Fact File: David Cameron

 

Elected party leader in 2005, the youthful, well-presented David Cameron aimed to be a modernising force in his party.

He fused a liberal stance on some social issues with Blair-like charisma to create a new kind of Tory; the kind that would unite the nation under a Conservative government.

An old Etonian and Oxford graduate with aristocratic links, Cameron has shown how an advantaged background in modern politics is both a blessing and a curse. On the one hand, his privilege has smoothed his ascent and contributed to his ease in power. On the other, it’s made easy fodder for his critics, including those within his own party.

Whether it’s his membership of the Bullingdon Club, the Chipping Norton set or the coalition government that did the most damage, the second year of Cameron’s time in office saw his prime ministerial image severely dented. “Flashman”, became the favourite heckle of Labour’s backbenchers, a reference to the archetypal public school bully which sums up the major criticisms levelled at the Prime Minister: elitist, out of touch, a bully and a snob.

The Numbers

43 - David Cameron’s age at the 2010 general election, making him the youngest prime minister since the 42-year-old Earl of Liverpool was elected in 1812. Source: BBC News UK

134,446 – Votes cast in Cameron’s favour during the last stage of the leadership election. His competitor David Davis received 64,398. Source: BBC News UK

£30m – Estimated combined wealth of David and Samantha Cameron. Source: The Daily Mail

32% -  Voters who say they are satisfied with the way David Cameron is doing his job, as of May 2012. Source: Ipsos Mori

Further Reading

Now that the Prime Minister’s lost his charm, what’s left? Matthew Norman, The Independent, 2012

The Tories are doomed, Peter Hitchens, the Guardian, 2005

David Cameron: UK’s Next Leader? Catherine Mayer, Time, 2008

David Cameron interview: I wanted to berate him but Dave won me over, Allison Pearson, the Telegraph, 2011

David Cameron: the new Prime Minister’s life and career in pictures, the Telegraph, 2010

Timeline

Dec 2005 – David Cameron becomes leader of the Conservative Party

July 2006 – Cameron’s approach to youth crime is dubbed “hug a hoodie” by the press

Sept 2009 – The Sun comes out in support of the Conservative party

May 2010 – Cameron is named Prime Minister, after the Conservatives win 307 seats in a hung parliament and form a coalition with the Liberal Democrats

July 2010 – Cameron’s first visit to the United States is overshadowed by controversy over BP oil spill

May 2012 - In evidence to the Leveson Inquiry, Rebekah Brooks reveals that Cameron signed of texts with the internet acronym 'LOL', wrongly believing it stood for 'lots of love'.

David Cameron’s Put Downs

“I often say to my children ‘No need to go to the Natural History Museum to see a dinosaur, come to the House of Commons at about half past twelve’.” On 79-year-old Labour MP Dennis Skinner

“Calm down, dear” In response to Labour shadow minister Angela Eagle correcting his claim that former a Labour MP had been voted out of office.

 “A complete mug who doesn’t want any rebalancing at all” On Ed Miliband

“They are all shouting in unison, or should I say they are all shouting on behalf of Unison” Accusing Labour of being in the pockets of the unions.

“I know the honourable lady is extremely frustrated...” In response to a question from Tory backbencher Nadine Dorries.

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