David Cameron on Coalition: 'You have to make compromises that are not necessarily in the long-term interests of the country'

  • @janemerrick23

The job of prime minister is like being in the midst of an "asteroid shower", David Cameron said today as he claimed that being in coalition sometimes prevented him acting in the national interest.

Mr Cameron revealed the frustrations of his job in a question and answer session with management students.  Showing signs of fatigue during a 40-minute "PM Direct" at the Institute of Management in Calcutta, he told 600 students: "It's like sometimes being in a sort of asteroid shower, things flying at you every day. You know, 'Should you go to Sri Lanka?', 'What are you going to do about the famine in the Philippines?', 'Why has this minister done that?' All these things are coming at you."

Earlier, Mr Cameron told business leaders conference in the Indian capital Delhi he had been forced to make compromises with the Liberal Democrats.  "I would prefer not to have a coalition. We've shown it can work…. the good parts of coalition are because you have these arguments within government and you have to proceed on a rational basis," he said. "What's bad about it is that sometimes you have to make compromises that are not necessarily in the long-term interests of the country….I think the clarity you get from single-party government is better."

The Conservatives have been frustrated  that Nick Clegg blocked policies on welfare, reform of human rights and childcare. The Deputy Prime Minister  hit back, saying: "Of course there are compromises made that they don't like." He insisted the Lib Dems had acted "in the national interest" by blocking Tory plans to allow employers to fire workers at will, allow firms running  state schools to make a profit and  a "snooper's charter".