David Cameron speech

By Ruth McKee

In a speech focusing on the power of strong leadership, David Cameron addressed the Conservative party conference yesterday, issuing a rallying cry to the people of Britain to, "show the world some fight".

In a week where increasingly dire economic news threatened to overshadow the conference, the prime minister opened his speech in Manchester by stressing the need to stick with the coalition's 'Plan A' of deficit reduction, in spite of the disappointing growth figures released on the morning of his speech.

Mr Cameron played to the party faithful with a promise that Britain would not join the euro as long as he was prime minister and returned to the familiar Conservative territory of 'family values' with a promise to reward marriage - pledging tax breaks for married couples - even suggesting these benefits would be extended to same-sex couples, when he announced a consultation process on legalising gay marriage.

The speech also included a crowd-pleasing attack on health and safety legislation combined with a promise to cut out the 'red tape' involved in criminal record bureau checks, which all adults have to undergo in order to work with young or vulnerable people.

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