David Cameron vows to 'focus' after election defeats

The Camerons after voting David Cameron, with his wife Samantha, says last week's elections had given the coalition a message

David Cameron has promised to "focus on what matters" as he seeks to fight back from poor local election results.

Writing in the Daily Telegraph, he appears to distance himself from the coalition, saying things would be "more straightforward" working alone.

The PM set out different goals to his deputy, Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg, who urged House of Lords reform - seen as a distraction by some Tories.

Labour says Mr Cameron is showing increasing signs of "bunker mentality".

On Wednesday, Mr Cameron and Mr Clegg will jointly outline the coalition's agenda for the next year in the Queen's Speech.

It follows local elections in which both the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats suffered heavy losses: the Tories losing 405 council seats and their coalition partners 336.


In his Daily Telegraph article Mr Cameron focuses on cutting regulation and tax to help the private sector, reforming the welfare and financial systems and helping first time buyers get on the housing ladder.

But writing in the Guardian, Mr Clegg says the coalition must "get on with" introducing House of Lords reform, and calls for lower tax and energy bills, more free childcare and increased training for young people.


When David Cameron said in his Daily Telegraph article "I get the message", what exactly was the message he got?

The MP doing the rounds on Monday, to offer supportive words for the prime minister, told the BBC the message was "get going on the economy" (to paraphrase the electorate).

Tory MP Nick Boles has put a timescale on it too. He said signs of a positive impact from the coalition's policies on bank lending, house building and other infrastructure projects need to be seen "within months".

It's fair to say that means green shoots, unemployment continuing to drop etc, by the autumn. There's a message, too, from the top about priorities and the inter-coalition tension over reforming the House of Lords.

Nick Clegg has piped up about it again, calling it the type of "radical reform" he wants to see. But the voice of the Tory high command sees it differently. Nick Boles says "Parliament can discuss it... it's not a priority for the government". The signs are it's going nowhere soon.

Since the local elections the prime minister has come under pressure from some of his own MPs who want him to focus on distinctively Conservative policies.

Brian Binley, Tory MP for Northampton, was quoted on the Conservative Home website as "urging Mr Cameron to rethink policies that are too Lib Dem-friendly".

And Julian Brazier, Conservative MP for Canterbury in Kent, urged the PM to eschew gay marriage and Lords reform, both of which he described as "pretty ridiculous fringe policies".

In his Telegraph article, Mr Cameron appears to distance himself somewhat from his coalition partners when he writes: "Of course, some things would be more straightforward if I was running a Conservative-only administration, rather than a coalition.

"And let me be clear, that is my aim after the next election."

Mr Cameron writes he will not move right or left and is sceptical of those who think answers can be found in "loud ideologies".

He adds: "The message people are sending is this: focus on what matters, deliver what you promise - and prove yourself in the process. I get it."

He said he knew the "familiar excuses" of a low turnout, and mid term blues were not enough.

"Even the difficulties of our economic situation and the tough but necessary decisions the government has had to take cannot fully explain the results," he said.

Nick Clegg Mr Clegg says the second half of the coalition government "has to be about reform"

Mr Clegg said while the first two years of the coalition were about the economy, "the second half has to be about reform", including in the House of Lords."For more than a century, we have been debating the commonsense idea that the people who obey the laws of the land should elect the people who make them," he said.

"Instead of getting ourselves tied up in knots in Westminster about this, we just need to get on with it."

The Conservatives and Liberal Democrats agreed in their coalition deal to set up a committee to examine proposals for a "wholly or mainly elected upper chamber".

However Mr Cameron did not mention Lords reform in his Telegraph piece.

Chancellor George Osborne, speaking on Sunday's The Andrew Marr Show on BBC One, said the Conservatives were committed to "looking" at the issue but it was not an "overriding" priority.

Alternative Queen's speech

While Lord's reform is expected to be included in the Queen's Speech, not all Bills are published in detail and some are put out to consultation.

Meanwhile, Labour's shadow cabinet office minister Michael Dugher said the prime minister was showing "increasing signs of having a bunker mentality".

"After two years in Downing Street, with one million young people out of work and an economy in recession, he says the lesson is that he needs to put in some 'hard work'," he said.

"Only this out-of-touch prime minister would have taken 730 days to figure that out."

Meanwhile the unofficial but influential website Conservative Home is publishing an alternative Queen's Speech - including ideas for bills ranging from more grammar schools to a referendum on Britain's EU membership. Around 20 MPs have contributed ideas.

Conservative MP John Redwood told the Today programme, he was not contributing to the alternative speech, but had been asked for ideas for what he would like to see.

He said he wanted to see the government take "strong action to give customers a better deal when buying water, when buying energy, when dealing with the banks" over the "next year or two".


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  • rate this

    Comment number 679.

    Hard work? Jolly good news, and about time too! One must extract more out of ones servants in times of austerity. All of us here at the Bullingdon Club have pledged to make the blighters pull their weight. We've even decided to do our bit too, by supervising them more closely and getting shot of the chaps who don't fit in with our ideals. Leaner & meaner servitude - that's what we're all about...

  • rate this

    Comment number 678.

    monstermax22 - are you kidding? Talk about blinkers. The Left created the NHS, Welfare, public transport systems, telecomms. The Right (especially Thatcher/Reagan) removed all constraints on private capital and thereby laid the foundations of the sub prime disaster and subsequent sovereign debt. The fundamental principles dictate the policies. You either support redistribution or private finance.

  • rate this

    Comment number 677.

    monstermax22 you talk rot: prior to the global crisis labour did not borrow at higher levels than previous gov's;


    prior to 2008 the toies did not criticise labour re spending.
    labour did not cause a global financial crises.
    the deficit = bailing out banks. the tories supported this.

  • rate this

    Comment number 676.


    The HYS is just to another thing that is used to gauge the publics reaction to events.

    The MSM was bought and paid for a long time ago.

    I read on THE SLOG that the troikas HQ was bombed a few weeks ago, the troika are in charge of solving the euro crisis which could destroy the western economies.

    The BBC never even reported on it.

    They do not want people to see the real news.

  • rate this

    Comment number 675.


    Of all the possible economies I am surprised you put Japan forward as an example.

    They are busy running out of young people and currently have no operation nuke power stations. All their energy is thus imported oil/gas.

    Only by inflating their capital, ponzi style, can they afford to pay for it.

    And yes, that is what we are currently doing to buy just about everything we consume.

  • rate this

    Comment number 674.

    I should say TIME FOR HARD WORK! Disastrous council election in Britain are piling pressure on Cameron with Tory rebels signaling a ‘vote of no confidence’. Outspoken critics from within his OWN RANKS have launched verbal attacks saying there is chance the PM could be ousted by Xmas. All that's needed - 46 signatures from Conservative MPs = vote of no confidence.

  • rate this

    Comment number 673.

    the city is the problem and people not paying all the tax they should do.

  • rate this

    Comment number 672.

    Its the same old Tories, they screwed everybody the last time in office:Their principal aim is to extract money from working people for the benefit of the rich.

    As for their coalition partners, the LibDems; their principles, er -they don,t have any!

  • rate this

    Comment number 671.

    It's no good saying carry on regardless! Until the number of unemployed begin to decrease and number of taxpayers go up it doesn't matter how many cuts they make it seems impossible that anything will change. Making people work longer whilst our young people can't even get their first job is a heartbreaking crime against those who are our future.

  • rate this

    Comment number 670.

    Oh yer it was all the Tories fault, I mean look at the state John Major left the country in, what all them Gold Bars taking up room. You get what you deserve in the end, to cool for school New Labour Blair wealth wreckers. Do not blame working class Prime Ministers such as Major from Brixton or Thatcher or Ted Heath, blame your poncy posh boy Blair. You only see what you want.

  • rate this

    Comment number 669.

    #643.Richard H
    Completely agree! Although you won't get much sympathy on here.

    As for;-

    "They are so used to being spoon fed by Labour that the change is too much for them"

    That's the beigest problem with UK politics. The electorate have been psychologically conditioned into thinking that the Govt is responsible for them & should provide for them. They don't want to hear anything else

  • rate this

    Comment number 668.


    I was born at the end of the 80's. My expertise are in music and psychology. Both of those areas look for patterns. History also has many, which we are following.

    Pattern: Rich get richer, poor get poorer. Poor revolt. Rich are ousted, new goverment installed.

    Its not pitchforks and torches now, its paper and votes.

    Oh, and the sooner the failed Euro experiment dies, the better.

  • rate this

    Comment number 667.

    Am I not alone in tiring of this 'same old Tories' tosh? Part of me hopes they are....as who else is going to sort out the mess left by an irresponsible Labour Government? And before the tedious left wingers start howling, check the history of the last 30-odd years - whilst the Tories haven't always got it right by any means, there's a pattern there, surely. People have very short memories.

  • rate this

    Comment number 666.

    Mr. Cameron "The message people are sending is this:" we do not trust any of you.

    It's quite simple, all parties are influenced by media moguls, corporate business, bankers and the "old boys" network. We see this, we understand it, and no amount of smoke and mirrors or casting blame will convince us otherwise.

    Disaffection? You bet!

  • rate this

    Comment number 665.

    Richard H: prior to the global crisis labour did not borrow at higher levels than previous gov's;


    prior to 2008 the toies did not criticise labour re spending.
    labour did not cause a global financial crises.
    the deficit = bailing out banks. the tories supported this.

  • rate this

    Comment number 664.

    Cameron should live a year on unemployment benifit and a large credit card bill or loan. Then he would see the misery his government have caused with their austerity measures and could see how continously high inflation is making it even harder.

  • rate this

    Comment number 663.

    Time for more hard work? oh he means more cutbacks and more unemployment and less help for those who really need it then.

  • rate this

    Comment number 662.


    Once the government has harvested all the IP addresses of the posters here on HYS then the comments will get harder and harder to use and will ultimately be shut down.
    End of bad press.
    Due to "Costs.".

  • rate this

    Comment number 661.


    The problem is the vast majority of people do not even know the money they borrowed from a bank via a mortgage never even existed till they asked for it, they were not given money they were given a debt.

    Yes people you are paying back your hard earned wages to a bank that lent you money they did not have, they just created a debt.

    25 year debt to pay back money that didnt exist.

  • rate this

    Comment number 660.

    stop listening to the city they caused the problem.the way out is to try to get people in to work . you can get the money by not wasting it on crack pot schemes and stop tax avoidance.


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