I spent last Sunday afternoon reading the 700 questions you sent in for David Cameron. A bit of light relief from having to research chemical toilets for next year’s wedding. (The simple, bucolic party in a field turns out to require much of the infrastructure of a music festival.)
Thank you for such a fantastic response - and I apologise for the 680 questions not sent to Downing Street. There were many corkers among them. Those that missed the cut included “When are the loopholes in Corporation Tax going to be tightened?” (Colin Jones, Brigg, North Lincolnshire), “Why do you think the majority of the public has become disenfranchised by the current political system and what are you doing to get them back?” (David Stanford-Beale, 21, from Reading) and “When was the last time you saw porn?” (er, thanks, Patrick James).
Caroline Barton, an i reader at Newcastle University, wanted to know how Mr Cameron justified student fees of £9,000 a year “when you went through the university system for free”. Abby Jan Dharamsey asked: “Since you became Prime Minister, how many times have you been economical with the truth to the British people?” Barbara Manning, meanwhile, asked if the PM worried that his combative style might turn the public off politics.
All good questions - and you can judge for yourself whether the 20 sent to Downing Street made their mark. The exercise had a dual purpose, I guess: 1. allow an informed dialogue between the British Prime Minister and i’s readers, for the first time. And 2. to make sure that all of you, and the issues you care about - and the National Readership Survey data released this week suggests that there are 568,000 of you reading i every day - are on Downing Street’s radar.
I mentioned previously: the Leader of HM Opposition, Ed Miliband, and the Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg, have also agreed to take questions from i’s readers. Details to follow soon.