Saturday 10 December 2016

Cameron defends his lacklustre campaign after internal backlash

Joe Churcher

Published 27/04/2015 | 02:30

British Prime Minister David Cameron
British Prime Minister David Cameron

Protecting the economic recovery "matters more than anything", British Prime Minister David Cameron declared as he hit back at critics of his general election campaign.

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The Conservative leader defended the decision to focus on risks posed to the economy by Labour and the SNP, insisting there was no "lack of drive" and saying claims he favoured the wealthy should be stuck "where the sun don't shine".

With no sign of either main party ending the deadlock in opinion polls, Mr Cameron has faced internal sniping over what has been perceived by critics to be a lacklustre campaign.

Labour Party leader Ed Miliband accused him of having "given up" on key issues such as the NHS and immigration in favour of a "desperate" focus on the potential for Labour relying on Scottish nationalists to govern in the event of another hung parliament.

The Opposition leader was promoting Labour plans to help private tenants by curbing real-terms rent increases and renewed his insistence that he was "not interested in deals" with the SNP, despite falling further behind in polls north of the border.

But Mr Cameron said those who accused him of "playing it a bit safe" ignored the central issue facing the electorate.

"I have been Prime Minister these last five years. If people are saying to me we are putting too much emphasis on a strong and stable economy and in securing our future, I plead guilty," he said.

"If you think economic security and stability don't matter, if you want to take a risk, go with the other guy, vote with the other man. By God he's got plenty of risks," he said. "He has found ideas that haven't worked anywhere in the world and he has put them in a book. It's called the Labour manifesto.

"We are the only people that can stop the prospect of Ed Miliband and the SNP teaming up and wrecking our economy and taking us right back to square one."

Mr Miliband said he could be "a prime minister who unites the whole of our country" after Mr Cameron warned voters they had "11 days to save Britain" because Scottish nationalists "don't want the country to succeed".

The latest opinion poll in Scotland showed Labour remained on course for heavy losses to the Scottish nationalists in its heartlands north of the border . Pressed on whether he would consider a confidence-and-supply deal with the SNP if he failed to secure an overall majority, Mr Miliband said: "I am not interested in deals, no."

Irish Independent

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