tue 19 Feb - 7:35

And here comes another one......Boris played cricket with the poor children though.

Cameron breaks from trade mission to play cricket with Mumbai children

David Cameron took a break from his trade mission to India to play cricket
with Mumbai children in a local park.

By James Kirkup, Deputy
Political Editor

1:35PM GMT 18 Feb 2013

The Prime Minister surprised onlookers with his solid driving, striking
several delivers cleanly through the covers before eventually being bowled.

He was playing with children from the Global Cricket School, which teaches
children from Mumbai's slums.


Sachin Bajaj, the school's leader, said Mr Cameron was "very chilled out --
he was all smiles and very relaxed.

"He said he hadn't had a hit for a long time but he got going and hit a few
good cover drives."

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Earlier, Mr Cameron had spoken of the importance of sport and relaxation in
his approach to the premiership.

"I try and stay a little bit fit," he said. "I try and go for a run a week, I
try to play a game of tennis every week and I try not to go to bed too late. But
like all these things that doesn't always work."

David Cameron was playing cricket with
children from the Global Cricket School, which teaches children from Mumbai's
slums (PA)

The prime minister has been accused of a laid-back approach to his work, but
insisted that it was more important to stay fresh than to work too hard.

"As I always say, if you are exhausted and if you are fried mentally you will
be a hopeless prime minister. You have to try and keep a good equilibrium and
balance and then hopefully you can make good decisions."

Instead of working around the clock, he said, he prefers to have his staff
and colleagues share the burden.


He said: "The most important things is to have a very good team around you.
That is the most important thing – to make sure you can delegate and you can
have a team you can work with and get things done for you."

Mr Cameron earlier this week said he would be spending the long flight to
India watching Bollywood films, a major Indian export.

His cricketing exploits and his comments about delegating may
reigniteallegations that Mr Cameron does not work hard enough in No 10.

One biography of the Prime Minister has described him "chillaxing" regularly,
enjoying long lunches with wine and spending hours playing computer games.
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Re: Will Cameron last as PM until Election 2015

Post  Panda on Fri 22 Feb - 20:52

David Cameron will face leadership crisis if Tories lose Eastleigh
by-election, says Nigel Farage

David Cameron will face a leadership crisis if his Conservatives fail to win
the Eastleigh by-election, Nigel Farage has predicted.

Nigel Farage with UKIP's
candidate for Eastleigh, Diane James Photo:

Peter Domininczak in Eastleigh

3:28PM GMT 22 Feb 2013

The Ukip leader said that a Tory defeat in the by-election next week could
begin a sequence of events that raises doubts about the Prime Minister’s
position later this year.

The Conservatives are fighting the take Eastleigh from the Liberal Democrats
following the resignation of Chris Huhne.

Mr Huhne had a majority of less than 4,000 but many Tories are privately
predicting that the Lib Dems will retain the seat on Thursday.

Mr Farage said he believed many Conservatives are demoralised, raising
questions about their leadership.

“It’s pretty serious,” Mr Farage told the Daily Telegraph. “What I’ve picked
up over the last few days is that they have now basically conceded that they
cannot win this by-election.

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“So the question now is just how bad a score are they going to get? There is
a possibility that Conservatives here who don’t think they have a chance of
beating the Lib Dems could switch to us in the last week.

“If that does happen and if the Tories get a derisory vote then I think it’s
very serious indeed for [Mr Cameron].”

Asked whether people will start asking questions about Mr Cameron’s
leadership if the Tories do not win the by-election Mr Farage said: “Yes. I
think the mutterings are there already. When you get away from metropolitan
London… and you go out to the strong Tory bits of this constituency you meet
traditional Conservative voters who say, ‘Actually our party used to believe in
patriotism and national democracy and supporting business and free enterprise,
and now we support wind turbines and gay marriage’.

“They don’t recognise David Cameron to be a Conservative. They seem to have
become so disconnected from their traditional base that it really is a crisis

Mr Farage predicted that Mr Cameron will come under increasing pressure in
the months leading up to the Conservative Party conference in the autumn.

“It could be a long, hot summer for the Conservative Party,” he said.
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Re: Will Cameron last as PM until Election 2015

Post  Panda on Fri 1 Mar - 18:05

Tory backbenchers tell David Cameron: ditch metropolitan agenda to win
blue-collar vote

Conservative backbenchers have reacted furiously to the defeat in the
Eastleigh by-election, warning that David Cameron is “out of touch” with the
Tory party.

The by-election was expected to
be a straight contest between the Conservatives and the Lib Dems, but Ukip
emerged as a strong challenger Photo: Getty

By Peter Dominiczak, Political

3:13PM GMT 01 Mar 2013


Tory right-winger Stewart Jackson, the MP for Peterborough, warned the Prime
Minister that unless he changes the way the party is run he “will have great
difficulty in persuading the electorate that we can win a general election”.

Eleanor Laing, the MP for Epping Forest, added that people felt "hurt" by the
way they were being treated by the party leadership and warned that loyalty must
go in both directions.

The Prime Minister has insisted that the Eastleigh result will not prompt him
to steer the party further to the right to combat the threat from Ukip.

Despite admitting that the by-election result was “disappointing” the Prime
Minister said he would reject calls by some backbenchers to lurch further to the

He said the Tories will not be blown off course by the defeat in Eastleigh
and called on the party to “remain true to our principles”.

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Michael Gove, the Education Secretary, has said it would be “wrong” to
abandon the centre ground.

Nigel Farage, the Ukip leader, has described his party’s second place finish
in Eastleigh as a "massive boost" ahead of English county council elections in
May and next year's European Parliament polls - when he said Ukip would cause
"an earthquake" in British politics.

Maria Hutchings, the Tory candidate, polled just 10,559 votes, more than
1,000 behind Ukip, which snatched huge chunks of the coalition parties' 2010
general election vote share, taking more than 27 per cent of the total.

Mr Jackson has hit out at the Prime Minister over the result and called for
immediate change.

He told the London Evening Standard: “Unless things are demonstrably
different in terms of public perception by the early summer he will have great
difficulty in persuading the electorate that we can win a general election.

“He is out of touch with the party. Both gay marriage and EU migration feed
into a narrative that too much emphasis is going to the liberal metropolitan
elite and not enough to the blue-collar working vote that Margaret Thatcher had
the support of.”

Mrs Laing told BBC Radio 4's The World At One programme: "Ordinary
Conservative voters don't feel that this Government is in tune with them, with
their hopes and fears.

"Sometimes, you know, I will put it as strongly as saying that it's hurtful.
It's hurtful to people who want to believe in a Conservative Party that
represents them.

"In my own constituency, on the doorsteps in Eastleigh, and generally people
that I talk to, do you know what, they actually feel hurt.

"They feel hurt and they feel left out. They're told that they're
old-fashioned and they think that they don't matter and that what they stand
for, and what they believe in, doesn't matter. Those people who for decades have
put their faith in the Conservative Party.

"The only way to take forward those issues that people really care about is
to have a truly Conservative government. And to do that the leadership of my
party has to tune in better to the people who want to support it - who want
loyalty and who now feel rather left out."

Mrs Laing, who described herself as "utterly loyal" to the Tory leadership
during her 16 years in Parliament, said: "Loyalty is a two-way thing and the
leadership of the Conservative Party asks for loyalty from our supporters but
those supporters don't feel that they're getting loyalty back."

Mr Cameron immediately sought to pre-empt any calls for a move to the right
by saying the Tories should not “tack this way, tack that way”.

“It's disappointing for the Conservative Party but we must remain true to our
principles, true to our course, and that way we can win people back,” the Prime
Minister said.

Asked if the result was a crisis for the party, Mr Cameron said: "I don't
think we should tack this way, tack that way.

“What we have got to do is deliver for people who work hard, who want to get
on, and deliver on the agenda that they care about and I care about.

"That means getting our economy moving, it means continuing to reduce our
deficit, it means continuing to cut immigration, it means continuing to reform
welfare, it means delivering for people who work hard, who want to get on, who
want to do the right thing for their families.

"That is my agenda, that is their agenda. This is a by-election, it's
mid-term, it's a protest. That's what happens in by-elections.”
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Re: Will Cameron last as PM until Election 2015

Post  Panda on Sat 2 Mar - 11:45

David Cameron must toughen up, say senior Tories

David Cameron is under pressure from senior Conservatives to adopt tougher
policies on immigration after the Tories were upstaged by the UK Independence
Party in the Eastleigh by-election.

Conservative MPs are demanding
that the Prime Minister gives a bigger role to Lynton Crosby, right Photo: Reuters/Rex

By James Kirkup, Robert Winnett and Peter

10:00PM GMT 01 Mar 2013

Conservative MPs are also demanding that the Prime Minister takes a harder
line on the Liberal Democrats and gives a bigger role to Lynton Crosby, the
party’s combative Australian strategist.

The Tories finished third in Eastleigh as the Lib Dems survived recent
scandals to retain the seat. Ukip came second after a surge in support that
raised Tory fears about the general election in 2015.

Nigel Farage, the Ukip leader, said that the result was a “sign of things to
come” and predicted more advances for his party in next year’s European election
and in 2015.

One Cabinet minister told The Telegraph that Mr Cameron must respond
to the setback with “firm action” on immigration, especially the potential
arrival next year of Bulgarians and Romanians.

He said: “We need to do a lot more of the things that our core supporters
want us to do. The first priority should be immigration.”

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Michael Fabricant, the Tory vice-chairman who helped run the Eastleigh
campaign, said the party must “focus on the economy, immigration, crime, Europe”
and not be distracted by “side issues”.

Mr Fabricant posted a series of messages on the Twitter website, saying the
Conservatives needed to do more to “connect” with voters.

“The Conservative voice is muffled and not crisp. It does not clearly project
Conservative core policies or principles,” he said. “With Ukip clearly
announcing policies the public want to hear, we must do the same.”

A poll showed that 55 per cent of the Eastleigh voters who backed Ukip this
week named immigration as the most important issue in the election. Mr Cameron
and his allies attempted to play down the Ukip surge as a protest vote with no
wider political significance.

But another Cabinet minister described the Eastleigh result as “a seismic
moment” that Conservatives must take “very seriously”.

A third minister, a close ally of Mr Cameron, admitted that policies such as
gay marriage had contributed to the Eastleigh setback. “We get that has been a
problem and we cannot and will not be raising issues like that again which will
alienate the grassroots,” he said.

One senior Tory backbencher said: “We’ve insulted Ukip and been soft on the
Lib Dems. That has to change and Lynton is the person to do that.”

Mr Crosby, who oversaw the Tory campaign in 2005, is now expected to conduct
the party’s Eastleigh “post mortem” and consider how Conservatives can make
gains in other Lib Dem seats in 2015.
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Re: Will Cameron last as PM until Election 2015

Post  Panda on Fri 8 Mar - 17:28

Cameron rebuked over austerity claims

David Cameron has been corrected by the Treasury’s own forecaster over
claims that cuts in public spending are not reducing economic growth.

Robert Chote Photo: PA

By James Kirkup, Deputy
Political Editor

3:12PM GMT 08 Mar 2013

The Office for Budget Responsibility told the Prime Minister that it does
believe that cutting public spending will reduce economic growth in the short

Robert Chote, the head of the OBR, contradicted a claim Mr Cameron made this
week in a speech about the economy, in which the Prime Minister said the
forecaster does not believe cuts are reducing growth.

In fact, as Mr Chote wrote, the OBR believes that cuts in spending and
increases in tax will depress economic activity, meaning lower growth.

Letter From Robert Chote to Prime Minister




Previous for “” Next

p. 1

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p. 2

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Original Document (PDF) »
Article »

Contributed by: Telegraph Graphics, The

In his speech, Mr Cameron said that weak economic growth in the UK was caused
by international factors including the eurozone crisis and the high oil price.

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He denied that Coalition policies are responsible for low growth, saying:
“They absolutely clear that the deficit reduction plan is not responsible; in
fact, quite the opposite.”

Mr Chote today wrote to Mr Cameron contradicting that statement, saying that
the forecaster, like other economists, believe that “fiscal consolidation” puts
a short-term squeeze on economic growth.

“For the avoidance of doubt, I think it is important to point out that every
forecast published by the OBR since the June 2010 Budget has incorporated the
widely held assumption that tax increases and spending cuts reduce economic
growth in the short term.”
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Re: Will Cameron last as PM until Election 2015

Post  Panda on Sun 10 Mar - 8:32

David Cameron in peril as discontent in Tory ranks rises

Up to 25 Conservative MPs are planning to oust David Cameron if the party’s
fortunes do not improve within the next two months.

The Prime Minister sets out his
plans for a fightback Photo:

By Robert Watts, Deputy Political

9:30PM GMT 09 Mar 2013

The hardcore group of backbenchers say that if this month’s Budget or the
local elections in May prove disastrous they will push for the 46 names needed
to trigger a leadership contest.

Details of discontent in the Prime Minister’s party follow days of rumours
that several senior Tories, including Theresa May, are already plotting to
succeed their leader.

One Conservative Tory MP said that he was approached as recently as Friday
afternoon by a fellow MP asking if he would support the Home Secretary’s
leadership bid.

After conversations with more than 20 MPs in a febrile Westminster last week,
this newspaper has established that dozens more backbenchers are piling pressure
on Mr Cameron to toughen his stance on an EU referendum. More than 50 Tory MPs
are pressing the Prime Minister to set out precise referendum plans to
“neutralise Ukip” and “rebuild trust” with voters.

Polling data published this weekend by Lord Ashcroft, a former deputy
chairman of the Conservative Party, threatens to fuel discontent among Mr
Cameron’s critics. The survey of voters in key battlegrounds suggests Labour is
on course to win the 2015 general election with a majority of 84.

Related Articles

Meanwhile, a poll by the Observer has found Ukip winning ratings of 17 per
cent, more than double the Lib Dems' 8 per cent rating, while the Conservatives
were down 2 per cent on 27 per cent, and Labour down 2 per cent on 39 per cent.

The 25 MPs most determined to oust Mr Cameron say that he is failing to cut
spending or reduce taxes to help boost the economy. They also feel that Liberal
Democrats are being given far too much clout in government.

One of the rebel group, dismissed as “the usual nutters” by many of their
fellow MPs, said: “If either the Budget or the local elections in May prove a
disaster for us then this could be it for both Osborne and Cameron.

“George is deeply unpopular, but we realise that we cannot win in 2015
without a change of leader. If the elections are a disaster others will realise
this too.”

Many Conservative MPs have grown pessimistic about the chances of securing a
majority in 2015. One said: “If the election is lost Cameron will have to
resign. That’s only two years away and so it’s hardly surprising that people are
starting to look themselves in the mirror and begin to position themselves.”

Last night, Mrs May, the most senior Tory said to be lining up to take over,
set out her “Vision of Conservatism” at a keynote speech in London.

It is understood that Mrs May has no plans to challenge Mr Cameron until
after the election, but her allies are paving the way for her campaign.

One senior Tory source said: “Theresa [May] is very ambitious and she does
have quite a difficult relationship with the Prime Minister. She is holding
regular meetings with backbenchers and building a more personable, public
profile. Everything she does looks very planned.”

Last week’s speculation of Philip Hammond standing alongside Mrs May as a
leader-chancellor pairing has been dismissed as “complete nonsense” by sources
close to the Defence Secretary.

Supporters of Adam Afriyie, the Windsor MP whose leadership ambitions drew
derision from some of his colleagues this year, said their campaign is quietly
gathering momentum. “People who dismissed Adam aren’t doing so now,” one friend

Jesse Norman, who serves on the Commons’ Treasury select committee, is also
regarded as a future leader and is said to be securing a powerful base of

Mr Norman led a group of Tory backbenchers nicknamed “the Sensibles” who last
year wrecked the Coalition’s plans to reform the House of Lords. “Jesse has kept
his 'Sensibles’ together and is winning new friends,” another Tory MP said.

To add to the intrigue, Liam Fox, who stood against Mr Cameron in the 2005
leadership contest, will deliver a speech in Westminster tomorrow headed “The
right approach for the economy”.

Dr Fox has previously urged the Coalition to go further in cutting taxes and
public spending. His speech comes nine days before the Chancellor delivers the
Budget on March 20.

The most pressing test to Mr Cameron’s authority comes from a large group of
backbenchers urging their leader to harden his line on an EU referendum. The
group wants Mr Cameron to publish draft legislation setting out precisely what
the referendum would ask, when it would take place and how Britain would
extricate itself from the EU.

Six weeks ago the Prime Minister said that if the Conservatives won the 2015
election, ministers would renegotiate Britain’s relationship with the EU and ask
the public if they wanted to remain part of it by 2017.

One MP involved in the campaign said it had gathered pace since the Tories
were beaten into third place by Ukip at last month’s Eastleigh by-election. The
group has begun sending emails and letters to the Prime Minister and is drafting
legislation that it wants him to publish – preferably by the end of the year.

“This is not a plot … This is a determined, behind-the-scenes campaign to get
the Prime Minister to go one step further than he has so far,” the MP said. “A
lot of us – particularly the 2010 intake of MPs – believe the Prime Minister
simply has not gone far enough to win back public trust on Europe.”

Another member of the group added: “We’re still making life far too easy for
Ukip. We need to show we really mean business on a referendum.”

Lord Ashcroft’s polling of more than 19,000 voters found that the
Conservatives are likely to win 16 of the 109 seats that will be most-fiercely
contested between Labour and the Tories. This would give Ed Miliband’s party 367
seats in the House of Commons, a Labour majority of 84.

However, the study is not good news for those pushing for a new leader
because it identifies the Prime Minister as the Tories’ “greatest asset
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Re: Will Cameron last as PM until Election 2015

Post  Panda on Mon 11 Mar - 15:27

Ed Conway

Economics Editor

More from Ed | Follow Ed on

The Prime Minister gives hundreds of speeches, long and short,
every year. He has appeared in countless press conferences and numerous
television appearances, and, given the time we’re living in, the dominant theme
has inevitably been the economy.

But until today, none of those speeches have provoked a reaction of any sort
from the official assessor of Britain’s economic prospects, the Office for
Budget Responsibility. That’s why this is a significant moment.

But what is it precisely that annoyed the OBR so much? It’s worth just
pulling out the section of the speech OBR director Robert Chote refers to in his

Mr Cameron said: "As the Independent Office for Budget Responsibility has
made clear, growth has been depressed by the financial crisis, by the problems
in the eurozone and by a 60% rise in oil prices between August 2010 and April

"They are absolutely clear, and they are absolutely independent. They are
absolutely clear that the deficit reduction plan is not responsible; in fact,
quite the opposite."

Essentially the OBR has three problems with statement.

1. It might give off the impression that spending cuts and tax rises have
absolutely no impact on economic growth. On the contrary, says the OBR: we’ve
always been clear that the Government’s planned cuts would knock a full 1.4
percentage points off Britain’s economic output.

Downing Street’s main response to this (and I’m paraphrasing) is that of
course the PM has always acknowledged that austerity would reduce growth. What
he was referring to was, specifically, the past year or so and the question of
whether growth has been weaker than expected directly as a result of austerity.
But, even if both sides agreed on that, this still leaves the OBR’s second

2. The PM’s claim that the OBR is "absolutely clear that the deficit
reduction plan is not responsible” for this lower growth. The OBR did publish a
report last October [http://budgetresponsibility.independent.gov.uk/forecast-evaluation-report-october-2012/]
which concluded that the euro crisis, higher oil prices and a few other external
economic factors were on balance responsible for that weaker-than-expected
growth. But it did not "absolutely" rule out that austerity could be taking more
of a toll than previously thought. Indeed, as the letter said: "it is clearly
possible that [weaker growth] is in part because the fiscal consolidation
measures have had a greater 'multiplier' effect [in other words have hit growth
more] than we anticipated."

3. That line at the end: "...in fact, quite the opposite". This seems to
imply that growth would have been even worse had it not been for the cuts. This
is certainly not the OBR’s position, or indeed the position of any mainstream

Now, some will look at this row and see it as a serious embarrassment for the
PM. And it certainly undermines the impact of what was intended as an extremely
significant speech: his big statement, in the wake of the credit rating
downgrade, that Britain must not change economic course.

However, once the fuss has died down it may also be seen as a positive moment
for the Government: the first time its new apparatus for buttressing its fiscal
credibility has been properly tested. The OBR has asserted its independence, it
has rapped the Prime Minister on the knuckles – perhaps this will ensure he will
be clearer about the economics in the future and people will trust him and the
OBR more as a result
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Re: Will Cameron last as PM until Election 2015

Post  Panda on Wed 13 Mar - 19:03

@ angelina,

I'm with you, Cameron really hasn't got any leadership qualities and because he was born into a wealthy Family he will never understand what poor people have to contend with, George Osborne is the same, a Millionaire , . It should be a prerequisite that all Chancellors should be Economists .!!
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Re: Will Cameron last as PM until Election 2015

Post  Panda on Sun 24 Mar - 12:28

Immigration: PM Talks Tough On Social Housing

Last Updated: 4:37AM 24/03/2013

Immigrant families will be kept off council house waiting lists for up to five years under a crackdown being unveiled by Prime Minister David Cameron.

He is to set out a tougher approach on housing and benefits in a keynote speech today - promising to tackle the culture of "something for nothing".
Councils currently have powers to impose local residency tests for social housing but ministers are frustrated that only around half do so.
Arguing that Britain became a "soft touch" for immigrants under Labour, Mr Cameron will announce that statutory guidance is being issued.
Local authorities will have to introduce minimum residency times of between two and five years for joining waiting lists - or justify why they are not.
The Prime Minister is likely to cite figures in his speech showing that nearly one in 10 new social lettings go to foreign nationals. The proportion has risen from 6.5% in 2007-08 to 9% in 2011-12.
The harder line will please the Tory right, who have blamed the lack of action in such core areas for the party's dismal third place behind UKIP in the Eastleigh by-election.
Concerns have been rising of an influx from Bulgaria and Romania when movement restrictions are loosened at the end of this year.
Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg performed a U-turn last week by abandoning the Liberal Democrats' controversial "earned citizenship" policy, which would allow illegal immigrants to stay once they have been in the country for more than 10 years.
He said such an amnesty now risked "undermining public confidence".
Under the new rules, ministers will take steps to ensure British nationals are protected when they move for "genuine reasons" - such as work or family breakdown - by ensuring local authorities retain the ability to set exceptions.
Such protection is already legally in force for members of the Armed Forces.
Mr Cameron is also expected to use his speech to reiterate his commitment to reduce net immigration to below 100,000.
Yet again Cameron jumps on the immigration bandwagon, does he ever come up with some groundbreaking plan to cure all Britain's ills?????
The Tories and Labour are worried about UKIP annd both Parties will want a coalition with this Party come the Election.
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Re: Will Cameron last as PM until Election 2015

Post  Panda on Sat 27 Apr - 8:42

Jo Johnson to head No 10 Policy Unit: this is a big gamble for David Cameron

By Benedict BroganPoliticsLast updated: April 25th, 2013
54 CommentsComment on this article

Jo Johnson will head the Downing Street Policy Unit (Photo: Rex)
From my Morning Briefing: subscribe here
Westminster awoke this morning to the news of a Johnson in Downing Street, at last. There are plenty of gags around, and quite a bit of excitement, on the back of Dave's internal re-engineering of the No 10 policy machine. The appointment of Jo Johnson to run the policy unit, and alongside him a policy board of interesting MPs (including Jesse Norman, George Eustice and Peter Lilley), tells us that the parliamentary party is winning its long-running campaign to get Dave to pay more attention to what his backbenchers want.
As a measure of where power lies, it could be said to tilt it further towards the '22 membership. But as one MP texted me last night, "when will Dave realise it's leadership we want, not go-betweens?!" You can see the point: put the Jo J appointment alongside John Hayes as "senior" parliamentary adviser, and even the purpose-built Cabinet table extension Sue Cameron mentions, and there's a lot of tinkering going on that gives No 10 an increasingly patchwork air. Or does if you are among those who view the shake-up with scepticism: another Old Etonian Bullingdon Oxford graduate, and – really dubious, this – a former journalist to boot.
Once we've finished with the gags about a Johnson in No 10, there's also the Boris thing. It's tempting to wonder if putting the MP for Orpington in a central role in the machine isn't a deliberate tweak of the Mayor's tail. Those Johnsons are very competitive, they say. It will be worth finding out if Johnson J will be put in charge of the manifesto, a critical position for the 2015 election. And where will he fit alongside Lynton Crosby, who has the PM's undivided attention, and is now working nearly full time to streamline what Dave does down to a few core issues?
At the mid-way point of the Parliament, the policy-making focus shifts naturally back towards party HQ and preparations for the election and a second term. In No 10 the focus should be on implementing existing ideas, not necessarily cooking up new ones. Jo J has impressed his colleagues by being thoughtful, bright, smart. He's one of a handful tipped for great things by other peers, and some talk of him as a better leadership bet than his brother. His friends are working on improving his people skills. The question for Dave, though, is one of practical politics: he may be good, but he's new and untested. He's investing a lot of hope and responsibility in Johnson J, for an uncertain return. Given the need to improve the No 10 operation, and give it some edge, it's worth a try.
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Re: Will Cameron last as PM until Election 2015

Post  Panda on Sat 4 May - 12:55

Cameron Told To 'Break Impression Of Privilege'

Former Tory leadership contender David Davis warns David
Cameron to lose his Old Etonian advisors to get the party back on track.

11:03am UK,
Saturday 04 May 2013

David Cameron has said the Tories are going to work hard
to win back voters

Home Secretary Theresa May tells Sky News the Government
has shown "that it understands some of the problems that hard-working people are

Video: May: Govt Is In Touch With

  • The Conservatives must "break the impression of being privileged
    and out of touch" if they are to stand a chance of winning the next general
    election, former leadership contender David Davis has warned.

    Speaking after the party suffered heavy losses to the UK Independence Party
    in the local council elections, the MP for Haltemprice and Howden said David
    Cameron should stop surrounding himself with fellow Old Etonians and show he
    undersood the concerns of ordinary people.

    With the Tories losing 340 councillors and the control of 10 councils, some
    Tory right-wingers have called on the Prime Minister to firm up his commitment
    to holding a referendum on Britain's membership of the European Union to counter
    the appeal of UKIP.

    However, Mr Davis said the priority for Mr Cameron - who recently appointed
    Old Etonian Jo Johnson to head the No 10 policy unit - was to reconnect with
    voters who thought the Conservatives lived in a different world to them.

    "The fact is that if we want to win the next election, we have to break this
    impression of being privileged and out of touch," he said in an article for The
    Daily Telegraph.
    David Davis (L) lost the contest to become
    Tory leader to David Cameron (R)
    "The British public are neither snobs nor inverted snobs, but they do expect
    the Government to understand their problems and do something about it.

    "That means more straight talking and fewer focus groups; more conventional
    Tory policies, not because they are Tory, but because they work; less pandering
    to metropolitan interest groups; and please, please, no more Old Etonian

    Home Secretary Theresa May, who has been touted as a possible future Tory
    leader, refused to be drawn on the argument, and insisted the party was focused
    on "bringing people back to voting Conservative".

    She told Sky News: "The Government has shown that it understands some of the
    problems that hard-working people are facing - the efforts we've taken to
    helping local councils freeze their council tax, hold down fuel duties, two
    million people have been taken out of paying income tax, and an income tax cut
    for 24 million people.

    "There are other areas we know the task is a sizeable one - controlling
    welfare and immigration. We are already on the right track in dealing with these

    She added: "What we will be doing over the next couple of years is working
    hard to bring people back to voting Conservative - showing them what we are
    doing in those areas ... and how the choice in the next election will be
    Conservatives who will control welfare and immigration and deal with the
    deficit, and the same old Labour Party who will just ask for more spending, more
    borrowing, more debt."

    UKIP's gains of 131 councillors in the council elections were dubbed a "game
    changer" by leader Nigel Farage.
    UKIP leader Nigel Farage said the elections
    marked a 'game-changer'
    While Labour made gains - picking up 268 councillors and taking control of
    two councils - analysts said they fell short of the numbers needed to show that
    Ed Miliband was on course for Downing Street.

    For the Liberal Democrats it was another grim set of results with the loss of
    110 councillors while crashing to a humiliating seventh place in the South
    Shields parliamentary by-election, just ahead of the Monster Raving Loony

    Mr Cameron pledged to work really hard to win back voters who abandoned the
    Conservatives for the UKIP, promising action to turn round the economy, cut
    immigration and sort out the welfare system.

    Having previously derided UKIP as "fruitcakes, loonies and closet racists",
    the Prime Minister adopted a softer approach, promising to show "respect" for
    those who voted for them.

    Mr Miliband insisted that Labour had made "good gains" but acknowledged there
    was "more work to do".

    "These elections show many people have lost trust in David Cameron's ability
    to change Britain. But our task is to win the trust of the people we haven't yet
    persuaded that Labour can make the difference," he said.

    Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said the Lib Dems' poor showing reflected
    their journey from "a party of protest to a party of government".

    "I have always said it is understandable why it is that people might be
    attracted to the simple answers that the UK Independence Party is offering to
    deal with this country's complex problems," he said.
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Re: Will Cameron last as PM until Election 2015

Post  Panda on Sun 5 May - 17:17

David Davis Puts Boot Into Old Etonians Clique

While David Davis' attack on the PM's Etonian circle is no
surprise, it will have touched more than one nerve in Downing Street.

12:46pm UK,
Saturday 04 May 2013

David Davis says the PM needs to "break the impression of
being privileged"

Joey Jones

Deputy Political Editor

More from Joey | Follow Joey on

The aftermath to the inevitable council election bloody nose was
always going to be an important moment for the Conservatives.

In CCHQ they were hoping for cool heads and calm responses.

They got a David Davis broadside in The Daily Telegraph.

There is nothing hugely unexpected in the former shadow home secretary's

But he writes with customary forthrightness and panache, and will touch more
than one raw nerve in Downing Street.

The Prime Minister is notably loyal to his inner circle, and is bound to be
exasperated at the constant highlighting of their lofty educational

There is no likelihood David Cameron will jettison a bunch of his closest
advisers and friends because they are old Etonians.

And Jo Johnson, appointed to head the Policy Unit just a few days ago, is
entitled to expect the Prime Minister's confidence, and a decent run at the

Mr Davis tells of how a constituent contrasted the treatment of Nadine
Dorries - "a girl from a Merseyside council estate who rebels and gets sacked",
with Jesse Norman, "an old Etonian who rebels and gets promoted".

He goes on: "I had no answer."

Within Downing Street they might wonder why it did not occur to him that Ms
Dorries' banishment has something to do with a televised jungle sojourn and very
outspoken remarks about the Prime Minister and Chancellor ("Arrogant posh boys
who show no remorse").

The problem for the Prime Minister is that Mr Davis' assessment is quite
widely shared within the party.

The argument will run and run though - after all, if there is one thing that
guarantees Mr Cameron will not take Mr Davis' advice, it is (given the bad blood
between the two men), the very fact that it is advice from Mr Davis.
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Re: Will Cameron last as PM until Election 2015

Post  Panda on Tue 7 May - 10:37

David Cameron's rift with China could cost UK billions

David Cameron has effectively been barred from visiting China because
Beijing is so angry at the Prime Minister for meeting the Dalai Lama last year.

The Dalai Lama with British
Prime Minister David Cameron and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg Photo: Clifford

By Malcolm Moore in Beijing and James
Quinn in London

10:00PM BST 06 May 2013

China wants Mr Cameron to apologise for hosting Tibet’s spiritual leader, who
disputes Beijing’s territorial claims on the region. The Government insists
there is nothing to apologise for.

There are now fears that the frosty diplomatic relations could put at risk
Chinese investment in Britain, which was worth £8billion last year.

Chinese sources have made a veiled threat that for investment in the UK
“there needs to be a strong relationship”.

That raises the prospect of large infrastructure projects such as the High
Speed 2 rail network and the Government’s nuclear investment programme missing
out on billions of pounds of key investment from China’s sovereign wealth fund.

The damaging stand-off has seen a cooling of relations up to the level of the
countries’ leaders.

Related Articles

Under a bilateral agreement, Mr Cameron was due to visit China last autumn
but that visit was called off. This year it was the turn of Li Keqiang, the
Chinese premier, to visit Britain – but plans for that have now been put on

Last month, a British trade trip to China, also due to have been led by Mr
Cameron, did not take place. In contrast, François Hollande, the French
president, was greeted with a 21-gun salute in Beijing recently.

Last May, China warned Mr Cameron and Nick Clegg, the Deputy Prime Minister,
of “serious consequences” for Britain after the private meeting with the Dalai
Lama in St Paul’s Cathedral.

Sebastian Wood, Britain’s ambassador in Beijing, was summoned to the foreign
ministry to receive a rebuke from Song Tao, China’s vice-foreign minister. The
foreign ministry said the meeting with the exiled Tibetan leader had “seriously
interfered with China’s internal affairs”. Mr Song urged Britain to take
“practical actions to correct the error”.

However, the pleas were ignored, and China is now exerting public pressure on
the Government to bow to its demands and make amends.

The Beijing foreign ministry has now escalated the row by insisting the UK
must “work with us to bring the relationship back on to a healthy track at an
early date”.

A spokesman said: “We all know that the relationship between China and the UK
was undermined by David Cameron meeting the Dalai Lama and this is not something
we are willing to see.”

Diplomatic sources told The Telegraph that Mr Cameron was now not welcome to
visit China and Mr Li will not visit the UK until Britain resolves the

David Cameron and the Dalai Lama pictured at the Houses of Parliament in

Although Chinese investment in the UK hit an all-time high last year of some
£8billion, five times as much as in 2011, one source in London threatened that
“a political relationship is a pre-condition for a trading relationship”.

Among the British investments of the China Investment Corporation are
London’s Canary Wharf financial district — of which it owns a third — and
Heathrow, in which it has a 10pc stake worth £450million.

Alistair Michie, the deputy chairman of the 48 Group, a pro-China British
business organisation, said Britain’s position is “doubly unfortunate” because a
new generation of Chinese leaders has just taken charge for the next 10 years.

“The UK has not fully grasped the significance of the handover to the new
leaders and we have got off on the wrong foot,” he said. “None of our leaders
has a personal relationship with any of the new Chinese leaders, and
relationships are key to doing business with China.”

Currently there are only a handful of Britons with links to the top of the
Communist party, including Lord Mandelson, the former trade and industry
secretary, and Lord Powell , an adviser to Margaret Thatcher in office.

There are fears that Britain’s intransigence risks jeopardising billions of
pounds of investment. There was a 13 per cent increase in British goods exported
to China last year, worth £10.5billion. There were some 179,000 Chinese
visitors, a 20 per cent increase, spending some £300million.

Beijing has a policy of punishing countries whose leaders meet the Dalai
Lama, but the current freeze with the UK is thought to be the longest ever.

After Nicolas Sarkozy, then French president, met the Dalai Lama in 2009,
France was forced to issue a joint statement. The statement was widely
interpreted as a promise to discuss any future meetings with the Dalai Lama with
Beijing. In 2007, after Angela Merkel met the Dalai Lama, Germany published a
joint statement with China.

Government sources admitted there had been some frustration after the Dalai
Lama meeting but strongly denied any visits had been cancelled because of it.
They insisted Beijing had been warned before the meeting and it was on sacred
ground to emphasise it was a meeting with a spiritual leader.

They said that last autumn’s visit by Mr Cameron had been called off early in
2012, before the meeting with the Dalai Lama took place, because it clashed with
the election of new leaders in Beijing.

In January, the Government looked at rearranging a visit in April, but this
was called off because Mr Li only took over in March. Sources said Mr Cameron
would visit before the end of the year.

A Downing Street spokesman said: “We haven’t cancelled any PM visits to
China. We want to deepen our relations with China and indeed we already are — UK
exports to China grew faster than any of our main European partners last year
and we were the only EU country to benefit from increased trade and investment.

“Of course we engage with China on a huge range of issues, on some we agree,
on others we disagree, but we strongly believe it is in the interests of both
countries to manage our differences with respect, and cooperate as much as
possible. Our position on Tibet is longstanding and clear: we regard Tibet as
part of the People’s Republic of China. The PM spoke to Premier Li Keqiang in
March and they agreed that they looked forward to meeting and continuing to
strengthen relations in due course.”

Meanwhile, Zong Qinghou, a drinks tycoon and China’s richest man, claimed he
had snubbed both the Queen and Mr Cameron in the space of one week in February.
He said he had been invited by the Queen for dinner and by Mr Cameron to
celebrate Chinese New Year. Nothing in the court circular indicated any such
event at Buckingham Palace.
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Re: Will Cameron last as PM until Election 2015

Post  Panda on Wed 8 May - 6:11

Don’t just say it – do it, Mr Cameron

David Cameron is exceptionally good at big, decisive announcements, but much
less good at following up on them

Lynton Crosby, the Prime
Minister’s new strategist, is very keen on 'getting the barnacles off the
boat' Photo: Rex

By Telegraph View

8:41PM BST 02 May 2013


Call it the Crosby Effect. In recent days, the Conservative Party has been
starting to sound – well, almost conservative. An expensive, nanny-statish plan
to put cigarettes in plain packets has been dropped. The decision to stop giving
international aid to South Africa, on the grounds that it doesn’t need it, was
trailed by William Hague at megaphone volume. And the Prime Minister has let it
be known that he might be prepared to bring forward legislation setting up his
promised referendum on Britain’s relationship with the European Union in this
parliament rather than the next. Anyone would think there was an election on.

In terms of the referendum suggestion, this is more than welcome – not least
since it could well flush out Nick Clegg and Ed Miliband, whose terror of giving
the British people a say on this issue is almost palpable. It is part of a
process that Lynton Crosby, the Prime Minister’s new strategist, describes as
“getting the barnacles off the boat”: forcing the Government to concentrate on a
few, big, popular issues rather than being distracted by tinkering for
tinkering’s sake.

Of course, there is a certain amount of spin involved. The £19 million in aid
to South Africa is a rounding error within the Department for International
Development’s budget, which is still swelling with Brownite rapidity. Another
potential problem has more to do with the character of Mr Crosby’s employer than
with the Australian himself. David Cameron is exceptionally good at big,
decisive announcements – such as his initial promise of an EU referendum. He is
much less good about engaging in the dogged work of following up on them. It is
always possible that, after his EU speech in January, he plunged Whitehall into
a frenzy of behind-the-scenes activity, as he and his officials tried to work
out exactly what powers could be returned, and what deals could be done. But
from the outside, the Coalition’s cherished review of EU competences is making
only leisurely progress; the same could be said of Mr Cameron’s discussions with
his fellow EU leaders.

What has fed Ukip’s recent success has not, in any event, been
Euroscepticism, or even Europhobia. It is a more general hostility towards
politics and politicians, who are seen as failing to connect to or deliver for
the public. In terms of Europe, one could cite Mr Cameron’s earlier decision to
break his “cast-iron guarantee” of a vote on the Lisbon treaty. This was a
pragmatic step, but it still broke faith with the voters. Under Mr Crosby’s
guiding hand, the Prime Minister has sharpened up both his positioning and his
priorities. But the public, and his party, will be less than forgiving if he
makes a habit of raising their expectations, only to dash them again.
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Re: Will Cameron last as PM until Election 2015

Post  Panda on Sat 11 May - 8:44

Shaun Bailey, the Prime Minister's only black aide, was 'frozen out by David
Cameron's clique'

Shaun Bailey, David Cameron's only black working class adviser, has alleged
that he was pushed out of Downing Street by the Prime Minister’s “clique” of Old
Etonian aides, The Daily Telegraph can disclose.

Mr Bailey, left, has told
friends that he was excluded from Mr Cameron’s inner circle because he was
'different' Photo: Rex

By Peter Dominiczak, Political

9:45PM BST 10 May 2013

Shaun Bailey lost his job as a special adviser earlier this year before
several former public school pupils were drafted in to senior roles at No  10.

Mr Bailey, who was moved to a part-time role in the Cabinet Office, has told
friends that he was excluded from Mr Cameron’s inner circle because he
was “different” and repeatedly asked difficult questions about the Government’s

He is understood to have told the Prime Minister that he was concerned about
the Conservative Party’s lack of appeal in black, working class communities, and
has now expressed his frustration privately that his concerns were not heeded.

The Daily Telegraph understands that Mr Bailey believes he was ignored for
months by Mr Cameron’s inner circle before being moved to a “non-job” outside
the Prime Minister’s office in January.

He is still hoping to become a Conservative MP, so his friends say he has
decided not to speak out publicly about his concerns, which echo complaints made
about Mr Cameron’s operation by a growing number of observers.

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“They just didn’t get what Shaun was saying,” said one of Mr Bailey’s friends
last night. “He kept challenging them saying, 'Why are we not saying this?’ … He
went into Downing Street and the first thing he said was, 'The only political
conversation you need to have publicly is about the cost of living’.

“He also gave plenty of warning that if they wanted to talk about being a
diverse party, people have to see it. But they didn’t want to hear about it.
Shaun was frozen out.

“Shaun always says that you can see from space that the place is dominated by
those from Eton.”

Mr Bailey, a father-of-two in his early 40s, has discussed his concerns with
a number of Tory MPs. One has told him that there is a “class war” going on
within the party.

The disclosure will be damaging for Mr Cameron, who is already facing claims
that he is running a “chumocracy” in Downing Street after he promoted several
Old Etonians in recent weeks, including Jo Johnson, the brother of the London
mayor Boris Johnson, and Jesse Norman.

Mr Cameron was also educated at Eton, as was Ed Llewellyn, his chief of
staff, Oliver Letwin, the Cabinet Office minister, and Sir George Young, the
Chief Whip.

Mr Bailey, who was paid a salary of £60,000 to advise the Prime Minister on
youth, crime and race issues, is the first insider to raise concerns about the
elite backgrounds of those in the inner core of No 10.

His appointment after the 2010 general election was lauded as a sign of the
inclusive nature of Mr Cameron’s office, a view which took on particular
importance after the summer riots of 2011.

However, in January he was moved quietly to the Cabinet Office, becoming the
Government’s “youth and engagement champion”. His appointment to the new
position was not publicly announced.

Mr Bailey is being paid substantially less for this part-time role — £36,000
a year — and is only on a one-year contract. He does not have his own desk or
office, but a source in the Cabinet Office insisted that if he needed a seat he
would be “accommodated”. Last night, it was unclear what exactly Mr Bailey’s new
role involves.

Mr Bailey, who stood unsuccessfully in Hammersmith, west London, as a Tory
A-list candidate in the 2010 election, is understood to have clashed with
colleagues and became so dispirited that he did not even turn up for work during
one week last autumn.

“It was very difficult for Shaun,” one friend said. “He was never included.
He got the distinct impression they tried to keep him away from the Prime

The friend added: “It got to a point where Shaun just stopped saying things
because it was just getting him in trouble. There was even one week where he
decided not to go into the office because he wanted to see if they would even
notice. They didn’t. None of them.”

Mr Bailey is understood to have appealed directly to the Prime Minister, with
whom he is understood to have no personal issues, over concerns that the party
was not appealing to a “broader set”. He is said to have been “horrified” when
Frank Luntz, an American polling expert, visited Downing Street and addressed a
group of advisers.

The friend said: “The pollster asked them what kept them awake at night and
they didn’t even have the wit to understand that he meant it was the electorate.

“When the pollster pointed that out to them, they literally said, 'Nothing
keeps us awake’. How can you be advising people and nothing keeps you awake?
Then someone said 'school fees’.”

Friends added yesterday: “Shaun believes that the bottom line is that him
being of a different class is probably equally, if not more, important than him
being black. For him being both of those things made him uniquely helpful.”

Mr Cameron has rejected claims that he is running a “clique” in Downing
Street, and stressed that William Hague, the Foreign Secretary, and Patrick
McLoughlin, the Transport Secretary, were educated at comprehensive schools. He
said this month that he only appointed people “because I think they’ll be good”.

Mr Bailey declined to comment.

A Downing Street source said: “Shaun was a highly valued member of the No 10
team, and he is continuing that good work at the Cabinet Office.”
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Re: Will Cameron last as PM until Election 2015

Post  Panda on Tue 14 May - 7:27

David Cameron to rush out law for EU vote

David Cameron will propose laws to guarantee that the public is assured an
in-out referendum on Britain’s membership of the European Union before the end
of 2017.

Mr Cameron will spend much of
this week in the US Photo: Rex

By Peter Dominiczak, Political
Correspondent, Washington

9:55PM BST 13 May 2013


The Conservatives will take the highly unusual step of publishing “draft
legislation” which would write into law the pledge made by the Prime Minister
earlier this year.

The draft Bill will be published on Tuesday amid growing pressure from Tory
MPs and ministers for a referendum to be guaranteed in law.

The development, which emerged in Washington on Monday night, came after
Barack Obama effectively backed Mr Cameron’s attempts to renegotiate Britain’s
relationship with the EU before ordering a referendum.

The president called for Mr Cameron to be given time to “fix” the EU, as he
warned that Britain would lose influence if it ever left the single market.

The endorsement was hailed as a coup by Downing Street, 48 hours before a
parliamentary vote called by Conservative MPs who are demanding that the
referendum pledge is written into law.

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Senior Conservatives hope that draft legislation will persuade 70 Tory MPs to
drop their support for an amendment to the Queen’s Speech criticising it for
failing to recognise a future referendum.

However, without Liberal Democrat support, which is unlikely to be
forthcoming, Mr Cameron is powerless to introduce the draft legislation before
Parliament. It is therefore expected to be put forward by a backbench
Conservative MP then supported by Tory ministers, including Mr Cameron.

A senior Conservative source said: “The Conservative Party will publish a
draft Bill to legislate for an in/out referendum by the end of 2017. We will
examine all opportunities to bring this Bill before Parliament including as a
private member’s Bill.”

The source said Mr Cameron was “open” to introducing the Bill as a piece of
legislation. However, well-placed sources said he had not yet discussed the
issue directly with Nick Clegg, the Deputy Prime Minister, although there are
talks going on between the two parties.

The sources claimed that the idea of publishing a draft Bill had been in Mr
Cameron’s mind for “some time”, rejecting suggestions that it was being done to
counter the threat of the UK Independence Party following its success in the
local elections. On Sunday, two Cabinet ministers said Britain should consider
leaving the EU unless there was significant reform, in comments that added to
the pressure on Mr Cameron.

In a clear shift in American policy, Mr Obama appeared to concede that the EU
was “broken” and acknowledged that Britain may have to decide whether to leave
in the future. However, he also gave a clear warning that Britain’s global
standing would suffer if it was to pull out.

Asked what his message was to Cabinet ministers advocating a withdrawal, Mr
Obama said: “I think the UK’s participation in the EU is an expression of its
influence and its role in the world as well as obviously a very important
economic partnership.”

However, he added that Mr Cameron made sense in his point that “you probably
want to see if you can fix what’s broken in a very important relationship before
you break it off”.

There were also signs of scepticism that Mr Cameron will be able to claw back
sufficient powers from the EU. “Those are tough negotiations,” Mr Obama said.
“You have got a lot of countries involved. I recognise that. So long as we
haven’t yet evaluated how successful those reforms will be, you know, I, at
least, would be interested in seeing whether or not those are successful before
rendering a final judgment.

“I want to emphasise these are issues for the people of the United Kingdom to
make a decision about, not ours.”

Mr Obama’s apparent support for Mr Cameron’s position marks a shift in
America’s stance. Earlier this year, Philip Gordon, the US assistant secretary
responsible for European affairs, said that Britain’s membership of the EU was
“in the American interest”.

He stressed the importance that Washington attached to Britain’s position as
a leading member. “Britain has been such a special partner of the United States
— that shares our values, shares our interests, has significant resources to
bring to the table. More than most others, its voice within the European Union
is essential and critical to the United States,” Mr Gordon said.

Conservative MPs criticised America’s earlier intervention, and last night it
was not clear whether Mr Obama’s latest comments would influence backbenchers or
anger them.

Mr Obama’s intervention is being seen as reciprocation for Mr Cameron’s
support last year when the Prime Minister travelled to Washington during the
president’s re-election campaign.

Mr Cameron, who spent more than an hour in talks with Mr Obama in the Oval
Office, will spend much of this week in the US. Tonight he travelled to Boston,
where he will pay his respects at the site of the marathon bombings. He will
continue on to New York, where he will ride a London Routemaster bus with Prince
Harry in an event to encourage foreign companies to invest in British business.
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Re: Will Cameron last as PM until Election 2015

Post  Panda on Tue 14 May - 7:38

Yet another example of Cameron's ineptitude ....if he lasts as PM untul 2015 I will be surprised. !!! Had he had the guts to set a date when he announced a referendum AFTER he was re-elected he wouldn't have this crisis. Obviously UKIP winning so many Council seats worried the Conservatives, plus a coalition with a Party who want to remain in the EU, Obama telling him recently that Britain should stay in the EU this is a kneejerk reaction.
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Re: Will Cameron last as PM until Election 2015

Post  Panda on Tue 14 May - 11:48

Kenneth Clarke falls victim to China's rift with UK as he's forced to cancel
trip to Beijing

Kenneth Clarke has become the latest British minister to fall victim to the
on-going political rift between China and the UK after he had to cancel a trip
to Beijing because no Chinese officials would meet with him.

Former Secretary of State for
Justice Kenneth Clarke Photo: Jane

By Tom Phillips, Shanghai

9:45AM BST 14 May 2013

Mr Clarke had planned to visit both Beijing and the eastern province of
Zhejiang in late April as part of a trade tour intended to promote British
healthcare providers.

But The Daily Telegraph understands the trip has now been put off
until at least the autumn. Mr Clarke was unable to secure any high-level
meetings with Chinese officials as a result of a freeze in ministerial relations
between the two governments.

"The Chinese told us it wasn't a convenient time," said a spokesman for the
British embassy in Beijing, adding: "Ken Clarke is planning on visiting China
later in the year."

David Cameron and his cabinet have been out in the cold since the prime
minister's meeting with the Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, in May
last year.

Since then, there have been no minister-level contacts between the two
countries, with Beijing now actively lobbying for Downing Street to make some
kind of public admission that Cameron's encounter with the Dalai Lama was an

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Mr Cameron's cabinet is reportedly split over the UK's policy on China.

William Hague, the Foreign Secretary, and Nick Clegg, the Deputy Prime
Minister, favour a tougher stance on issues such as human rights, while Mr
Cameron and George Osborne, the Chancellor, fear such a move would further
damage relations.

The rift between London and Beijing stands in contrast to China's
increasingly warm relations with the French.

Last month François Hollande, the French president, was granted a full state
visit to China and was received by the new president Xi Jinping.

Last week, Oliver Letwin, the cabinet office minister, visited China to
discuss UK visa policy for China and investment opportunities.

Mr Letwin reportedly met with Su Ning, the chairman of Chinese bank card
operator Union Pay, and travelled to Nanjing for meetings with executives from
telecommunications giant Huawei.

"Huawei is a model for investment in Britain," Mr Letwin said, according to a
report in the Yangtze Evening News. "We welcome Chinese companies who would like
to invest in the UK."

Diplomats were encouraged by the Chinese media's coverage of Mr Letwin's
low-key visit - but there were no meetings with senior officials.

Instead, Mr Letwin hosted a "small informal drinks reception" for expat
members of the Beijing Blue Club, who paid £25 for an audience with the former
shadow chancellor.
==========Another faux Pas by Cameron.!!1 Apparently, this could cost £billions in exports to China.
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