‘Big picture’ helps Cameron through Commons skewerings

By Alex Stevenson

David Cameron has spoken out about the influence of his father and living in the shadow of his elder brother, in an article for Big Issue magazine.

The prime minister said "warmth" was as important as "wealth" in his background, as he emphasised the importance of having a "strong family".

He said his elder brother Alex Cameron, who was a "huge success" at school and now heads his criminal law firm's chambers in London, outshone him until he left school.

"It was great to have that kind of role model, and I was incredibly proud of him, but like many younger brothers you find yourself always a few steps behind," he wrote in the Big Issue's Younger Self column.

"If I could give my younger self some advice, I'd say: don't worry about it; your life is not predetermined; you'll find your own feet in your own way.

"It was not until I left school that I felt I was breaking out of my brother's shadow and doing my own thing."

Mr Cameron's disabled father Len, who died last year, was praised for having "infectious" optimism.

"He always told me: no matter how bad things are you can overcome them if you have the right frame of mind," he added.

"It was the perfect advice for a future politician.

"In a typical morning, you can wake up to being criticised on the radio, read bad headlines over breakfast and then get skewered in the House of Commons. But throughout it all, you’ve got to focus on the big picture, do the right thing and remain optimistic."