Cameron says must do better after shambolic month

LONDON Mon Apr 23, 2012 6:09pm BST

Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron speaks during London Mayor Boris Johnson's re-election campaign rally in Orpington, southeast London, April 17, 2012. REUTERS/Luke MacGregor

Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron speaks during London Mayor Boris Johnson's re-election campaign rally in Orpington, southeast London, April 17, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Luke MacGregor

Related Topics

LONDON (Reuters) - Prime Minister David Cameron said on Monday that his government must improve its performance after opponents branded ministers shambolic for a series of blunders that crowned the worst month yet of his two-year premiership.

Lampooned by the media as a government that cannot cope with the detail of running Britain, Cameron's approval rating fell this month to the lowest level since his coalition government came to power in May 2010.

Cameron said that ministers had to make difficult and sometimes unpopular decisions to reduce the budget deficit which peaked at 11 percent of gross domestic product in 2009-2010, the last year of the Labour government.

But he admitted the government should do better after days of explaining oddities such as the intricacies of taxation on pies or why ministers botched an attempt to extradite a radical Muslim cleric, Abu Qatada.

"I want us to do better. It's been a difficult month - governments have difficult months," Cameron told BBC radio. "I want us to raise our game and do better but the vision and the long term is what matters."

"But I think what really matters is keeping your eye on the long term and the big decisions that really matter and the picture, and that's that this government came together to dig this country out of the huge economic mess it was in," he added.

Cameron has one of the most difficult balancing acts in recent British history: he must prevent his own party from splitting and keep the support of his Liberal Democrat coalition partners while preparing for the 2015 general election.

Cameron dismissed criticism from the media that he is not giving the job enough attention, that he is spending too much time with his family or that he is even a little lazy.

"It certainly doesn't feel like that ... It is extremely hard work. I work very, very hard at it," said Cameron, who added that having a balanced family life helped him make considered decisions.

Supporters of Cameron are hoping that the London mayoral election will hand victory to Conservative candidate Boris Johnson and that the opposition Labour party will do badly in local elections on the same day.

They argue that a poor result for Labour would shift the focus back towards their opponents after at least four weeks of criticism for ministers.

Opponents say the problem is not just one of presentation but that ministers have repeatedly failed to do their jobs properly and that Cameron has not led the government with enough authority.

(Reporting by Mohammed Abbas; Editing by Alison Williams)

FILED UNDER:
We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/
Comments (3)
mgb500 wrote:
It doesn’t help that his lackey Alexander trots around demanding more cuts…right after another lackey Osborne has handed ten BILLION quid to that bunch of fraudsters in the IMF!!!

For everyone’s education – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JXt1cayx0hs – The EXCELLENT production The Money Masters – tells you exactly what a bunch of devious crooks REALLY runs matters – globally!!

Apr 23, 2012 6:25pm BST  --  Report as abuse
Marylyn wrote:
“Prime Minister David Cameron said on Monday that his government must improve its performance after opponents branded ministers shambolic for a series of blunders that crowned the worst month yet of his two-year premiership”

My! What a perceptive man. He’ll go far with such wisdom.

Apr 23, 2012 10:15pm BST  --  Report as abuse
ActionDan wrote:
Thanks for posting that link, mgb500. I’m sure it’s pretty much spot on.

Apr 23, 2012 10:46pm BST  --  Report as abuse
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.