Cameron owns up: I want to drop Lib Dems and cut taxes
PM uses Spectator interview to share with Tories his frustration at Lib Dems holding him back
DAVID CAMERON has revealed that he "very passionately" wants to lead a Tory-only government and that he has "a little black book" of policies that have been vetoed by Lib Dem deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg.
In an interview with The Spectator, he also defended cutting the top rate of tax to 45p – and hinted that if he had his way he's cut it further. Without the Lib Dems sharing power in the current coalition, he'd also take tougher action against welfare scroungers and seek to abolish Britain's Human Rights Act.
His remarks raise fresh questions about when the Conservative/Lib Dem coalition will break up – and give Ed Miliband plenty of ammunition for today's Prime Minister's Questions, as if the 'selfie' of Cameron, Obama and Danish PM Helle Thorning-Schmidt taken at the Mandela memorial was not enough.
"I think we could go further on welfare reform," Cameron told the Spectator, "to sharpen work incentives and get more people out of poverty. I think that on the European question I can see very clearly now what needs to be done in terms of our relationship with Europe, in terms of the European convention on human rights and the way the human rights act works.
"I can see when it comes to building a pro-enterprise economy how we go further and faster on backing entrepreneurship, cutting business taxes, getting our economy moving."
He went on: "Because of what I see as the problems facing Britain - and what I want to do next as Prime Minister - I feel very passionately that I want single-party government.
"I don’t believe that you succeed in government by sitting around whingeing about what you can’t do. But I’m happy to tell you... that there’s a good list of things I have put in my little black book that I haven’t been able to do which will form the next Tory manifesto."
Ben Brogan, deputy editor of the Daily Telegraph, believes there is very little likelihood of any formal split before polling day in May 2015.
But Cameron is clearly keen to use the Tory-supporting Spectator to get the message across to his own side – including backbench members of the Conservative 1922 Committee, who want a bigger say over future policy - that he shares their contempt for the Lib Dems.
Ahead of the European elections next year and with the 2015 general election campaign already seeming to be underway, Brogan adds: "The emphasis is on showing that a Conservative government would be different to the coalition."
James Chapman, political editor of the Daily Mail, says: "With the general election less than 18 months away, the Prime Minister appears increasingly prepared to ‘differentiate’ his party. His remarks will also be seen by some Tory MPs as an attempt to quell speculation that he is already preparing for another coalition with the Lib Dems."
You can say that again.
As for Labour leader Ed Miliband, he has an easy point to make - if Camo wants to return to the freedom of being a single party again, why doesn't he seek cross-party agreement for an immediate dissolution and go to the country for a new mandate?
The 2011 legislation for fixed-term five-year Parliaments allows this to happen: it requires a motion for an early general election to be agreed by at least two-thirds of the Commons or without division.
Cameron could also save money by calling the election for May 2014 - on the same day as the local and European elections. ·