May 19 - 25 2010 No. 982
THE WEEKLY WORLD EDITION OF The Daily Telegraph AND The Sunday Telegraph telegraph.co.uk/expat
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By Andrew Porter Political Editor DAVID CAMERON became Prime Minister last week after agreeing a deal with the Liberal Democrats to lead Britain’s first coalition government since the Second World War.
Mr Cameron, 43, becomes the youngest premier since Lord Liverpool almost 200 years ago, and the first Tory in No10 since John Major departed 13 years ago.
He promised there would be “hard and difficult work” ahead and said his administration would focus on “rebuilding family, rebuilding community, above all, rebuilding responsibility in our country”.
His appointment followed Gordon Brown’s resignation and brought to an end five days of tortuous negotiations in the wake of the previous week’s election, which resulted in a hung parliament.
After falling 20 seats short of a majority, Mr Cameron was forced to accept a deal to lead a coalition government with the Lib Dems.
Downing Street announced that Nick Clegg was Deputy Prime Minister, the first Liberal in a Cabinet post since Sir Archibald Sinclair was Secretary of State for Air in Churchill’s wartime government.
Arriving in Downing Street with his pregnant wife Samantha, Mr Cameron said: “I came into politics because I love this country. I think its best days still lie ahead and I believe deeply in public service, and I think the service our country needs right now is to face up to our really big challenges, to confront our problems, to take difficult decisions, to lead people through those difficult decisions so that together we can reach better times ahead.”
Last Wednesday, in the Downing Street garden, the leaders of the Conservative and Liberal Democrat parties stood side by side to unveil formally the country’s first coalition government for 65 years.
The two men declared that they were now “colleagues not rivals”, repeatedly pledging to act “together” in a five-year partnership.
Mr Cameron described it as a “historic and seismic shift” in the political landscape, while Mr Clegg promised a “radical, reforming government” that would also provide “reassurance and stability at a time of great uncertainty”.
The new Prime Minister and his deputy fought the election as bitter enemies, but last week they appeared at ease at their first joint appearance as coalition leaders, joking, laughing and praising each other.
Mr Cameron, at his first press conference as Prime Minister, said he had opted for a full-blown coalition because, in the wake of an indecisive election result, the other options – such as a minority Tory government – were unsatisfactory and “uninspiring”. He said that he and Mr Clegg would govern with “one clear purpose” – to give strong leadership.
Continued on page 3
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David Cameron, the new Prime Minister, arrives at No10 with his wife, Samantha, last Tuesday
Cutbacks Samantha’s £400,000 salary to shrink
HER job as creative director of Smythson of Bond Street was thought to have earned her three times more than the Prime Minister. But, with her husband in No10, Samantha Cameron has decided the time is right to take a drastic pay cut.
She announced last week that she is cutting back her hours to balance work with her “new life”. Mrs Cameron, 39, will work only two days a week as a consultant to Smythson, the stationer to the Queen.
The decision will mean an inevitable cut in a salary reported to be have been in the region of £400,000, compared with the £142,500 a year her husband will earn as Prime Minister.
Mrs Cameron, already a mother of two, is expecting a baby in September. She said she had made the decision to give up her directorship after learning she was pregnant earlier this year and not once her husband headed the Government.
Cameron’s path to No10, the new coalition Cabinet and the first address: News, pages 3-7