David Cameron has apologised for his failure to spot that Britain was lurching into an economic crisis.
He admitted yesterday that a "cosy economic consensus" shared by the main parties had allowed the rise of risky lending, record borrowing and poor regulation. In a move designed to wrongfoot Gordon Brown, who has repeatedly refused to apologise for the failures of the Labour Government to prevent the recession, Mr Cameron said that politicians could only regain the trust of the public by admitting mistakes.
"Of course I'm sorry that we have got some things wrong, we were right to call time on government debt but should we have said more about banking debt and corporate debt? Yes," he said. "Actually saying sorry is the easy bit. The difficult bit is for politicians to look back and say, 'Right, where did I go wrong?'"
In a speech to the British Chamber of Commerce, he said that the next government needed to "make a clean break" with the policies of the past. He said that while his party had flagged up rising public sector debt, it "could have warned more" over the mounting debts of banks.