Cameron: We need an immediate General Election

Press Association
Monday 18 May 2009 15:42 BST

David Cameron today called for the immediate dissolution of Parliament in order to allow a General Election to take place.

The Conservative leader said: "I think the scale of the problems facing Britain - the recession, the debt crisis and above all the political crisis - all point in one direction.

"I think there is now only one way of sorting out the mess and that is for Parliament to be dissolved and for there to be an immediate General Election.

"The political crisis has been caused by politicians, so I don't think the politicians alone can solve it. The public must be involved."

Mr Cameron insisted the action currently being taken to limit MPs' claims and punish those who had abused the system was not an "end" in itself.

"It is just the start of something that can only end with a General Election," he said.

"Why put off what needs to be done? Why not have a General Election now?"

Mr Cameron said "everything had changed" over the last two weeks. And he accepted that defending what had happened would be difficult for all parties.

"A General Election would present big challenges to all parties. I know there will be some Conservative MPs who could be punished by their voters for the way that they behaved."

Mr Cameron said that the Conservatives would turn their campaign for the European and local elections into a campaign for a General Election as soon as possible after June 4.

Conservative candidates and activists will collect signatures for a petition calling on Mr Brown to call an election as soon as possible.

He said: "In the end it is right that the ultimate verdict on this political crisis and the behaviour of individual MPs is passed by the people, not politicians.

"Through the power of our collective pressure we can force Gordon Brown to act. No, there is no constitutional requirement for a General Election. Yes, this Labour Government can cling on for another year with or without a new leader.

"But I don't think this country wants to wait another year to pass judgment... The political system in this country from the Prime Minister downwards is paralysed and it is abundantly clear that the country doesn't want to wait another year to give all of us in Westminster a very simple message: "We want change now. Please get on with it."

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