Cameron: I won’t be like Thatcher

By staff

David Cameron has suggested he will govern in a more inclusive way than Margaret Thatcher should he become prime minister.

In an interview with the Telegraph on Sunday, the Tory leader accepted the Iron Lady’s achievements, but insisted he would not be so divisive a figue.

“Look, I think very important things happened in the 1980s,” he said.

“Very important things were done. And yes of course, some of them, for instance the arguments over deploying cruise missiles and facing down the Soviets, over trade union reform, some of those things were divisive.

“Margaret Thatcher was on the right side of the argument. Should we try today in 2010, and into the future, in doing difficult things like cutting the deficit, should we try and take the whole country with us? Yes.”

“Should we try and show we are genuinely all in this together? Yes.”

The comments seem to refer to some of Mrs Thatcher’s more hostile statements, such as her comments about the “enemy within” during the miners’ strikes.

Mr Cameron has been keen to distance himself from some of the former prime minister’s harsher outbursts during his tenure as Tory leader, not least of all in contradicting her infamous comment that there is “no such thing as society” with a speech in which he said there was such a thing as society, “it’s just not the same thing as the state”.

In another surprising moment in the interview, Mr Cameron hinted that he would want London Mayor Boris Johnson to take over from him as leader.

“Do I want big figures to go from being city mayors to running political parties in Britain, including my own?” he asks.

“Yes – absolutely.”

The comments are particularly surprising after the two men appeared frosty with each other during media appearances late last week.