Cameron: I’ll overthrow Brown for Britain

By Ian Dunt

David Cameron has described his campaign to oust Gordon Brown from Downing Street as a “patriotic duty” in a robust speech to the Tory party spring conference.

As the polls showed a startling disintegration of Tory support, Mr Cameron made a pitch for his core vote with a firm commitment to traditional Tory values.

“Gordon Brown sometimes says that I’m a bit of a salesman and, you know what, I plead guilty,” he said.

“In this country, with all of our difficulties, we are going to need some salesmanship.

“I want to get around the world, not filling up the aeroplane with journalists but businessmen,” he went on.

“I want a really clear message to go out that Britain is under new economic management and that we are open for business again.”

A YouGov poll for the Sunday Times today gave the Tories a slim two point lead over Labour, leading to further jitters among party officials in Brighton.

“They don’t hand general election victories on a plate to people in this country and quite right too,” the Tory leader said.

“This is not an election that it would be quite good to win because we have got some good policies.

“It is an election we have a patriotic duty to win because this country is in a complete and utter mess, and we have to sort it out.”

Yvette Cooper, Labour’s work and pensions secretary, commented: “David Cameron boasted he was a salesman but told us nothing about what he was actually selling.

“People are taking a long hard look at what the Tories stand for.

“This was David Cameron’s chance to answer the serious questions about how he would cut the deficit this year, and why he would put the recovery at risk. And he chose to duck it with a vacuous salesman’s pitch instead.”

Liberal Democrat home affairs spokesman Chris Huhne said the speech was vague when it came to details.

“Once again the speech was short on specifics and on the key assurance of fairness that is essential if we are to tackle our economic problems,” he said after the speech.

“We need fair taxation, new green jobs, a fair start for our children and a fair political system that gives voters real choice to sack miscreant MPs.”