David Cameron urges Conservative spring conference to focus on 'the real enemy' ahead of 2015 election
The Prime Minister used his address to assure members he is sticking to core Tory values
David Cameron today urged Conservatives to focus on "the real enemy" of "self-satisfied Labour socialists who think they can spend your money better than you can," in an attempt to unify a party divided over recent weeks by leadership speculation.
After Eastleigh's byelection voters hammered the Tories into third place behind the Liberal Democrats and Ukip, speculation mounted that Home secretary Theresa May was mulling a leadership bid. This added to long-running tensions with the party's traditionalist right over gay marriage and Europe.
But today the Prime minister told his spring conference that he was sticking to traditional Tory values, and that the party has "a real fight on our hands" come the next election.
He said: "Anyone in this party who's in any doubt who we should be fighting, what we should be debating, where our energies should be focused, I tell you: our battle is with Labour."
"Let's not mince our words: this is a bunch of self-satisfied Labour socialists who think they can spend your money better than you can, make decisions better than you can and tell you what to do and we should never, ever let that lot near government again.
"That's who we're fighting against. And we know who we're fighting for: for all those who work hard and want to get on."
He concluded: "Does this party ever shy away from the fight? No.
"I'm up for it. This party's up for it. So let's give it everything - I mean everything - we've got."
Cameron faces warnings from a new Tory group meeting at the conference that the party faces a "severe defeat" in 2015 if he fails to "reconnect" with party members and abandon gay marriage laws.
He did not address the issue directly in his speech to the London gathering - which he used to insist he was engaged in fighting for an "aspiration nation" in line with the traditional Tory values of party icons Margaret Thatcher and Winston Churchill.
- 1 Exclusive: Abusers using spyware apps to monitor partners reaches 'epidemic proportions'
- 2 Margaret Thatcher 'expressed fears of Asian rising' at Anglo-Irish summit in 1984
- 3 The 'Black Museum': After 150 years, public set to see exhibits from police’s grisly crime museum
- 4 The Unluckiest People of the Year 2014 (and one very unlucky giraffe)
- 5 Magna Carta will be 800 years old next year – the perfect reminder of the rights and freedoms we must hold dear
Exclusive: Abusers using spyware apps to monitor partners reaches 'epidemic proportions'
UK weather: Warning for more snow and ice as freezing temperatures and gales hit Britain
Margaret Thatcher 'expressed fears of Asian rising' at Anglo-Irish summit in 1984
UK weather: Travel chaos continues as King's Cross train delays add to snow on roads
The Unluckiest People of the Year 2014 (and one very unlucky giraffe)
British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
Rozanne Duncan: Ukip expels councillor for 'jaw-dropping' comments made in BBC TV interview
Germany anti-Islam protests: 17,000 march on Dresden against 'Islamification of the West'
Ukip member gets into Christmas spirit with Union Flag plea to Santa 'for our country back'
Immigrants make UK racist, says Ukip councillor Trevor Shonk
BBC director Danny Cohen: Rising UK antisemitism makes me feel more uncomfortable than ever
Not specified: Selby Jennings: VP/SVP Credit Quant Top tier investment bank i...
£40000 - £43000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Senior Marketing Executiv...
£40000 - £43000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: An international organisa...
£25000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Internal Recruiter -Rugby, Warwicksh...