David Cameron
Overview
 
David William Donald Cameron (pron; born 9 October 1966) is the current Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is the Head of Her Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom. The Prime Minister and Cabinet are collectively accountable for their policies and actions to the Sovereign, to Parliament, to their political party and...

, First Lord of the Treasury
First Lord of the Treasury
The First Lord of the Treasury is the head of the commission exercising the ancient office of Lord High Treasurer in the United Kingdom, and is now always also the Prime Minister...

, Minister for the Civil Service
Minister for the Civil Service
In British government, the Minister for the Civil Service is responsible for making regulations regarding Her Majesty's Civil Service, the role of which is to assist the governments of the United Kingdom in formulating and implementing policies...

 and Leader
Leaders of the Conservative Party
The Leader of the Conservative Party is the most senior politician within the Conservative Party in the United Kingdom. The post is currently held by David Cameron, who s eeded Michael Howard in 2005, and who since 2010 is also the serving Prime Minister....

 of the Conservative Party
Conservative Party (UK)
The Conservative Party, formally the Conservative and Unionist Party, is a centre-right political party in the United Kingdom that adheres to the philosophies of conservatism and British unionism. It is the largest political party in the UK, and is currently the largest single party in the House...

. Cameron represents Witney
Witney (UK Parliament constituency)
Witney is a county constituency in Oxfordshire represented in the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. It elects one Member of Parliament by the first past the post system of election, and was created for the 1983 general election....

 as its Member of Parliament
Member of Parliament
A Member of Parliament is a representative of the voters to a :parliament. In many countries with bicameral parliaments, the term applies specifically to members of the lower house, as upper houses often have a different title, such as senate, and thus also have different titles for its members,...

 (MP).

Cameron studied Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE) at Oxford
University of Oxford
The University of Oxford is a university located in Oxford, United Kingdom. It is the second-oldest surviving university in the world and the oldest in the English-speaking world. Although its exact date of foundation is unclear, there is evidence of teaching as far back as 1096...

, gaining a first class honours degree. He then joined the Conservative Research Department
Conservative Research Department
The Conservative Research Department is part of the central organisation of the Conservative Party of the United Kingdom. It operates alongside other departments of Conservative Campaign Headquarters at 30 Millbank, London SW1....

 and became Special Adviser
Special advisers in the United Kingdom
A special adviser works in a supporting role to the British government. With media, political or policy expertise, their duty is to assist and advise government ministers.-Role:...

 to Norman Lamont, and then to Michael Howard
Michael Howard
Michael Howard, Baron Howard of Lympne, CH, QC, PC is a British politician, who served as the Leader of the Conservative Party and Leader of the Opposition from November 2003 to December 2005...

. He was Director of Corporate Affairs at Carlton Communications
Carlton Communications
Carlton Communications was a British media company. It was led by Michael Green and listed on the London Stock Exchange from 1983 until 2 February 2004, when it taken over by Granada plc to form ITV plc with Carlton gaining 32% of the new company....

 for seven years.

He was defeated in his first candidacy for Parliament at Stafford
Stafford (UK Parliament constituency)
Stafford is a county constituency represented in the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. It elects one Member of Parliament by the first past the post system of election. The sitting MP is the Conservative Jeremy Lefroy....

 in 1997, but was elected in 2001
United Kingdom general election, 2001
The United Kingdom general election, 2001 was held on Thursday 7 June 2001 to elect 659 members to the British House of Commons. It was dubbed "the quiet landslide" by the media, as the Labour Party was re-elected with another landslide result and only suffered a net loss of 6 seats...

 as the Member of Parliament
Parliament of the United Kingdom
The Parliament of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is the supreme legislative body in the United Kingdom, British Crown dependencies and British overseas territories, located in London...

 for the Oxfordshire
Oxfordshire
Oxfordshire is a county in the South East region of England, bordering on Warwickshire and Northamptonshire , Buckinghamshire , Berkshire , Wiltshire and Gloucestershire ....

 constituency of Witney
Witney (UK Parliament constituency)
Witney is a county constituency in Oxfordshire represented in the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. It elects one Member of Parliament by the first past the post system of election, and was created for the 1983 general election....

.
Quotations

I joined this party because I believe in freedom. We are the only party believing that if you give people freedom and responsibility, they will grow stronger and society will grow stronger.

Speech to Conservative Party Conference on 4 October 2005

I want you to come with me. We'll be tested, and challenged, but we'll never give up. We'll never turn back. So let the message go out from this conference, a modern compassionate Conservatism is right for our times, right for our party - and right for our country. If we go for it, if we seize it, if we fight for it with every ounce of passion, vigour and energy from now until the next election, nothing and no one can stop us.

Speech to Conservative Party Conference on 4 October 2005

I think it was right to remove Saddam Hussein. I think it was the right decision then and I still think it was right now.

BBC Radio 5 Live Breakfast, 21 October 2005

There is such a thing as society. It's just not the same thing as the state.

Speech after winning the Conservative Party leadership contest on 6 December 2005

I want to talk about the future. He was the future once.

Addressing Tony Blair at Prime Minister's Question Time on 7 December 2005

We will reflect the country we aspire to govern, and the sound of modern Britain is a complex harmony, not a male voice choir.

Speech aimed at Liberal Democrats: join me in my mission, made on 16 December 2005

I think the prospect of bringing back grammar schools has always been wrong and I've never supported it. And I don't think any Conservative government would have done it.

BBC Sunday AM, 15 January 2006

I am Conservative to the core of my being, as those who know me best will testify.

Daily Telegraph, 23 January 2006

Issues that once divided Conservatives from Liberal Democrats are now issues where we both agree. Our attitude to devolution and localisation of power. Iraq. The environment. I'm a liberal Conservative.

Letter to constituents in Dunfermline and West Fife by-election, 7 February 2006

Lots of people call me Dave, my mum calls me David, my wife calls me Dave, I don't really notice what people call me.

"Labour in shambles over leadership, says Cameron", Western Mail, 29 September 2006, p. 4.

Encyclopedia
David William Donald Cameron (pron; born 9 October 1966) is the current Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is the Head of Her Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom. The Prime Minister and Cabinet are collectively accountable for their policies and actions to the Sovereign, to Parliament, to their political party and...

, First Lord of the Treasury
First Lord of the Treasury
The First Lord of the Treasury is the head of the commission exercising the ancient office of Lord High Treasurer in the United Kingdom, and is now always also the Prime Minister...

, Minister for the Civil Service
Minister for the Civil Service
In British government, the Minister for the Civil Service is responsible for making regulations regarding Her Majesty's Civil Service, the role of which is to assist the governments of the United Kingdom in formulating and implementing policies...

 and Leader
Leaders of the Conservative Party
The Leader of the Conservative Party is the most senior politician within the Conservative Party in the United Kingdom. The post is currently held by David Cameron, who s eeded Michael Howard in 2005, and who since 2010 is also the serving Prime Minister....

 of the Conservative Party
Conservative Party (UK)
The Conservative Party, formally the Conservative and Unionist Party, is a centre-right political party in the United Kingdom that adheres to the philosophies of conservatism and British unionism. It is the largest political party in the UK, and is currently the largest single party in the House...

. Cameron represents Witney
Witney (UK Parliament constituency)
Witney is a county constituency in Oxfordshire represented in the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. It elects one Member of Parliament by the first past the post system of election, and was created for the 1983 general election....

 as its Member of Parliament
Member of Parliament
A Member of Parliament is a representative of the voters to a :parliament. In many countries with bicameral parliaments, the term applies specifically to members of the lower house, as upper houses often have a different title, such as senate, and thus also have different titles for its members,...

 (MP).

Cameron studied Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE) at Oxford
University of Oxford
The University of Oxford is a university located in Oxford, United Kingdom. It is the second-oldest surviving university in the world and the oldest in the English-speaking world. Although its exact date of foundation is unclear, there is evidence of teaching as far back as 1096...

, gaining a first class honours degree. He then joined the Conservative Research Department
Conservative Research Department
The Conservative Research Department is part of the central organisation of the Conservative Party of the United Kingdom. It operates alongside other departments of Conservative Campaign Headquarters at 30 Millbank, London SW1....

 and became Special Adviser
Special advisers in the United Kingdom
A special adviser works in a supporting role to the British government. With media, political or policy expertise, their duty is to assist and advise government ministers.-Role:...

 to Norman Lamont, and then to Michael Howard
Michael Howard
Michael Howard, Baron Howard of Lympne, CH, QC, PC is a British politician, who served as the Leader of the Conservative Party and Leader of the Opposition from November 2003 to December 2005...

. He was Director of Corporate Affairs at Carlton Communications
Carlton Communications
Carlton Communications was a British media company. It was led by Michael Green and listed on the London Stock Exchange from 1983 until 2 February 2004, when it taken over by Granada plc to form ITV plc with Carlton gaining 32% of the new company....

 for seven years.

He was defeated in his first candidacy for Parliament at Stafford
Stafford (UK Parliament constituency)
Stafford is a county constituency represented in the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. It elects one Member of Parliament by the first past the post system of election. The sitting MP is the Conservative Jeremy Lefroy....

 in 1997, but was elected in 2001
United Kingdom general election, 2001
The United Kingdom general election, 2001 was held on Thursday 7 June 2001 to elect 659 members to the British House of Commons. It was dubbed "the quiet landslide" by the media, as the Labour Party was re-elected with another landslide result and only suffered a net loss of 6 seats...

 as the Member of Parliament
Parliament of the United Kingdom
The Parliament of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is the supreme legislative body in the United Kingdom, British Crown dependencies and British overseas territories, located in London...

 for the Oxfordshire
Oxfordshire
Oxfordshire is a county in the South East region of England, bordering on Warwickshire and Northamptonshire , Buckinghamshire , Berkshire , Wiltshire and Gloucestershire ....

 constituency of Witney
Witney (UK Parliament constituency)
Witney is a county constituency in Oxfordshire represented in the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. It elects one Member of Parliament by the first past the post system of election, and was created for the 1983 general election....

. He was promoted to the Opposition front bench
Frontbencher
In many parliaments and other similar assemblies, seating is typically arranged in banks or rows, with each political party or caucus grouped together. The spokespeople for each group will often sit at the front of their group, and are then known as being on the frontbench and are described as...

 two years later, and rose rapidly to become head of policy co-ordination during the 2005 general election campaign
United Kingdom general election, 2005
The United Kingdom general election of 2005 was held on Thursday, 5 May 2005 to elect 646 members to the British House of Commons. The Labour Party under Tony Blair won its third consecutive victory, but with a majority of 66, reduced from 160....

. With a public image of a young, moderate candidate who would appeal to young voters, he won the Conservative leadership election
Conservative Party (UK) leadership election, 2005
The 2005 Conservative leadership election was called by party leader Michael Howard on 6 May 2005, when he announced that he would be stepping down as leader in the near future. However, he stated that he would not depart until a review of the rules for the leadership election had been conducted,...

 in 2005.

In the 2010 general election held on 6 May, the Conservatives won 307 seats in a hung parliament
Hung parliament
In a two-party parliamentary system of government, a hung parliament occurs when neither major political party has an absolute majority of seats in the parliament . It is also less commonly known as a balanced parliament or a legislature under no overall control...

. After five days of intense negotiations, Cameron formed a coalition
Coalition government
A coalition government is a cabinet of a parliamentary government in which several political parties cooperate. The usual reason given for this arrangement is that no party on its own can achieve a majority in the parliament...

 with the Liberal Democrats
Liberal Democrats
The Liberal Democrats are a social liberal political party in the United Kingdom which supports constitutional and electoral reform, progressive taxation, wealth taxation, human rights laws, cultural liberalism, banking reform and civil liberties .The party was formed in 1988 by a merger of the...

. The 43-year-old Cameron became the youngest British Prime Minister since the Earl of Liverpool
Robert Jenkinson, 2nd Earl of Liverpool
Robert Banks Jenkinson, 2nd Earl of Liverpool KG PC was a British politician and the longest-serving Prime Minister of the United Kingdom since the Union with Ireland in 1801. He was 42 years old when he became premier in 1812 which made him younger than all of his successors to date...

 198 years earlier. Cameron leads
Cameron Ministry
David Cameron is Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, after being invited by Queen Elizabeth II to form a new government after the resignation as Prime Minister of Gordon Brown on 11 May 2010. Leading a coalition government formed by the Conservative Party and the Liberal Democrats, the coalition...

 the first coalition government of the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 since the Second World War
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

.

Family

David Cameron is the younger son of stockbroker Ian Donald Cameron (12 October 1932 – 8 September 2010) and his wife Mary Fleur (née
NEE
NEE is a political protest group whose goal was to provide an alternative for voters who are unhappy with all political parties at hand in Belgium, where voting is compulsory.The NEE party was founded in 2005 in Antwerp...

 Mount, born 1934, a retired Justice of the Peace
Justice of the Peace
A justice of the peace is a puisne judicial officer elected or appointed by means of a commission to keep the peace. Depending on the jurisdiction, they might dispense summary justice or merely deal with local administrative applications in common law jurisdictions...

, daughter of Sir William Mount, 2nd Baronet
Sir William Mount, 2nd Baronet
Lieutenant-Colonel Sir William Malcolm Mount of Wasing Place, 2nd Baronet TD was a British Army officer, High Sheriff of Berkshire and grandfather to David Cameron, UK Prime Minister and leader of the Conservative Party....

). His father, Ian, was born with both legs deformed and underwent repeated operations to correct them. Cameron's parents married on 20 October 1962. He was born in London, and brought up in Peasemore
Peasemore
Peasemore is a village and civil parish in the English county of Berkshire in the United Kingdom. It is located in the West Berkshire unitary authority, west of the A34 road and north of the town of Newbury.-Amenities:...

, Berkshire
Berkshire
Berkshire is a historic county in the South of England. It is also often referred to as the Royal County of Berkshire because of the presence of the royal residence of Windsor Castle in the county; this usage, which dates to the 19th century at least, was recognised by the Queen in 1957, and...

. Cameron has a brother, Allan Alexander (born 1963, a barrister
Barrister
A barrister is a member of one of the two classes of lawyer found in many common law jurisdictions with split legal professions. Barristers specialise in courtroom advocacy, drafting legal pleadings and giving expert legal opinions...

 and QC
Queen's Counsel
Queen's Counsel , known as King's Counsel during the reign of a male sovereign, are lawyers appointed by letters patent to be one of Her [or His] Majesty's Counsel learned in the law...

) and two sisters, Tania Rachel (born 1965) and Clare Louise (born 1971). His father was born at Blairmore House, a country house near Huntly, Aberdeenshire
Aberdeenshire
Aberdeenshire is one of the 32 unitary council areas in Scotland and a lieutenancy area.The present day Aberdeenshire council area does not include the City of Aberdeen, now a separate council area, from which its name derives. Together, the modern council area and the city formed historic...

, and died near Toulon
Toulon
Toulon is a town in southern France and a large military harbor on the Mediterranean coast, with a major French naval base. Located in the Provence-Alpes-Côte-d'Azur region, Toulon is the capital of the Var department in the former province of Provence....

 in France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

 on 8 September 2010. Blairmore was built by his great-great-grandfather, Alexander Geddes, who had made a fortune in the grain
GRAIN
GRAIN is a small international non-profit organisation that works to support small farmers and social movements in their struggles for community-controlled and biodiversity-based food systems. Our support takes the form of independent research and analysis, networking at local, regional and...

 trade in Chicago
Chicago
Chicago is the largest city in the US state of Illinois. With nearly 2.7 million residents, it is the most populous city in the Midwestern United States and the third most populous in the US, after New York City and Los Angeles...

, and returned to Scotland
Scotland
Scotland is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. Occupying the northern third of the island of Great Britain, it shares a border with England to the south and is bounded by the North Sea to the east, the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, and the North Channel and Irish Sea to the...

 in the 1880s.

Through his paternal grandmother, Enid Agnes Maud Levita, Cameron is a direct descendant
Lineal descendant
A lineal descendant, in legal usage, refers to a blood relative in the direct line of descent. The children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, etc...

 of King William IV
William IV of the United Kingdom
William IV was King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and of Hanover from 26 June 1830 until his death...

 by his mistress Dorothea Jordan. This illegitimate line consists of five generations of women starting with Elizabeth Hay, Countess of Erroll
Elizabeth Hay, Countess of Erroll
Elizabeth Hay, Countess of Erroll was the illegitimate daughter of King William IV of the United Kingdom and Dorothea Jordan. She married William Hay, 18th Earl of Erroll, and became Countess of Erroll on 4 December 1820 at age 19. Due to Hay's parentage, William Hay became Lord Steward of the...

 née FitzClarence, William and Jordan's sixth child, through to Cameron's grandmother (thereby making Cameron a 5th cousin of Queen Elizabeth II). Cameron's paternal forebears also have a long history in finance. His father Ian was senior partner of the stockbrokers Panmure Gordon
Panmure Gordon
Panmure Gordon & Co. is a British corporate and institutional stockbroker and investment bank. The firm operates in three businesses: investment banking, research and institutional sales and trading...

, in which firm partnerships had long been held by Cameron's ancestors, including David's grandfather and great-grandfather, and was a Director of estate agent
Estate agent
An estate agent is a person or business that arranges the selling, renting or management of properties, and other buildings, in the United Kingdom and Ireland. An agent that specialises in renting is often called a letting or management agent...

 John D Wood. David Cameron's great-great grandfather Emile Levita, a German-Jewish financier (and descendant of Renaissance scholar Elia Levita
Elia Levita
Elia Levita , also known as Elijah Levita, Elias Levita, Élie Lévita, Eliahu Bakhur was a Renaissance Hebrew grammarian, scholar and poet. He was influential in helping to create the Yiddish language...

) who obtained British citizenship in 1871, was the director of the Chartered Bank of India, Australia and China
Chartered Bank of India, Australia and China
The Chartered Bank of India, Australia and China was a bank founded in London in 1851/1853 by Scotsman James Wilson following the grant of a Royal Charter from Queen Victoria. It opened its first branches in 1858 in Calcutta and Bombay and then in 1863 in Karachi and Shanghai...

 which became Standard Chartered Bank
Standard Chartered Bank
Standard Chartered PLC is a multinational financial services company headquartered in London, United Kingdom with operations in more than seventy countries...

 in 1969. His wife, Cameron's great-great grandmother, was a descendant of the wealthy Danish Jewish Rée family on her father's side. One of Emile's sons, Arthur Francis Levita (died 1910, brother of Sir Cecil Levita
Cecil Levita
Lieutenant Colonel Sir Cecil Bingham Levita, KCVO, CBE was a British soldier and public service worker who eventually rose to be chairman of the London County Council in 1928.-British Army:...

), of Panmure Gordon
Panmure Gordon
Panmure Gordon & Co. is a British corporate and institutional stockbroker and investment bank. The firm operates in three businesses: investment banking, research and institutional sales and trading...

 stockbrokers, together with great-great-grandfather Sir Ewen Cameron
Ewen Cameron (banker)
Sir Ewen Cameron, KCMG was a Scottish accountant and banker who rose to be London head of the Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation.-Early life and family:...

, London head of the Hongkong and Shanghai Bank, played key roles in arranging loans supplied by the Rothschilds to the Japanese
Japanese people
The are an ethnic group originating in the Japanese archipelago and are the predominant ethnic group of Japan. Worldwide, approximately 130 million people are of Japanese descent; of these, approximately 127 million are residents of Japan. People of Japanese ancestry who live in other countries...

 Central Banker (later Prime Minister) Takahashi Korekiyo
Takahashi Korekiyo
Viscount was a Japanese politician and the 20th Prime Minister of Japan from 13 November 1921 to 12 June 1922. He was known as an expert on finance during his political career.-Early life :...

 for the financing of the Japanese Government in the Russo-Japanese war
Russo-Japanese War
The Russo-Japanese War was "the first great war of the 20th century." It grew out of rival imperial ambitions of the Russian Empire and Japanese Empire over Manchuria and Korea...

.

Cameron's maternal grandfather was Sir William Mount, 2nd Baronet
Sir William Mount, 2nd Baronet
Lieutenant-Colonel Sir William Malcolm Mount of Wasing Place, 2nd Baronet TD was a British Army officer, High Sheriff of Berkshire and grandfather to David Cameron, UK Prime Minister and leader of the Conservative Party....

, an Army officer and the High Sheriff of Berkshire
High Sheriff of Berkshire
The High Sheriff of Berkshire, in common with other counties, was originally the King's representative on taxation upholding the law in Saxon times. The word Sheriff evolved from 'shire-reeve'....

, and Cameron's maternal great-grandfather was Sir William Mount, 1st Baronet
Sir William Mount, 1st Baronet
Sir William Arthur Mount, 1st Baronet CBE was a British Conservative Party politician and Member of Parliament for the Newbury constituency...

, CBE
Order of the British Empire
The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire is an order of chivalry established on 4 June 1917 by George V of the United Kingdom. The Order comprises five classes in civil and military divisions...

, Conservative MP for Newbury
Newbury (UK Parliament constituency)
Newbury is a parliamentary constituency represented in the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. It returns one Member of Parliament , elected by the first-past-the-post voting system....

 1918–1922. Cameron's great-great grandmother was Lady
Lady
The word lady is a polite term for a woman, specifically the female equivalent to, or spouse of, a lord or gentleman, and in many contexts a term for any adult woman...

 Ida Matilda Alice Feilding. His great-great-great grandfather was William Feilding, 7th Earl of Denbigh
William Feilding, 7th Earl of Denbigh
William Basil Percy Feilding, 7th Earl of Denbigh, 6th Earl of Desmond, GCH, PC was a British peer and courtier.-Biography:...

, GCH
Royal Guelphic Order
The Royal Guelphic Order, sometimes also referred to as the Hanoverian Guelphic Order, is a Hanoverian order of chivalry instituted on 28 April 1815 by the Prince Regent . It has not been conferred by the British Crown since the death of King William IV in 1837, when the personal union of the...

, PC
Privy Council of the United Kingdom
Her Majesty's Most Honourable Privy Council, usually known simply as the Privy Council, is a formal body of advisers to the Sovereign in the United Kingdom...

, a courtier
Courtier
A courtier is a person who is often in attendance at the court of a king or other royal personage. Historically the court was the centre of government as well as the residence of the monarch, and social and political life were often completely mixed together...

 and Gentleman of the Bedchamber
Gentleman of the Bedchamber
A Gentleman of the Bedchamber was the holder of an important office in the royal household of the Kingdom of England from the 11th century, later used also in the Kingdom of Great Britain.-Description and functions:...

. His mother's cousin, Sir Ferdinand Mount
Ferdinand Mount
Sir William Robert Ferdinand Mount, 3rd Baronet , usually known as Ferdinand Mount, is a British writer and novelist, columnist for The Sunday Times and commentator on politics, and Conservative Party politician...

, was head of 10 Downing Street
10 Downing Street
10 Downing Street, colloquially known in the United Kingdom as "Number 10", is the headquarters of Her Majesty's Government and the official residence and office of the First Lord of the Treasury, who is now always the Prime Minister....

's Policy Unit in the early 1980s. Cameron is the nephew of Sir William Dugdale
William Dugdale (Aston Villa chairman)
Sir William Dugdale was the chairman of Aston Villa Football Club from 1975 to 1982, during the club's most successful period in modern times. Dugdale took over the position from Doug Ellis in 1975, before being replaced by the same man seven years later...

, brother-in-law of Katherine, Lady Dugdale (died 2004) Lady-in-Waiting
Lady-in-waiting
A lady-in-waiting is a female personal assistant at a royal court, attending on a queen, a princess, or a high-ranking noblewoman. Historically, in Europe a lady-in-waiting was often a noblewoman from a family highly thought of in good society, but was of lower rank than the woman on whom she...

 to HM
Majesty
Majesty is an English word derived ultimately from the Latin maiestas, meaning "greatness".- Origin :Originally, during the Roman republic, the word maiestas was the legal term for the supreme status and dignity of the state, to be respected above everything else...

 The Queen since 1955, and former Chairman of Aston Villa Football Club
Aston Villa F.C.
Aston Villa Football Club is an English professional association football club based in Witton, Birmingham. The club was founded in 1874 and have played at their current home ground, Villa Park, since 1897. Aston Villa were founder members of The Football League in 1888. They were also founder...

. Birmingham born documentary film-maker Joshua Dugdale
Joshua Dugdale
Joshua Dugdale, FRSA , is a British documentary film-maker. He studied economics at the University of Manchester.Dugdale made films around the world on drug barons, gangsters, police forces and revolutionaries...

 is his cousin.

Education

From the age of seven, Cameron was educated at two independent schools: at Heatherdown Preparatory School
Heatherdown Preparatory School
Heatherdown Preparatory School was an independent junior school for boys in the civil parish of Winkfield, near Ascot, in the English county of Berkshire. It closed in 1982...

 at Winkfield
Winkfield
Winkfield is a village and civil parish in the Bracknell Forest unitary authority of Berkshire, England.-Geography:According to the 2001 census, the parish had a population of 15,271...

, in Berkshire
Berkshire
Berkshire is a historic county in the South of England. It is also often referred to as the Royal County of Berkshire because of the presence of the royal residence of Windsor Castle in the county; this usage, which dates to the 19th century at least, was recognised by the Queen in 1957, and...

, which counts Prince Andrew
Prince Andrew, Duke of York
Prince Andrew, Duke of York KG GCVO , is the second son, and third child of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh...

 and Prince Edward
Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex
Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex KG GCVO is the third son and fourth child of Elizabeth II and The Duke of Edinburgh...

 among its alumni. Due to good academic grades, Cameron entered its top academic class almost two years early. At the age of thirteen, he went to Eton College
Eton College
Eton College, often referred to simply as Eton, is a British independent school for boys aged 13 to 18. It was founded in 1440 by King Henry VI as "The King's College of Our Lady of Eton besides Wyndsor"....

 in Berkshire
Berkshire
Berkshire is a historic county in the South of England. It is also often referred to as the Royal County of Berkshire because of the presence of the royal residence of Windsor Castle in the county; this usage, which dates to the 19th century at least, was recognised by the Queen in 1957, and...

, following his father and elder brother. Eton is often described as the most famous independent school in the world, and "the chief nurse of England's statesmen". His early interest was in art. Cameron was in trouble as a teenager, six weeks before taking his O-Levels, when he was named as having smoked cannabis
Cannabis
Cannabis is a genus of flowering plants that includes three putative species, Cannabis sativa, Cannabis indica, and Cannabis ruderalis. These three taxa are indigenous to Central Asia, and South Asia. Cannabis has long been used for fibre , for seed and seed oils, for medicinal purposes, and as a...

. He admitted the offence and had not been involved in selling drugs, so he was not expelled, but was fined, prevented from leaving school grounds, and given a "Georgic
Georgics
The Georgics is a poem in four books, likely published in 29 BC. It is the second major work by the Latin poet Virgil, following his Eclogues and preceding the Aeneid. It is a poem that draws on many prior sources and influenced many later authors from antiquity to the present...

" (a punishment which involved copying 500 lines of Latin text).

Cameron passed 12 O-levels, and then studied three A-Levels
GCE Advanced Level
The Advanced Level General Certificate of Education, commonly referred to as an A-level, is a qualification offered by education institutions in England, Northern Ireland, Wales, Cameroon, and the Cayman Islands...

 in History of Art
History of art
The History of art refers to visual art which may be defined as any activity or product made by humans in a visual form for aesthetical or communicative purposes, expressing ideas, emotions or, in general, a worldview...

, History and Economics with Politics. He obtained three 'A' grades and a '1' grade in the Scholarship Level
Scholarship Level
The GCE S-level, Scholarship level, or Special paper was a British public examination taken by the most able A-level students. The S-level was typically used to support UK university entrance applications though in practice it was directed almost exclusively to Oxford or Cambridge applications...

 exam in Economics and Politics. The following autumn he passed the entrance exam for Oxford University
University of Oxford
The University of Oxford is a university located in Oxford, United Kingdom. It is the second-oldest surviving university in the world and the oldest in the English-speaking world. Although its exact date of foundation is unclear, there is evidence of teaching as far back as 1096...

, where he was offered an exhibition
Exhibition (scholarship)
-United Kingdom and Ireland:At the universities of Dublin, Oxford and Cambridge, and at Westminster School, Eton College and Winchester College, and various other UK educational establishments, an exhibition is a financial award or grant to an individual student, normally on grounds of merit. The...

.

After leaving Eton in 1984, Cameron started a nine month gap year
Gap year
An expression or phrase that is associated with taking time out to travel in between life stages. It is also known as sabbatical, time off and time out that refers to a period of time in which students disengage from curricular education and undertake non curricular activities, such as travel or...

. He worked as a researcher for Tim Rathbone
Tim Rathbone
John Rankin "Tim" Rathbone was the Conservative Member of Parliament for the seat of Lewes between 1974 and 1997....

, Conservative MP for Lewes
Lewes (UK Parliament constituency)
Lewes is a constituency located in East Sussex and centred on the town of Lewes. It is represented in the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. It was a safe Conservative seat until 1997, but the Liberal Democrats have gained a strong foothold.-Boundaries:The constituency is...

 and his godfather. In his three months he attended debates in the House of Commons. Through his father, he was then employed for a further three months in Hong Kong
Hong Kong
Hong Kong is one of two Special Administrative Regions of the People's Republic of China , the other being Macau. A city-state situated on China's south coast and enclosed by the Pearl River Delta and South China Sea, it is renowned for its expansive skyline and deep natural harbour...

 by Jardine Matheson
Jardine Matheson Holdings
Jardine Matheson Holdings Limited often referred to as Jardines, is a multinational corporation incorporated in Bermuda and based in Hong Kong. While listed on the London Stock Exchange and the Singapore Exchange, the vast majority of Jardines shares are traded in Singapore...

 as a 'ship jumper', an administrative post.

Returning from Hong Kong he visited the then Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

, where he was approached by two Russian
Russians
The Russian people are an East Slavic ethnic group native to Russia, speaking the Russian language and primarily living in Russia and neighboring countries....

 men speaking fluent English. Cameron was later told by one of his professors that it was 'definitely an attempt' by the KGB
KGB
The KGB was the commonly used acronym for the . It was the national security agency of the Soviet Union from 1954 until 1991, and was the premier internal security, intelligence, and secret police organization during that time.The State Security Agency of the Republic of Belarus currently uses the...

 to recruit him.

Cameron then began his Bachelor of Arts
Bachelor of Arts
A Bachelor of Arts , from the Latin artium baccalaureus, is a bachelor's degree awarded for an undergraduate course or program in either the liberal arts, the sciences, or both...

 in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics
Philosophy, Politics, and Economics
Philosophy, politics, and economics is a popular interdisciplinary undergraduate/graduate degree which combines study from the three disciplines...

 (PPE) in Oxford. His tutor, Professor
Professor
A professor is a scholarly teacher; the precise meaning of the term varies by country. Literally, professor derives from Latin as a "person who professes" being usually an expert in arts or sciences; a teacher of high rank...

 Vernon Bogdanor
Vernon Bogdanor
Vernon Bogdanor, CBE, FBA is Research Professor at the Institute for Contemporary History at King's College London, and a Fellow of Brasenose College, University of Oxford. He is one of Britain's foremost constitutional experts and has written extensively on political and constitutional issues...

, described him as "one of the ablest" students he has taught, with "moderate and sensible Conservative" political views
Ideology
An ideology is a set of ideas that constitutes one's goals, expectations, and actions. An ideology can be thought of as a comprehensive vision, as a way of looking at things , as in common sense and several philosophical tendencies , or a set of ideas proposed by the dominant class of a society to...

. Guy Spier
Guy Spier
Guy Spier is a Zurich based investor, and commentator. In June 2007 he made headlines by bidding US$650,100 with Mohnish Pabrai for a charity lunch with Warren Buffett...

, who shared tutorials with him remembers him as an outstanding student; "We were doing our best to grasp basic economic concepts. David - there was nobody else who came even close. He would be integrating them with the way the British political system is put together. He could have lectured me on it, and I would have sat there and taken notes.." When commenting in 2006 on his former pupil's ideas about a "Bill of Rights" to replace the Human Rights Act
Human Rights Act 1998
The Human Rights Act 1998 is an Act of Parliament of the United Kingdom which received Royal Assent on 9 November 1998, and mostly came into force on 2 October 2000. Its aim is to "give further effect" in UK law to the rights contained in the European Convention on Human Rights...

, however, Professor Bogdanor, himself a Liberal Democrat
Liberal Democrats
The Liberal Democrats are a social liberal political party in the United Kingdom which supports constitutional and electoral reform, progressive taxation, wealth taxation, human rights laws, cultural liberalism, banking reform and civil liberties .The party was formed in 1988 by a merger of the...

, said, "I think he is very confused. I've read his speech and it's filled with contradictions. There are one or two good things in it but one glimpses them, as it were, through a mist of misunderstanding".

While at Oxford, Cameron was a member of the elite student dining society the Bullingdon Club
Bullingdon Club
The Bullingdon Club is a socially exclusive student dining club at Oxford University. The club has no permanent rooms and is notorious for its members' wealth and destructive binges. Membership is by invitation only, and prohibitively expensive for most, given the need to pay for the uniform,...

, which has a reputation for an outlandish drinking culture associated with boisterous behaviour and damaging property. A photograph showing Cameron in a tailcoat
Tailcoat
A tailcoat is a coat with the front of the skirt cut away, so as to leave only the rear section of the skirt, known as the tails. The historical reason coats were cut this way was to make it easier for the wearer to ride a horse, but over the years tailcoats of varying types have evolved into forms...

 with other members of the club, including Boris Johnson
Boris Johnson
Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson is a British journalist and Conservative Party politician, who has been the elected Mayor of London since 2008...

, surfaced in 2007, but was later withdrawn by the copyright holder. Cameron's period in the Bullingdon Club
Bullingdon Club
The Bullingdon Club is a socially exclusive student dining club at Oxford University. The club has no permanent rooms and is notorious for its members' wealth and destructive binges. Membership is by invitation only, and prohibitively expensive for most, given the need to pay for the uniform,...

 is examined in the Channel 4 docu-drama When Boris Met Dave
When Boris Met Dave
When Boris Met Dave is a 2009 docu-drama which investigates the shared past of David Cameron and Boris Johnson who, at the time of broadcast, were two of Britain's most influential Conservative Party politicians – Cameron as Tory leader and Johnson as Mayor of London...

 broadcast on 7 October 2009. Cameron graduated in 1988 with a first class honours degree.

Conservative Research Department

After graduation, Cameron worked for the Conservative Research Department
Conservative Research Department
The Conservative Research Department is part of the central organisation of the Conservative Party of the United Kingdom. It operates alongside other departments of Conservative Campaign Headquarters at 30 Millbank, London SW1....

 between September 1988 and 1993. A feature on Cameron in The Mail on Sunday
The Mail on Sunday
The Mail on Sunday is a British conservative newspaper, currently published in a tabloid format. First published in 1982 by Lord Rothermere, it became Britain's biggest-selling Sunday newspaper following the closing of The News of the World in July 2011...

 on 18 March 2007 reported that on the day he was due to attend a job interview at Conservative Central Office, a phone call was received from Buckingham Palace
Buckingham Palace
Buckingham Palace, in London, is the principal residence and office of the British monarch. Located in the City of Westminster, the palace is a setting for state occasions and royal hospitality...

. The male caller stated, "I understand you are to see David Cameron. I've tried everything I can to dissuade him from wasting his time on politics but I have failed. I am ringing to tell you that you are about to meet a truly remarkable young man."

In 1991, Cameron was seconded to Downing Street
Downing Street
Downing Street in London, England has for over two hundred years housed the official residences of two of the most senior British cabinet ministers: the First Lord of the Treasury, an office now synonymous with that of Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, and the Second Lord of the Treasury, an...

 to work on briefing John Major
John Major
Sir John Major, is a British Conservative politician, who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and Leader of the Conservative Party from 1990–1997...

 for his then bi-weekly session of Prime Minister's Questions
Prime Minister's Questions
Prime minister's questions is a constitutional convention in the United Kingdom that takes place every Wednesday during which the prime minister spends half an hour answering questions from members of parliament...

. One newspaper gave Cameron the credit for "sharper [...] despatch box performances" by Major, which included highlighting for Major "a dreadful piece of doublespeak
Doublespeak
Doublespeak is language that deliberately disguises, distorts, or reverses the meaning of words. Doublespeak may take the form of euphemisms , making the truth less unpleasant, without denying its nature. It may also be deployed as intentional ambiguity, or reversal of meaning...

" by Tony Blair
Tony Blair
Anthony Charles Lynton Blair is a former British Labour Party politician who served as the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 2 May 1997 to 27 June 2007. He was the Member of Parliament for Sedgefield from 1983 to 2007 and Leader of the Labour Party from 1994 to 2007...

 (then the Labour
Labour Party (UK)
The Labour Party is a centre-left democratic socialist party in the United Kingdom. It surpassed the Liberal Party in general elections during the early 1920s, forming minority governments under Ramsay MacDonald in 1924 and 1929-1931. The party was in a wartime coalition from 1940 to 1945, after...

 Employment
Employment
Employment is a contract between two parties, one being the employer and the other being the employee. An employee may be defined as:- Employee :...

 spokesman) over the effect of a national minimum wage
Minimum wage
A minimum wage is the lowest hourly, daily or monthly remuneration that employers may legally pay to workers. Equivalently, it is the lowest wage at which workers may sell their labour. Although minimum wage laws are in effect in a great many jurisdictions, there are differences of opinion about...

. He became head of the political section of the Conservative Research Department, and in August 1991 was tipped to follow Judith Chaplin
Judith Chaplin
Sybil Judith Chaplin OBE, known as Judith Chaplin, was a Conservative Party politician in the United Kingdom....

 as Political Secretary to the Prime Minister.

However, Cameron lost to Jonathan Hill, who was appointed in March 1992. He was given the responsibility for briefing Major for his press conferences during the 1992 general election
United Kingdom general election, 1992
The United Kingdom general election of 1992 was held on 9 April 1992, and was the fourth consecutive victory for the Conservative Party. This election result was one of the biggest surprises in 20th Century politics, as polling leading up to the day of the election showed Labour under leader Neil...

. During the campaign, Cameron was one of the young "brat pack" of party strategists who worked between 12 and 20 hours a day, sleeping in the house of Alan Duncan
Alan Duncan
Alan James Carter Duncan is a British Conservative Party politician. He is the Member of Parliament for Rutland and Melton, and a Minister of State in the Department for International Development....

 in Gayfere Street
Smith Square
Smith Square is a square in the Westminster district of London, just south of the Palace of Westminster. The centre of the square is occupied by St John's, Smith Square, a Baroque church now used as a concert hall...

, Westminster
Westminster
Westminster is an area of central London, within the City of Westminster, England. It lies on the north bank of the River Thames, southwest of the City of London and southwest of Charing Cross...

, which had been Major's campaign headquarters during his bid for the Conservative leadership. Cameron headed the economic section; it was while working on this campaign that Cameron first worked closely with Steve Hilton
Steve Hilton
Steve Hilton is the director of strategy for David Cameron, Prime Minister and leader of the Conservative Party in the United Kingdom...

, who was later to become Director of Strategy during his party leadership. The strain of getting up at 4:45 am every day was reported to have led Cameron to decide to leave politics in favour of journalism.

Special Adviser

The Conservatives' unexpected success in the 1992 election led Cameron to hit back at older party members who had criticised him and his colleagues, saying "whatever people say about us, we got the campaign right," and that they had listened to their campaign workers on the ground rather than the newspapers. He revealed he had led other members of the team across Smith Square
Smith Square
Smith Square is a square in the Westminster district of London, just south of the Palace of Westminster. The centre of the square is occupied by St John's, Smith Square, a Baroque church now used as a concert hall...

 to jeer at Transport House
Transport House
Transport House on Smith Square and Dean Bradley Street, London, England, was the headquarters of the Transport and General Workers' Union , and also originally of the Labour Party, the Trades Union Congress, and the Workers' Travel Association...

, the former Labour headquarters. Cameron was rewarded with a promotion to Special Adviser
Special advisers in the United Kingdom
A special adviser works in a supporting role to the British government. With media, political or policy expertise, their duty is to assist and advise government ministers.-Role:...

 to the Chancellor of the Exchequer
Chancellor of the Exchequer
The Chancellor of the Exchequer is the title held by the British Cabinet minister who is responsible for all economic and financial matters. Often simply called the Chancellor, the office-holder controls HM Treasury and plays a role akin to the posts of Minister of Finance or Secretary of the...

, Norman Lamont.

Cameron was working for Lamont at the time of Black Wednesday
Black Wednesday
In politics and economics, Black Wednesday refers to the events of 16 September 1992 when the British Conservative government was forced to withdraw the pound sterling from the European Exchange Rate Mechanism after they were unable to keep it above its agreed lower limit...

, when pressure from currency speculators forced the Pound sterling
Pound sterling
The pound sterling , commonly called the pound, is the official currency of the United Kingdom, its Crown Dependencies and the British Overseas Territories of South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, British Antarctic Territory and Tristan da Cunha. It is subdivided into 100 pence...

 out of the European Exchange Rate Mechanism
European Exchange Rate Mechanism
The European Exchange Rate Mechanism, ERM, was a system introduced by the European Community in March 1979, as part of the European Monetary System , to reduce exchange rate variability and achieve monetary stability in Europe, in preparation for Economic and Monetary Union and the introduction of...

. At the 1992 Conservative Party conference, Cameron had difficulty trying to arrange to brief the speakers in the economic debate, having to resort to putting messages on the internal television system imploring the mover of the motion, Patricia Morris
Patricia Morris, Baroness Morris of Bolton
Patricia Morris, Baroness Morris of Bolton OBE DL is a British peer and former Shadow Minister for Women and an Opposition Whip for the Conservative Party....

, to contact him. Later that month Cameron joined a delegation of Special Advisers who visited Germany to build better relations with the Christian Democratic Union
Christian Democratic Union (Germany)
The Christian Democratic Union of Germany is a Christian democratic and conservative political party in Germany. It is regarded as on the centre-right of the German political spectrum...

; he was reported to be "still smarting" over the Bundesbank's contribution to the economic crisis.

Lamont fell out with John Major after Black Wednesday and became highly unpopular with the public. Taxes needed to be raised in the 1993 Budget, and Cameron fed the options Lamont was considering through to Conservative Central Office for their political acceptability to be assessed. However, Lamont's unpopularity did not necessarily affect Cameron: he was considered as a potential "kamikaze
Kamikaze
The were suicide attacks by military aviators from the Empire of Japan against Allied naval vessels in the closing stages of the Pacific campaign of World War II, designed to destroy as many warships as possible....

" candidate for the Newbury By-election
Newbury by-election, 1993
The Newbury by-election, in West Berkshire, England, was held on 6 May 1993 after Conservative Member of Parliament Judith Chaplin died, after only being elected the previous year. It was won by David Rendel of the Liberal Democrats with an impressive swing of 28.4%...

, which includes the area where he grew up. However, Cameron decided not to stand.

During the by-election, Lamont gave the response "Je ne regrette rien
Non, je ne regrette rien
"Non, je ne regrette rien" , meaning "No, I'm not sorry for anything", is a French song composed by Charles Dumont, with lyrics by Michel Vaucaire. It was written in 1956, and is best known through its 1960 recording by Édith Piaf....

" to a question about whether he most regretted claiming to see "the green shoots of recovery" or admitted "singing in his bath" with happiness at leaving the ERM
European Exchange Rate Mechanism
The European Exchange Rate Mechanism, ERM, was a system introduced by the European Community in March 1979, as part of the European Monetary System , to reduce exchange rate variability and achieve monetary stability in Europe, in preparation for Economic and Monetary Union and the introduction of...

. Cameron was identified by one journalist as having inspired this gaffe; it was speculated that the heavy Conservative defeat in Newbury may have cost Cameron his chance of becoming Chancellor himself, even though as he was not a Member of Parliament he could not have been. Lamont was sacked at the end of May 1993, and decided not to write the usual letter of resignation; Cameron was given the responsibility to issue to the press a statement of self-justification.

Home Office

After Lamont was sacked, Cameron remained at the Treasury
Treasury
A treasury is either*A government department related to finance and taxation.*A place where currency or precious items is/are kept....

 for less than a month before being specifically recruited by Home Secretary
Home Secretary
The Secretary of State for the Home Department, commonly known as the Home Secretary, is the minister in charge of the Home Office of the United Kingdom, and one of the country's four Great Offices of State...

 Michael Howard
Michael Howard
Michael Howard, Baron Howard of Lympne, CH, QC, PC is a British politician, who served as the Leader of the Conservative Party and Leader of the Opposition from November 2003 to December 2005...

; it was commented that he was still "very much in favour". It was later reported that many at the Treasury would have preferred Cameron to carry on. At the beginning of September 1993, Cameron applied to go on Conservative Central Office's list of Prospective Parliamentary Candidates.

According to Derek Lewis
Derek Lewis (prison governor)
Derek Lewis is a former Chief Executive and Director General of the British Prison Service, who was sacked by then Home Secretary Michael Howard after a prison scandal in 1995....

, then Director-General of Her Majesty's Prison Service
Her Majesty's Prison Service
Her Majesty's Prison Service is a part of the National Offender Management Service of the Government of the United Kingdom tasked with managing most of the prisons within England and Wales...

, Cameron showed him a "his and hers list" of proposals made by Howard and his wife, Sandra. Lewis said that Sandra Howard
Sandra Howard
Sandra Howard, Baroness Howard of Lympne is an English novelist, former model and the wife of Michael Howard, a former leader of the Conservative party....

's list included reducing the quality of prison food
Prison food
Prison food refers to the meals served to prisoners while incarcerated in correctional institutions. While some prisons prepare their own food, many use staff from on-site catering companies.-United States:...

, although Sandra Howard denied this claim. Lewis reported that Cameron was "uncomfortable" about the list. In defending Sandra Howard and insisting that she made no such proposal, the journalist Bruce Anderson wrote that Cameron had proposed a much shorter definition on prison catering which revolved around the phrase "balanced diet", and that Lewis had written thanking Cameron for a valuable contribution.

During his work for Howard, Cameron often briefed the media. In March 1994, someone leaked to the Press that the Labour Party had called for a meeting with John Major to discuss a consensus on the Prevention of Terrorism Act. After an enquiry failed to find the source of the leak, Labour MP Peter Mandelson
Peter Mandelson
Peter Benjamin Mandelson, Baron Mandelson, PC is a British Labour Party politician, who was the Member of Parliament for Hartlepool from 1992 to 2004, served in a number of Cabinet positions under both Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, and was a European Commissioner...

 demanded assurance from Howard that Cameron had not been responsible, which Howard gave. A senior Home Office
Home Office
The Home Office is the United Kingdom government department responsible for immigration control, security, and order. As such it is responsible for the police, UK Border Agency, and the Security Service . It is also in charge of government policy on security-related issues such as drugs,...

 Civil Servant noted the influence of Howard's Special Advisers saying previous incumbents "would listen to the evidence before making a decision. Howard just talks to young public school gentlemen from the party headquarters."

Carlton

In July 1994, Cameron left his role as Special Adviser to work as the Director of Corporate Affairs at Carlton Communications
Carlton Communications
Carlton Communications was a British media company. It was led by Michael Green and listed on the London Stock Exchange from 1983 until 2 February 2004, when it taken over by Granada plc to form ITV plc with Carlton gaining 32% of the new company....

. Carlton, which had won the ITV
ITV
ITV is the major commercial public service TV network in the United Kingdom. Launched in 1955 under the auspices of the Independent Television Authority to provide competition to the BBC, it is also the oldest commercial network in the UK...

 franchise for London weekdays in 1991, was a growing media company which also had film distribution and video producing arms. In 1997 Cameron played up the Company's prospects for digital terrestrial television
Digital terrestrial television
Digital terrestrial television is the technological evolution of broadcast television and advance from analog television, which broadcasts land-based signals...

, for which it joined with Granada television
Granada Television
Granada Television is the ITV contractor for North West England. Based in Manchester since its inception, it is the only surviving original ITA franchisee from 1954 and is ITV's most successful....

 and BSkyB to form British Digital Broadcasting
ITV Digital
ITV Digital was a British digital terrestrial television broadcaster, which launched a pay-TV service on the world's first digital terrestrial television network as ONdigital in 1998 and briefly re-branded as ITV Digital in July 2001, before the service ceased in May 2002. Its main shareholders...

. In a roundtable discussion on the future of broadcasting in 1998 he criticised the effect of overlapping different regulators on the industry.

Carlton's consortium did win the digital terrestrial franchise but the resulting company suffered difficulties in attracting subscribers. In 1999 the Express
Daily Express
The Daily Express switched from broadsheet to tabloid in 1977 and was bought by the construction company Trafalgar House in the same year. Its publishing company, Beaverbrook Newspapers, was renamed Express Newspapers...

 on Sunday newspaper claimed Cameron had rubbished one of its stories which had given an accurate number of subscribers, because he wanted the number to appear higher than expected. Cameron resigned as Director of Corporate Affairs in February 2001 in order to fight for election to Parliament, although he remained on the payroll as a consultant.

Parliamentary candidacy

Having been approved for the Candidates' list, Cameron began looking for a seat. He was reported to have missed out on selection for Ashford
Ashford (UK Parliament constituency)
Ashford is a parliamentary constituency represented in the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. It elects one Member of Parliament by the first past the post voting system.-Boundaries:...

 in December 1994 after failing to get to the selection meeting as a result of train delays. Early in 1996, he was selected for Stafford
Stafford (UK Parliament constituency)
Stafford is a county constituency represented in the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. It elects one Member of Parliament by the first past the post system of election. The sitting MP is the Conservative Jeremy Lefroy....

, a new constituency created by boundary changes, which was projected to have a Conservative majority. At the 1996 Conservative Party Conference he called for tax cuts in the forthcoming Budget to be targeted at the low paid and to "small businesses where people took money out of their own pockets to put into companies to keep them going". He also said the Party, "Should be proud of the Tory tax record but that people needed reminding of its achievements ... It's time to return to our tax cutting agenda. The socialist Prime Ministers of Europe have endorsed Tony Blair because they want a federal pussy cat and not a British lion."

When writing his election address, Cameron made his own opposition to British membership of the single European currency clear, pledging not to support it. This was a break with official Conservative policy but about 200 other candidates were making similar declarations. Otherwise, Cameron kept very closely to the national party line. He also campaigned using the claim that a Labour Government would increase the cost of a pint of beer by 24p; however the Labour candidate David Kidney
David Kidney
David Neil Kidney is a British Labour Party politician who was the Member of Parliament for Stafford from 1997 to 2010.-Early life:...

 portrayed Cameron as "a right-wing Tory". Stafford had a swing
Swing (politics)
An electoral swing analysis shows the extent of change in voter support from one election to another. It is an indicator of voter support for individual candidates or political parties, or voter preference between two or more candidates or parties...

 almost the same as the national swing, which made it one of the many seats to fall to Labour: David Kidney had a majority of 4,314.

In the round of selection contests taking place in the run-up to the 2001 general election
United Kingdom general election, 2001
The United Kingdom general election, 2001 was held on Thursday 7 June 2001 to elect 659 members to the British House of Commons. It was dubbed "the quiet landslide" by the media, as the Labour Party was re-elected with another landslide result and only suffered a net loss of 6 seats...

, Cameron again attempted to be selected for a winnable seat. He tried out for the Kensington and Chelsea
Kensington and Chelsea by-election, 1999
The Member of Parliament for Kensington and Chelsea, Alan Clark, died of a brain tumour on September 5, 1999.This was the first safe Conservative seat to have a by-election in the Parliament. There was immediate speculation that Michael Portillo, the most high-profile casualty of the 1997 general...

 seat after the death of Alan Clark
Alan Clark
Alan Kenneth Mackenzie Clark was a British Conservative MP and diarist. He served as a junior minister in Margaret Thatcher's governments at the Departments of Employment, Trade, and Defence, and became a privy counsellor in 1991...

, but did not make the shortlist.

He was in the final two but narrowly lost at Wealden
Wealden (UK Parliament constituency)
Wealden is a county constituency covering the Wealden district in East Sussex. It is represented in the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom.-Boundaries:...

 in March 2000, a loss ascribed by Samantha Cameron to his lack of spontaneity when speaking.

On 4 April 2000 Cameron was selected as prospective candidate (PPC) for Witney
Witney (UK Parliament constituency)
Witney is a county constituency in Oxfordshire represented in the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. It elects one Member of Parliament by the first past the post system of election, and was created for the 1983 general election....

 in Oxfordshire
Oxfordshire
Oxfordshire is a county in the South East region of England, bordering on Warwickshire and Northamptonshire , Buckinghamshire , Berkshire , Wiltshire and Gloucestershire ....

. This had been a safe Conservative seat but its sitting MP Shaun Woodward
Shaun Woodward
Shaun Anthony Woodward is a British Labour Party politician who has been the Member of Parliament for St Helens South since 2001. He served in the Cabinet from 28 June 2007 to 11 May 2010 as Secretary of State for Northern Ireland...

 (who had worked with Cameron on the 1992 election campaign) had "crossed the floor" to join the Labour Party; newspapers claimed Cameron and Woodward had "loathed each other", although Cameron's biographers Francis Elliott and James Hanning describe them as being "on fairly friendly terms". Cameron put a great deal of effort into "nursing" his potential constituency, turning up at social functions, and attacking Woodward for changing his mind on fox hunting
Fox hunting
Fox hunting is an activity involving the tracking, chase, and sometimes killing of a fox, traditionally a red fox, by trained foxhounds or other scent hounds, and a group of followers led by a master of foxhounds, who follow the hounds on foot or on horseback.Fox hunting originated in its current...

 to support a ban.

During the election campaign, Cameron accepted the offer of writing a regular column for The Guardian
The Guardian
The Guardian, formerly known as The Manchester Guardian , is a British national daily newspaper in the Berliner format...

s online section. He won the seat with a 1.9% swing to the Conservatives and a majority of 7,973.

Member of Parliament

Upon his election to Parliament, he served as a member of the Commons Home Affairs Select Committee
Home Affairs Select Committee
The Home Affairs Select Committee is a Committee of the House of Commons in the Parliament of the United Kingdom.-Remit:The Home Affairs Committee is one of the House of Commons Select Committees related to government departments: its terms of reference are to examine "the expenditure,...

, a prominent appointment for a newly elected MP. Cameron's proposed that the Committee launch an inquiry into the law on drugs, and urged the consideration of "radical options". The report recommended a downgrading of Ecstasy
Methylenedioxymethamphetamine
MDMA is an entactogenic drug of the phenethylamine and amphetamine class of drugs. In popular culture, MDMA has become widely known as "ecstasy" , usually referring to its street pill form, although this term may also include the presence of possible adulterants...

 from Class A to Class B, as well as moves towards a policy of 'harm reduction
Harm reduction
Harm reduction refers to a range of public health policies designed to reduce the harmful consequences associated with recreational drug use and other high risk activities...

', which Cameron defended.

Cameron determinedly attempted to increase his public profile, offering quotations on matters of public controversy. He opposed the payment of compensation to Gurbux Singh, who had resigned as head of the Commission for Racial Equality
Commission for Racial Equality
The Commission for Racial Equality was a non-departmental public body in the United Kingdom which aimed to tackle racial discrimination and promote racial equality. Its work has been merged into the new Equality and Human Rights Commission.-History:...

 after a confrontation with the police; and commented that the Home Affairs Select Committee had taken a long time to discuss whether the phrase "black market" should be used. However, he was passed over for a front bench promotion in July 2002; Conservative leader Iain Duncan Smith
Iain Duncan Smith
George Iain Duncan Smith is a British Conservative politician. He is currently the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions and was previously leader of the Conservative Party from September 2001 to October 2003...

 did invite Cameron and his ally George Osborne
George Osborne
George Gideon Oliver Osborne, MP is a British Conservative politician. He is the Chancellor of the Exchequer of the United Kingdom, a role to which he was appointed in May 2010, and has been the Member of Parliament for Tatton since 2001.Osborne is part of the old Anglo-Irish aristocracy, known in...

 to coach him on Prime Minister's Questions in November 2002. The next week, Cameron deliberately abstained in a vote on allowing same-sex and unmarried couples to adopt children jointly, against a whip to oppose; his abstention was noted. The wide scale of abstentions and rebellious votes destabilised the Iain Duncan Smith leadership.

In June 2003, Cameron was appointed as a shadow minister in the Privy Council Office
Privy Council Office (United Kingdom)
The Privy Council Office provides secretarial and administrative support to the Lord President of the Council in his or her capacity of president of Her Majesty's Most Honourable Privy Council. The head of the Office is the Clerk of the Privy Council...

 as a deputy to Eric Forth
Eric Forth
Eric Forth was a British politician. He was the Conservative Member of the European Parliament for Birmingham North, then Member of Parliament for Mid Worcestershire and finally Bromley and Chislehurst at his death. He served as a junior minister in the governments of Margaret Thatcher and John...

, who was then Shadow Leader of the House
Shadow Leader of the House of Commons
The Shadow Leader of the House of Commons is a member of the Official Opposition Shadow Cabinet responsible for working with the Leader of the House in arranging Commons business and holding the Government to account in its overall management of the House...

. He also became a vice-chairman of the Conservative Party
Chairman of the Conservative Party
In the United Kingdom, the Chairman of the Conservative Party is responsible for running the party machine, overseeing Conservative Central Office. When the Conservatives are in power, the Chairman is usually a member of the Cabinet being given a sinecure position such as Minister without Portfolio...

 when Michael Howard
Michael Howard
Michael Howard, Baron Howard of Lympne, CH, QC, PC is a British politician, who served as the Leader of the Conservative Party and Leader of the Opposition from November 2003 to December 2005...

 took over the leadership in November of that year. He was appointed as the Opposition frontbench local government
Local government
Local government refers collectively to administrative authorities over areas that are smaller than a state.The term is used to contrast with offices at nation-state level, which are referred to as the central government, national government, or federal government...

 spokesman in 2004, before being promoted into the shadow cabinet
Shadow Cabinet
The Shadow Cabinet is a senior group of opposition spokespeople in the Westminster system of government who together under the leadership of the Leader of the Opposition form an alternative cabinet to the government's, whose members shadow or mark each individual member of the government...

 that June as head of policy co-ordination. Later, he became Shadow Education Secretary in the post-election reshuffle.

From February 2002 until August 2005 he was a non-executive director
Non-executive director
A non-executive director or outside director is a member of the board of directors of a company who does not form part of the executive management team. He or she is not an employee of the company or affiliated with it in any other way...

 of Urbium PLC, operator of the Tiger Tiger
Tiger Tiger (nightclub)
Tiger Tiger is a chain of British nightclubs owned by Novus Leisure. The chain has nine branches, located in Aberdeen, Cardiff, Croydon, Glasgow, Leeds, London, Manchester, Newcastle and Portsmouth...

 bar chain.

Leadership of the Conservative Party

Leadership election

Following the Labour victory in the May 2005 general election
United Kingdom general election, 2005
The United Kingdom general election of 2005 was held on Thursday, 5 May 2005 to elect 646 members to the British House of Commons. The Labour Party under Tony Blair won its third consecutive victory, but with a majority of 66, reduced from 160....

, Michael Howard
Michael Howard
Michael Howard, Baron Howard of Lympne, CH, QC, PC is a British politician, who served as the Leader of the Conservative Party and Leader of the Opposition from November 2003 to December 2005...

 announced his resignation as leader of the Conservative Party and set a lengthy timetable for the leadership election
Conservative Party (UK) leadership election, 2005
The 2005 Conservative leadership election was called by party leader Michael Howard on 6 May 2005, when he announced that he would be stepping down as leader in the near future. However, he stated that he would not depart until a review of the rules for the leadership election had been conducted,...

.
Cameron announced formally that he would be a candidate for the position on 29 September 2005. Parliamentary colleagues supporting him initially included Boris Johnson
Boris Johnson
Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson is a British journalist and Conservative Party politician, who has been the elected Mayor of London since 2008...

, Shadow Chancellor George Osborne
George Osborne
George Gideon Oliver Osborne, MP is a British Conservative politician. He is the Chancellor of the Exchequer of the United Kingdom, a role to which he was appointed in May 2010, and has been the Member of Parliament for Tatton since 2001.Osborne is part of the old Anglo-Irish aristocracy, known in...

, then Shadow Defence Secretary and deputy leader of the party Michael Ancram
Michael Ancram
Michael Andrew Foster Jude Kerr, 13th Marquess of Lothian, PC, QC , known as Michael Ancram, is a United Kingdom Conservative Party politician. He is a member of the House of Lords, former Member of Parliament, and a former member of the Shadow Cabinet...

, Oliver Letwin
Oliver Letwin
Oliver Letwin MP FRSA is a British politician. A member of the Conservative Party, he is currently the Minister of State at the Cabinet Office, and a Member of Parliament representing the constituency of West Dorset...

 and former party leader William Hague
William Hague
William Jefferson Hague is the British Foreign Secretary and First Secretary of State. He served as Leader of the Conservative Party from June 1997 to September 2001...

. Despite this, his campaign did not gain significant support prior to the 2005 Conservative Party Conference
Party conference
The terms party conference , political convention , and party congress usually refer to a general meeting of a political party. The conference is attended by certain delegates who represent the party membership...

. However his speech, delivered without notes, proved a significant turning point. In the speech he vowed to make people, "feel good about being Conservatives again" and said he wanted, "to switch on a whole new generation."

In the first ballot of Conservative MPs on 18 October 2005, Cameron came second, with 56 votes, slightly more than expected; David Davis
David Davis (British politician)
David Michael Davis is a British Conservative Party politician who is the Member of Parliament for the constituency of Haltemprice and Howden...

 had fewer than predicted at 62 votes; Liam Fox
Liam Fox
Liam Fox MP is a British Conservative politician, Member of Parliament for North Somerset, and former Secretary of State for Defence....

 came third with 42 votes and Kenneth Clarke
Kenneth Clarke
Kenneth Harry "Ken" Clarke, QC, MP is a British Conservative politician, currently Member of Parliament for Rushcliffe, Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice. He was first elected to Parliament in 1970; and appointed a minister in Edward Heath's government, in 1972, and is one of...

 was eliminated with 38 votes. In the second ballot on 20 October 2005, Cameron came first with 90 votes; David Davis was second, with 57, and Liam Fox was eliminated with 51 votes. All 198 Conservative MPs voted in both ballots.

The next stage of the election process, between Davis and Cameron, was a vote open to the entire Conservative party membership. Cameron was elected with more than twice as many votes as Davis and more than half of all ballots issued; Cameron won 134,446 votes on a 78% turnout
Voter turnout
Voter turnout is the percentage of eligible voters who cast a ballot in an election . After increasing for many decades, there has been a trend of decreasing voter turnout in most established democracies since the 1960s...

, beating Davis's 64,398 votes. Although Davis had initially been the favourite, it was widely acknowledged that Davis's candidacy was marred by a disappointing conference speech, whilst Cameron's was well received. Cameron's election as the Leader of the Conservative Party and Leader of the Opposition
Leader of the Opposition (UK)
The Leader of Her Majesty's Most Loyal Opposition in the United Kingdom is the politician who leads the Official Opposition in the United Kingdom. There is also a Leader of the Opposition in the House of Lords...

 was announced on 6 December 2005. As is customary for an Opposition leader not already a member, upon election Cameron became a member of the Privy Council
Privy Council of the United Kingdom
Her Majesty's Most Honourable Privy Council, usually known simply as the Privy Council, is a formal body of advisers to the Sovereign in the United Kingdom...

, being formally approved to join on 14 December 2005, and sworn of the Council on 8 March 2006.

Cameron's appearance on the cover of Time in September 2008 was said by the Daily Mail
Daily Mail
The Daily Mail is a British daily middle-market tabloid newspaper owned by the Daily Mail and General Trust. First published in 1896 by Lord Northcliffe, it is the United Kingdom's second biggest-selling daily newspaper after The Sun. Its sister paper The Mail on Sunday was launched in 1982...

 to present him to the world as 'Prime Minister in waiting'.

Reaction to Cameron as leader

Cameron's relatively young age and inexperience before becoming leader have invited satirical comparison with Tony Blair
Tony Blair
Anthony Charles Lynton Blair is a former British Labour Party politician who served as the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 2 May 1997 to 27 June 2007. He was the Member of Parliament for Sedgefield from 1983 to 2007 and Leader of the Labour Party from 1994 to 2007...

. Private Eye soon published a picture of both leaders on their front cover, with the caption "World's first face transplant a success". On the left
Left-wing politics
In politics, Left, left-wing and leftist generally refer to support for social change to create a more egalitarian society...

, New Statesman has unfavourably likened his "new style of politics" to Tony Blair's early leadership years. Cameron is accused of paying excessive attention to image, with ITV News
ITV News
ITV News is the branding of news programmes on the British television network ITV. Since 1955, ITV's news bulletins have been produced by Independent Television News . The channel's news coverage has won awards from the Royal Television Society, Emmy Awards and BAFTAs. Between 2004 and 2008, the...

 broadcasting footage from the 2006 Conservative Party Conference in Bournemouth
Bournemouth
Bournemouth is a large coastal resort town in the ceremonial county of Dorset, England. According to the 2001 Census the town has a population of 163,444, making it the largest settlement in Dorset. It is also the largest settlement between Southampton and Plymouth...

 which showed him wearing four different sets of clothes within the space of a few hours. Cameron was characterised in a Labour Party political broadcast as "Dave the Chameleon
Dave the Chameleon
Dave the Chameleon was the British Labour Party's advertising slogan, and the basis of their political campaign, for the 2006 local elections. The campaign attempted to portray the recently-elected opposition leader, David Cameron, as an ever changing populist who will be whatever people want him...

", who would change what he said to match the expectations of his audience. Cameron later claimed that the broadcast had become his daughter's "favourite video". He has also been described by comedy writer and broadcaster Charlie Brooker
Charlie Brooker
Charlton "Charlie" Brooker is a British journalist, comic writer and broadcaster. His style of humour is savage and profane, with surreal elements and a consistent satirical pessimism...

 as being "like a hollow Easter egg with no bag of sweets inside" in his Guardian
The Guardian
The Guardian, formerly known as The Manchester Guardian , is a British national daily newspaper in the Berliner format...

 column.

On the right
Right-wing politics
In politics, Right, right-wing and rightist generally refer to support for a hierarchical society justified on the basis of an appeal to natural law or tradition. To varying degrees, the Right rejects the egalitarian objectives of left-wing politics, claiming that the imposition of equality is...

, Norman Tebbit
Norman Tebbit
Norman Beresford Tebbit, Baron Tebbit, CH, PC , is a British politician. A member of the Conservative Party, he served in the Cabinet from 1981 to 1987 as Secretary of State for Employment...

, former Chairman of the Conservative Party
Chairman of the Conservative Party
In the United Kingdom, the Chairman of the Conservative Party is responsible for running the party machine, overseeing Conservative Central Office. When the Conservatives are in power, the Chairman is usually a member of the Cabinet being given a sinecure position such as Minister without Portfolio...

, has likened Cameron to Pol Pot
Pol Pot
Saloth Sar , better known as Pol Pot, , was a Cambodian Maoist revolutionary who led the Khmer Rouge from 1963 until his death in 1998. From 1976 to 1979, he served as the Prime Minister of Democratic Kampuchea....

, "intent on purging even the memory of Thatcherism
Thatcherism
Thatcherism describes the conviction politics, economic and social policy, and political style of the British Conservative politician Margaret Thatcher, who was leader of her party from 1975 to 1990...

 before building a New Modern Compassionate Green Globally Aware Party". Quentin Davies
Quentin Davies
John Quentin Davies, Baron Davies of Stamford is a British Labour Party politician who was the Member of Parliament for Grantham and Stamford from 1987 to 2010. Originally elected as a Conservative, he defected to Labour on 26 June 2007. Davies announced in 2010 that he would not stand for...

 MP, who defected from the Conservatives to Labour on 26 June 2007, branded him "superficial, unreliable and [with] an apparent lack of any clear convictions" and stated that David Cameron had turned the Conservative Party's mission into a "PR agenda". Traditionalist conservative
Traditionalist Conservatism
Traditionalist conservatism, also known as "traditional conservatism," "traditionalism," "Burkean conservatism", "classical conservatism" and , "Toryism", describes a political philosophy emphasizing the need for the principles of natural law and transcendent moral order, tradition, hierarchy and...

 columnist and author Peter Hitchens
Peter Hitchens
Peter Jonathan Hitchens is an award-winning British columnist and author, noted for his traditionalist conservative stance. He has published five books, including The Abolition of Britain, A Brief History of Crime, The Broken Compass and most recently The Rage Against God. Hitchens writes for...

 has written that, "Mr Cameron has abandoned the last significant difference between his party and the established left", by embracing social liberalism and has dubbed the party under his leadership "Blue Labour", a pun on New Labour. Cameron responded by calling Hitchens a "maniac". Daily Telegraph correspondent and blogger Gerald Warner has been particularly scathing about Cameron's leadership, arguing that it is alienating traditionalist conservative
Traditionalist Conservatism
Traditionalist conservatism, also known as "traditional conservatism," "traditionalism," "Burkean conservatism", "classical conservatism" and , "Toryism", describes a political philosophy emphasizing the need for the principles of natural law and transcendent moral order, tradition, hierarchy and...

 elements from the Conservative Party.

Cameron is reported to be known to friends and family as "Dave", though he invariably uses "David'" in public. Critics often refer to him as "Call me Dave", implying populism
Populism
Populism can be defined as an ideology, political philosophy, or type of discourse. Generally, a common theme compares "the people" against "the elite", and urges social and political system changes. It can also be defined as a rhetorical style employed by members of various political or social...

 in the same way as "Call me Tony" was used in 1997. The Times
The Times
The Times is a British daily national newspaper, first published in London in 1785 under the title The Daily Universal Register . The Times and its sister paper The Sunday Times are published by Times Newspapers Limited, a subsidiary since 1981 of News International...

 columnist Daniel Finkelstein
Daniel Finkelstein
Daniel Finkelstein OBE is a British journalist and former politician. He is the Executive Editor of The Times, where he's also Chief Leader Writer and a weekly political columnist.-Background:...

 has condemned those who attempt to belittle Cameron by calling him 'Dave'.

Shadow Cabinet appointments

His Shadow Cabinet
Official Opposition Shadow Cabinet (UK)
The Official Loyal Opposition Shadow Cabinet are, in British parliamentary practice, senior members of Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition who scrutinise their corresponding office holders in the Government, develop alternative policies, and hold the Government to account for its actions and responses...

 appointments have included MPs associated with the various wings of the party. Former leader William Hague
William Hague
William Jefferson Hague is the British Foreign Secretary and First Secretary of State. He served as Leader of the Conservative Party from June 1997 to September 2001...

 was appointed to the Foreign Affairs brief, while both George Osborne and David Davis
David Davis (British politician)
David Michael Davis is a British Conservative Party politician who is the Member of Parliament for the constituency of Haltemprice and Howden...

 were retained, as Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer
Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer
The Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer in the British Parliamentary system is the member of the Shadow Cabinet who is responsible for shadowing the Chancellor of the Exchequer. The title is in the gift of the Leader of the Opposition but is informal. The Shadow Chancellor has no constitutional...

 and Shadow Home Secretary
Shadow Home Secretary
In British politics, the Shadow Home Secretary is the person within the shadow cabinet who 'shadows' the Home Secretary; this effectively means scrutinising government policy on home affairs including policing, national security, immigration, the criminal justice system, the prison service, and...

 respectively. Hague, assisted by Davis, stood in for Cameron during his paternity leave in February 2006. In June 2008 Davis announced his intention to resign as an MP, and was immediately replaced as Shadow Home Secretary by Dominic Grieve
Dominic Grieve
Dominic Charles Roberts Grieve, QC MP is a British Conservative politician, barrister and Queen's Counsel.He is the Member of Parliament for Beaconsfield and the Attorney General for England and Wales and the Advocate General for Northern Ireland.-Early life:Grieve was born in Lambeth, the son of...

, the surprise move seen as a challenge to the changes introduced under Cameron's leadership.

In January 2009 a reshuffle of the Shadow Cabinet was undertaken. The chief change was the appointment of former Chancellor of the Exchequer
Chancellor of the Exchequer
The Chancellor of the Exchequer is the title held by the British Cabinet minister who is responsible for all economic and financial matters. Often simply called the Chancellor, the office-holder controls HM Treasury and plays a role akin to the posts of Minister of Finance or Secretary of the...

 Kenneth Clarke
Kenneth Clarke
Kenneth Harry "Ken" Clarke, QC, MP is a British Conservative politician, currently Member of Parliament for Rushcliffe, Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice. He was first elected to Parliament in 1970; and appointed a minister in Edward Heath's government, in 1972, and is one of...

 as Shadow Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Secretary, David Cameron stating that "With Ken Clarke's arrival, we now have the best economic team." The reshuffle saw eight other changes made.

European Conservatives and Reformists

During his successful campaign to be elected Leader of the Conservative Party, Cameron pledged that the Conservative Party's Members of the European Parliament
Member of the European Parliament
A Member of the European Parliament is a person who has been elected to the European Parliament. The name of MEPs differ in different languages, with terms such as europarliamentarian or eurodeputy being common in Romance language-speaking areas.When the European Parliament was first established,...

 would leave the European People's Party
European People's Party
The European People's Party is a pro-European centre-right European political party. The EPP was founded in 1976 by Christian democratic parties, but later it increased its membership to include conservative parties and parties of other centre-right perspectives.The EPP is the most influential of...

 group, which had a "federalist" approach to the European Union. Once elected Cameron began discussions with right-wing and eurosceptic
EuroSceptic
EuroSceptic is the second album of British singer Jack Lucien. It was released in October 2009.Due to being an album influenced by Europop, it features songs with parts in different languages...

 parties in other European countries, mainly in eastern Europe, and in July 2006 he concluded an agreement to form the Movement for European Reform
Movement for European Reform
The Movement for European Reform, abbreviated to MER, was a pan-European alliance of national centre-right political parties with conservative, pro-free market and Eurosceptic inclinations...

 with the Czech Civic Democratic Party, leading to the formation of a new European Parliament group, the European Conservatives and Reformists
European Conservatives and Reformists
The European Conservatives and Reformists, abbreviated to ECR, is a conservative anti-federalist political group in the European Parliament. The group currently comprises 57 MEPs, making it the fourth-largest group in the European Parliament....

, in 2009 after the European Parliament elections.
Cameron attended a gathering at Warsaw
Warsaw
Warsaw is the capital and largest city of Poland. It is located on the Vistula River, roughly from the Baltic Sea and from the Carpathian Mountains. Its population in 2010 was estimated at 1,716,855 residents with a greater metropolitan area of 2,631,902 residents, making Warsaw the 10th most...

's Palladium cinema celebrating the foundation of the alliance.

In forming the caucus, which had 54 MEPs
Member of the European Parliament
A Member of the European Parliament is a person who has been elected to the European Parliament. The name of MEPs differ in different languages, with terms such as europarliamentarian or eurodeputy being common in Romance language-speaking areas.When the European Parliament was first established,...

 drawn from eight of the 27 EU member states, Cameron reportedly broke with two decades of Conservative cooperation with the centre-right Christian Democrats, the European People's Party
European People's Party
The European People's Party is a pro-European centre-right European political party. The EPP was founded in 1976 by Christian democratic parties, but later it increased its membership to include conservative parties and parties of other centre-right perspectives.The EPP is the most influential of...

 (EPP), on the grounds that they are dominated by European federalists
Federalism
Federalism is a political concept in which a group of members are bound together by covenant with a governing representative head. The term "federalism" is also used to describe a system of the government in which sovereignty is constitutionally divided between a central governing authority and...

 and supporters of the Lisbon treaty. EPP leader Wilfried Martens
Wilfried Martens
Wilfried Martens is a Belgian politician. He was born in Sleidinge . Martens was the 44th Prime Minister of Belgium from 3 April 1979 to 6 April 1981 and 17 December 1981 to 7 March 1992....

, former prime minister of Belgium, has stated "Cameron's campaign has been to take his party back to the centre in every policy area with one major exception: Europe. ... I can't understand his tactics. Merkel
Angela Merkel
Angela Dorothea Merkel is the current Chancellor of Germany . Merkel, elected to the Bundestag from Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, has been the chairwoman of the Christian Democratic Union since 2000, and chairwoman of the CDU-CSU parliamentary coalition from 2002 to 2005.From 2005 to 2009 she led a...

 and Sarkozy
Nicolas Sarkozy
Nicolas Sarkozy is the 23rd and current President of the French Republic and ex officio Co-Prince of Andorra. He assumed the office on 16 May 2007 after defeating the Socialist Party candidate Ségolène Royal 10 days earlier....

 will never accept his Euroscepticism." The left-wing
Left-wing politics
In politics, Left, left-wing and leftist generally refer to support for social change to create a more egalitarian society...

 New Statesman
New Statesman
New Statesman is a British centre-left political and cultural magazine published weekly in London. Founded in 1913, and connected with leading members of the Fabian Society, the magazine reached a circulation peak in the late 1960s....

 magazine reported that the US administration had "concerns about Cameron among top members of the team" and quoted David Rothkopf
David Rothkopf
David J. Rothkopf is President and CEO of Garten Rothkopf, an international advisory firm specializing in transformational global trends, notably those associated with energy, security, and emerging markets....

 in saying that the issue "makes Cameron an even more dubious choice to be Britain's next prime minister than he was before and, should he attain that post, someone about whom the Obama administration ought to be very cautious."

Shortlists for Parliamentary Candidates

Similarly, Cameron's initial "A-List" of prospective parliamentary candidates has been attacked by members of his party, with the policy now having been discontinued in favour of gender balanced final shortlists. These have been criticised by senior Conservative MP and Prisons Spokeswoman Ann Widdecombe
Ann Widdecombe
Ann Noreen Widdecombe is a former British Conservative Party politician and has been a novelist since 2000. She is a Privy Councillor and was the Member of Parliament for Maidstone from 1987 to 1997 and for Maidstone and The Weald from 1997 to 2010. She was a social conservative and a member of...

 as an "insult to women", Widdecombe accusing Cameron of "storing up huge problems for the future." The plans have since led to conflict in a number of constituencies, including the widely reported resignation of Joanne Cash
Joanne Cash
Joanne Cash is a media barrister. She was the unsuccessful Conservative Party candidate for Westminster North in the 2010 general election.-Early life:...

, a close friend of Cameron, as candidate in the constituency of Westminster North
Westminster North (UK Parliament constituency)
Westminster North is a UK Parliamentary constituency in Central London and west London, comprising the northern part of the City of Westminster. It existed from 1983 to 1997...

 following a dispute described as "a battle for the soul of the Tory Party".

2010 general election

The Conservatives had last won a general election in 1992. The general election of 2010 resulted in the Conservatives, led by Cameron, winning the largest number of seats (306). This was, however, 20 seats short of an overall majority and resulted in the nation's first hung parliament
Hung parliament
In a two-party parliamentary system of government, a hung parliament occurs when neither major political party has an absolute majority of seats in the parliament . It is also less commonly known as a balanced parliament or a legislature under no overall control...

 since February 1974
United Kingdom general election, February 1974
The United Kingdom's general election of February 1974 was held on the 28th of that month. It was the first of two United Kingdom general elections held that year, and the first election since the Second World War not to produce an overall majority in the House of Commons for the winning party,...

. Talks between Cameron and Liberal Democrat
Liberal Democrats
The Liberal Democrats are a social liberal political party in the United Kingdom which supports constitutional and electoral reform, progressive taxation, wealth taxation, human rights laws, cultural liberalism, banking reform and civil liberties .The party was formed in 1988 by a merger of the...

 leader Nick Clegg
Nick Clegg
Nicholas William Peter "Nick" Clegg is a British Liberal Democrat politician who is currently the Deputy Prime Minister, Lord President of the Council and Minister for Constitutional and Political Reform in the coalition government of which David Cameron is the Prime Minister...

 led to an agreed Conservative/Liberal Democrat coalition.

Prime Minister

On 11 May 2010, following the resignation of Gordon Brown
Gordon Brown
James Gordon Brown is a British Labour Party politician who was the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and Leader of the Labour Party from 2007 until 2010. He previously served as Chancellor of the Exchequer in the Labour Government from 1997 to 2007...

 as Prime Minister and on his recommendation, Queen Elizabeth II invited Cameron to form a government. At age 43, Cameron became the youngest British Prime Minister since Lord Liverpool
Robert Jenkinson, 2nd Earl of Liverpool
Robert Banks Jenkinson, 2nd Earl of Liverpool KG PC was a British politician and the longest-serving Prime Minister of the United Kingdom since the Union with Ireland in 1801. He was 42 years old when he became premier in 1812 which made him younger than all of his successors to date...

, who was appointed in 1812. In his first address outside 10 Downing Street
10 Downing Street
10 Downing Street, colloquially known in the United Kingdom as "Number 10", is the headquarters of Her Majesty's Government and the official residence and office of the First Lord of the Treasury, who is now always the Prime Minister....

, he announced his intention to form a coalition government
Coalition government
A coalition government is a cabinet of a parliamentary government in which several political parties cooperate. The usual reason given for this arrangement is that no party on its own can achieve a majority in the parliament...

, the first since the Second World War, with the Liberal Democrats
Liberal Democrats
The Liberal Democrats are a social liberal political party in the United Kingdom which supports constitutional and electoral reform, progressive taxation, wealth taxation, human rights laws, cultural liberalism, banking reform and civil liberties .The party was formed in 1988 by a merger of the...

.

Cameron outlined how he intended to "put aside party differences and work hard for the common good and for the national interest." As one of his first moves Cameron appointed Nick Clegg
Nick Clegg
Nicholas William Peter "Nick" Clegg is a British Liberal Democrat politician who is currently the Deputy Prime Minister, Lord President of the Council and Minister for Constitutional and Political Reform in the coalition government of which David Cameron is the Prime Minister...

, the leader of the Liberal Democrats, as Deputy Prime Minister
Deputy Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
The Deputy Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is a senior member of the Cabinet of the United Kingdom. The office of the Deputy Prime Minister is not a permanent position, existing only at the discretion of the Prime Minister, who may appoint to other offices...

 on 11 May 2010. Between them, the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats control 363 seats in the House of Commons, with a majority of 76 seats. On 2 June 2010, when Cameron took his first session of Prime Minister's Questions
Prime Minister's Questions
Prime minister's questions is a constitutional convention in the United Kingdom that takes place every Wednesday during which the prime minister spends half an hour answering questions from members of parliament...

 (PMQs) as Prime Minister, he began by offering his support and condolences to those affected by the shootings in Cumbria.

On 5 February 2011, Cameron criticised the failure of 'state multiculturalism', in his first speech as PM on radicalisation and the causes of terrorism.

Self-description of views

Cameron describes himself as a "modern compassionate conservative" and has spoken of a need for a new style of politics, saying that he was "fed up with the Punch and Judy
Punch and Judy
Punch and Judy is a traditional, popular puppet show featuring the characters of Mr. Punch and his wife, Judy. The performance consists of a sequence of short scenes, each depicting an interaction between two characters, most typically the anarchic Punch and one other character...

 politics of Westminster
Parliament of the United Kingdom
The Parliament of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is the supreme legislative body in the United Kingdom, British Crown dependencies and British overseas territories, located in London...

". He has stated that he is "certainly a big Thatcher
Margaret Thatcher
Margaret Hilda Thatcher, Baroness Thatcher, was Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1979 to 1990...

 fan, but I don't know whether that makes me a Thatcherite." He has also claimed to be a "liberal Conservative", and "not a deeply ideological person." As Leader of the Opposition, Cameron stated that he did not intend to oppose the government as a matter of course, and would offer his support in areas of agreement. He has urged politicians to concentrate more on improving people's happiness and "general well-being", instead of focusing solely on "financial wealth". There have been claims that he described himself to journalists at a dinner during the leadership contest as the "heir to Blair". He believes that British Muslim
Muslim
A Muslim, also spelled Moslem, is an adherent of Islam, a monotheistic, Abrahamic religion based on the Quran, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God as revealed to prophet Muhammad. "Muslim" is the Arabic term for "submitter" .Muslims believe that God is one and incomparable...

s have a duty to integrate
Cultural assimilation
Cultural assimilation is a socio-political response to demographic multi-ethnicity that supports or promotes the assimilation of ethnic minorities into the dominant culture. The term assimilation is often used with regard to immigrants and various ethnic groups who have settled in a new land. New...

 into British culture, but notes that they find aspects such as high divorce rates and drug use uninspiring, and notes that "Not for the first time, I found myself thinking that it is mainstream Britain which needs to integrate more with the British Asian way of life, not the other way around."

Daniel Finkelstein
Daniel Finkelstein
Daniel Finkelstein OBE is a British journalist and former politician. He is the Executive Editor of The Times, where he's also Chief Leader Writer and a weekly political columnist.-Background:...

 has said of the period leading up to Cameron's election as leader of the Conservative party that "a small group of us (myself, David Cameron, George Osborne, Michael Gove
Michael Gove
Michael Andrew Gove, MP is a British politician, who currently serves as the Secretary of State for Education and as the Conservative Party Member of Parliament for the Surrey Heath constituency. He is also a published author and former journalist.Born in Edinburgh, Gove was raised in Aberdeen...

, Nick Boles, Nick Herbert
Nick Herbert
Nicholas Le Quesne "Nick" Herbert is a British Conservative Party politician and the Member of Parliament for Arundel and South Downs...

 I think, once or twice) used to meet up in the offices of Policy Exchange
Policy Exchange
Policy Exchange is a British conservative think tank based in London. The Daily Telegraph has described it as "the largest, but also the most influential think tank on the right"...

, eat pizza, and consider the future of the Conservative Party".

Cameron co-operated with Dylan Jones, giving him interviews and access, to enable him to produce the book Cameron on Cameron.

Parliamentary votes

In November 2001, Cameron voted to modify legislation allowing people detained at a police station to be fingerprinted and searched for an identifying birthmark to be applicable only in connection with a terrorism investigation. In March 2002, he voted against banning the hunting of wild mammals with dogs, being an occasional hunter himself. In April 2003, he voted against the introduction of a bill to ban smoking in restaurants. In June 2003, he voted against NHS Foundation Trusts. Also in 2003, he voted to keep the controversial Section 28
Section 28
Section 28 of the Local Government Act 1988 caused the controversial addition of Section 2A to the Local Government Act 1986 , enacted on 24 May 1988 and repealed on 21 June 2000 in Scotland, and on 18 November 2003 in the rest of Great Britain by section 122 of the Local Government Act 2003...

 clause.

In March 2003, he voted against a motion that the case had not yet been made for the Iraq War, and then supported using "all means necessary to ensure the disarmament of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction
Weapons of mass destruction
A weapon of mass destruction is a weapon that can kill and bring significant harm to a large number of humans and/or cause great damage to man-made structures , natural structures , or the biosphere in general...

". In October 2003, however, he voted in favour of setting up a judicial inquiry into the Iraq War. In October 2004, he voted in favour of the Civil Partnership Bill. In February 2005, he voted in favour of changing the text in the Prevention of Terrorism Bill from "The Secretary of State may make a control order
Control order
A control order is an order made by the Home Secretary of the United Kingdom to restrict an individual's liberty for the purpose of "protecting members of the public from a risk of terrorism". Its definition and power were provided by Parliament in the Prevention of Terrorism Act 2005...

 against an individual" to "The Secretary of State may apply to the court for a control order ..." In October 2005, he voted against the Identity Cards Bill.

Criticism of other parties and politicians

Cameron criticised Gordon Brown
Gordon Brown
James Gordon Brown is a British Labour Party politician who was the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and Leader of the Labour Party from 2007 until 2010. He previously served as Chancellor of the Exchequer in the Labour Government from 1997 to 2007...

 (when Brown was Chancellor of the Exchequer
Chancellor of the Exchequer
The Chancellor of the Exchequer is the title held by the British Cabinet minister who is responsible for all economic and financial matters. Often simply called the Chancellor, the office-holder controls HM Treasury and plays a role akin to the posts of Minister of Finance or Secretary of the...

) for being "an analogue politician in a digital age" and referred to him as "the roadblock to reform". He has also said that John Prescott
John Prescott
John Leslie Prescott, Baron Prescott is a British politician who was Deputy Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1997 to 2007. Born in Prestatyn, Wales, he represented Hull East as the Labour Member of Parliament from 1970 to 2010...

 "clearly looks a fool" in light of allegations of ministerial misconduct. During a speech to the Ethnic Media Conference on 29 November 2006, Cameron also described Ken Livingstone
Ken Livingstone
Kenneth Robert "Ken" Livingstone is an English politician who is currently a member of the centrist to centre-left Labour Party...

, the Mayor of London
Mayor of London
The Mayor of London is an elected politician who, along with the London Assembly of 25 members, is accountable for the strategic government of Greater London. Conservative Boris Johnson has held the position since 4 May 2008...

, as an "ageing far left
Left-wing politics
In politics, Left, left-wing and leftist generally refer to support for social change to create a more egalitarian society...

 politician" in reference to Livingstone's views on multiculturalism
Multiculturalism
Multiculturalism is the appreciation, acceptance or promotion of multiple cultures, applied to the demographic make-up of a specific place, usually at the organizational level, e.g...

.

Since becoming prime minister, he has reacted to press reports that Brown could be the next head of the International Monetary Fund
International Monetary Fund
The International Monetary Fund is an organization of 187 countries, working to foster global monetary cooperation, secure financial stability, facilitate international trade, promote high employment and sustainable economic growth, and reduce poverty around the world...

 by hinting that he may block Brown from being appointed to the role, citing the huge national debt that Brown left the country with as a reason for Brown not being suitable for the role.

Cameron has accused the United Kingdom Independence Party
United Kingdom Independence Party
The United Kingdom Independence Party is a eurosceptic and right-wing populist political party in the United Kingdom. Whilst its primary goal is the UK's withdrawal from the European Union, the party has expanded beyond its single-issue image to develop a more comprehensive party platform.UKIP...

 of being "fruitcakes, loonies and closet racists, mostly," leading UKIP leader Nigel Farage
Nigel Farage
Nigel Paul Farage MEP , a position he previously held from September 2006 to November 2009. He is a current Member of the European Parliament for South East England and co-chairs the Eurosceptic Europe of Freedom and Democracy group....

 to demand an apology for the remarks. Right-wing Conservative MP Bob Spink
Bob Spink
Robert Michael Spink is a politician in the United Kingdom. He was elected as the Conservative Party Member of Parliament for Castle Point in Essex in 1992, lost his seat in 1997, but regained it in 2001...

, who later defected to UKIP, also criticised the remarks, as did the Daily Telegraph.

Cameron was seen encouraging Conservative MPs to join the standing ovation
Standing ovation
A standing ovation is a form of applause where members of a seated audience stand up while applauding after extraordinary performances of particularly high acclaim...

 given to Tony Blair at the end of his last Prime Minister's Question Time; he had paid tribute to the "huge efforts" Blair had made and said Blair had "considerable achievements to his credit, whether it is peace in Northern Ireland or his work in the developing world, which will endure".

In 2006, Cameron made a speech in which he described extremist Islamic organisations and the British National Party
British National Party
The British National Party is a British far-right political party formed as a splinter group from the National Front by John Tyndall in 1982...

 as "mirror images" to each other, both preaching "creeds of pure hatred". Cameron is listed as being a supporter of Unite Against Fascism
Unite Against Fascism
Unite Against Fascism is an anti-fascist pressure group in the United Kingdom, with support from politicians of all mainstream UK political parties...

.

Cameron, in late 2009, urged the Lib Dems to join the Conservatives in a new "national movement" arguing there was "barely a cigarette paper" between them on a large number of issues. The invitation was rejected by the Liberal Democrat leader, Nick Clegg
Nick Clegg
Nicholas William Peter "Nick" Clegg is a British Liberal Democrat politician who is currently the Deputy Prime Minister, Lord President of the Council and Minister for Constitutional and Political Reform in the coalition government of which David Cameron is the Prime Minister...

, who attacked Cameron at the start of his party's annual conference in Bournemouth, saying that the Conservatives were totally different from his party and that the Lib Dems were the true "progressives" in UK politics.

Allegations of social elitism

While Leader of the Conservative Party, Cameron has been accused of reliance on "old-boy networks" and attacked by his party for the imposition of selective shortlists of prospective parliamentary candidate
Prospective parliamentary candidate
Prospective parliamentary candidate is a term used in British politics to refer to candidates selected by political parties to fight individual constituencies in advance of a general election. This terminology was motivated by the strict limits on the amount of expenses incurred by an actual...

s.

The Guardian
The Guardian
The Guardian, formerly known as The Manchester Guardian , is a British national daily newspaper in the Berliner format...

 has accused Cameron of relying on "the most prestigious of old-boy networks in his attempt to return the Tories
Tory
Toryism is a traditionalist and conservative political philosophy which grew out of the Cavalier faction in the Wars of the Three Kingdoms. It is a prominent ideology in the politics of the United Kingdom, but also features in parts of The Commonwealth, particularly in Canada...

 to power", pointing out that three members of his shadow cabinet
Shadow Cabinet
The Shadow Cabinet is a senior group of opposition spokespeople in the Westminster system of government who together under the leadership of the Leader of the Opposition form an alternative cabinet to the government's, whose members shadow or mark each individual member of the government...

 and 15 members of his front bench
Frontbencher
In many parliaments and other similar assemblies, seating is typically arranged in banks or rows, with each political party or caucus grouped together. The spokespeople for each group will often sit at the front of their group, and are then known as being on the frontbench and are described as...

 team were "Old Etonians". Similarly, The Sunday Times
The Sunday Times (UK)
The Sunday Times is a Sunday broadsheet newspaper, distributed in the United Kingdom. The Sunday Times is published by Times Newspapers Ltd, a subsidiary of News International, which is in turn owned by News Corporation. Times Newspapers also owns The Times, but the two papers were founded...

 has commented that "David Cameron has more Etonians
Eton College
Eton College, often referred to simply as Eton, is a British independent school for boys aged 13 to 18. It was founded in 1440 by King Henry VI as "The King's College of Our Lady of Eton besides Wyndsor"....

 around him than any leader since Macmillan
Harold Macmillan
Maurice Harold Macmillan, 1st Earl of Stockton, OM, PC was Conservative Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 10 January 1957 to 18 October 1963....

" and asked whether he can "represent Britain from such a narrow base." Former Labour cabinet minister Hazel Blears
Hazel Blears
Hazel Anne Blears is a British Labour Party politician, who has been the Member of Parliament for Salford and Eccles since 2010 and was previously the MP for Salford since 1997...

 has said of Cameron, "You have to wonder about a man who surrounds himself with so many people who went to the same school. I'm pretty sure I don't want 21st-century Britain run by people who went to just one school."

Some supporters of the party have accused Cameron's government for cronyism
Cronyism
Cronyism is partiality to long-standing friends, especially by appointing them to positions of authority, regardless of their qualifications. Hence, cronyism is contrary in practice and principle to meritocracy....

 on the front benches
Frontbencher
In many parliaments and other similar assemblies, seating is typically arranged in banks or rows, with each political party or caucus grouped together. The spokespeople for each group will often sit at the front of their group, and are then known as being on the frontbench and are described as...

, with Sir Tom Cowie
Tom Cowie
Sir Tom Cowie OBE is the honorary Life President of the Arriva Group, formerly known as Cowie Group plc.-Cowie Group:Sir Tom's father, T.S. Cowie headed a business, T. Cowie Ltd, which repaired and sold cycles in Matamba Terrace, Sunderland but this business ceased to exist in the early years of...

, working-class founder of Arriva
Arriva
Arriva plc is a multinational public transport company owned by Deutsche Bahn and headquartered in Sunderland, United Kingdom. It has bus, coach, train, tram and waterbus operations in 12 countries across Europe, employs more than 47,500 people and services over 1.5 billion passenger journeys each...

 and former Conservative donor, ceasing his donations in August 2007 due to disillusionment with Cameron's leadership, saying, "the Tory party seems to be run now by Old Etonians and they don't seem to understand how other people live." In reply, Shadow Foreign Secretary William Hague
William Hague
William Jefferson Hague is the British Foreign Secretary and First Secretary of State. He served as Leader of the Conservative Party from June 1997 to September 2001...

 said when a party was changing, "there will always be people who are uncomfortable with that process".

In a response to Cameron at Prime Minister's Questions
Prime Minister's Questions
Prime minister's questions is a constitutional convention in the United Kingdom that takes place every Wednesday during which the prime minister spends half an hour answering questions from members of parliament...

 in December 2009, Gordon Brown
Gordon Brown
James Gordon Brown is a British Labour Party politician who was the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and Leader of the Labour Party from 2007 until 2010. He previously served as Chancellor of the Exchequer in the Labour Government from 1997 to 2007...

 addressed the Conservative Party's inheritance tax
Inheritance tax
An inheritance tax or estate tax is a levy paid by a person who inherits money or property or a tax on the estate of a person who has died...

 policy, saying it "seems to have been dreamed up on the playing fields of Eton". This led to open discussion of "class war
Class conflict
Class conflict is the tension or antagonism which exists in society due to competing socioeconomic interests between people of different classes....

" by the mainstream media and leading politicians of both major parties, with speculation that the 2010 general election campaign would see the Labour Party highlight the backgrounds of senior Conservative politicians.

Raising teaching standards

At the launch of the Conservative Party's education manifesto
Manifesto
A manifesto is a public declaration of principles and intentions, often political in nature. Manifestos relating to religious belief are generally referred to as creeds. Manifestos may also be life stance-related.-Etymology:...

 in January 2010, Cameron declared an admiration for the "brazenly elitist" approach to education of countries such as Singapore
Singapore
Singapore , officially the Republic of Singapore, is a Southeast Asian city-state off the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula, north of the equator. An island country made up of 63 islands, it is separated from Malaysia by the Straits of Johor to its north and from Indonesia's Riau Islands by the...

 and South Korea
South Korea
The Republic of Korea , , is a sovereign state in East Asia, located on the southern portion of the Korean Peninsula. It is neighbored by the People's Republic of China to the west, Japan to the east, North Korea to the north, and the East China Sea and Republic of China to the south...

 and expressed a desire to "elevate the status of teaching in our country". He suggested the adoption of more stringent criteria for entry to teaching and offered repayment of the loans of maths and science graduates obtaining first or 2.1 degrees from "good" universities. Wes Streeting, president of the National Union of Students, said "The message that the Conservatives are sending to the majority of students is that if you didn't go to a university attended by members of the Shadow Cabinet, they don't believe you're worth as much." In response to the manifesto as a whole, Chris Keates, head of teaching union NASUWT, said teachers would be left "shocked, dismayed and demoralised" and warned of the potential for strikes
Strike action
Strike action, also called labour strike, on strike, greve , or simply strike, is a work stoppage caused by the mass refusal of employees to work. A strike usually takes place in response to employee grievances. Strikes became important during the industrial revolution, when mass labour became...

 as a result.

South Africa

In April 2009, The Independent
The Independent
The Independent is a British national morning newspaper published in London by Independent Print Limited, owned by Alexander Lebedev since 2010. It is nicknamed the Indy, while the Sunday edition, The Independent on Sunday, is the Sindy. Launched in 1986, it is one of the youngest UK national daily...

 reported that in 1989, while Nelson Mandela
Nelson Mandela
Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela served as President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999, and was the first South African president to be elected in a fully representative democratic election. Before his presidency, Mandela was an anti-apartheid activist, and the leader of Umkhonto we Sizwe, the armed wing...

 remained imprisoned under the apartheid regime, David Cameron had accepted a trip to South Africa paid for by an anti-sanctions lobby firm. A spokesperson for Cameron responded by saying that the Conservative Party was at that time opposed to sanctions
Economic sanctions
Economic sanctions are domestic penalties applied by one country on another for a variety of reasons. Economic sanctions include, but are not limited to, tariffs, trade barriers, import duties, and import or export quotas...

 against South Africa and that his trip was a fact-finding mission. However, the newspaper reported that Cameron's then superior at Conservative Research Department called the trip "jolly", saying that "it was all terribly relaxed, just a little treat, a perk of the job. The Botha regime was attempting to make itself look less horrible, but I don't regard it as having been of the faintest political consequence." Cameron distanced himself from his party's history of opposing sanctions against the regime. He was criticised by Labour MP Peter Hain
Peter Hain
Peter Gerald Hain is a British Labour Party politician, who has been the Member of Parliament for the Welsh constituency of Neath since 1991, and has served in the Cabinets of both Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, firstly as Leader of the House of Commons under Blair and both Secretary of State for...

, himself an anti-apartheid campaigner.

Turkey and Israel

In a speech in Ankara
Ankara
Ankara is the capital of Turkey and the country's second largest city after Istanbul. The city has a mean elevation of , and as of 2010 the metropolitan area in the entire Ankara Province had a population of 4.4 million....

 in July 2010, Cameron stated unequivocally his support for Turkey's accession to the EU, citing economic, security and political considerations, and claimed that those who opposed Turkish membership were driven by "protectionism, narrow nationalism or prejudice". In that speech, he was also critical of Israeli action during the Gaza flotilla raid
Gaza flotilla raid
The Gaza flotilla raid was a military operation by Israel against six ships of the "Gaza Freedom Flotilla" on 31 May 2010 in international waters of the Mediterranean Sea...

 and its Gaza policy, and repeated his opinion that Israel had turned Gaza into a "prison camp", having previously referred to Gaza as "a giant open prison". These views were met with mixed reactions.

At the end of May 2011, Cameron stepped down as patron of the Jewish National Fund
Jewish National Fund
The Jewish National Fund was founded in 1901 to buy and develop land in Ottoman Palestine for Jewish settlement. The JNF is a quasi-governmental, non-profit organisation...

 the first British prime minister not to be patron of the charity in the 110 years of its existence.

Allegations of recreational drug use

During the leadership election, allegations were made that Cameron had used cannabis
Cannabis (drug)
Cannabis, also known as marijuana among many other names, refers to any number of preparations of the Cannabis plant intended for use as a psychoactive drug or for medicinal purposes. The English term marijuana comes from the Mexican Spanish word marihuana...

 and cocaine
Cocaine
Cocaine is a crystalline tropane alkaloid that is obtained from the leaves of the coca plant. The name comes from "coca" in addition to the alkaloid suffix -ine, forming cocaine. It is a stimulant of the central nervous system, an appetite suppressant, and a topical anesthetic...

 recreationally before becoming an MP. Pressed on this point during the BBC programme Question Time, Cameron expressed the view that everybody was allowed to "err and stray" in their past. During his 2005 Conservative leadership campaign he addressed the question of drug consumption by remarking that "I did lots of things before I came into politics which I shouldn't have done. We all did."

Cameron and Andy Coulson

In 2007 Cameron appointed Andy Coulson
Andy Coulson
Andrew Edward Coulson is an English journalist and political strategist.Coulson was the editor of the News of the World from 2003 until his resignation in 2007, following the conviction of one of the newspaper's reporters in relation to illegal phone-hacking.He subsequently joined David Cameron's...

, former editor of the News of the World
News of the World
The News of the World was a national red top newspaper published in the United Kingdom from 1843 to 2011. It was at one time the biggest selling English language newspaper in the world, and at closure still had one of the highest English language circulations...

 as his director of communications. Coulson had resigned as the paper's editor following the conviction of a reporter in relation to illegal phone hacking
News of the World phone hacking affair
The News International phone-hacking scandal is an ongoing controversy involving mainly the News of the World but also other British tabloid newspapers published by News International, a subsidiary of News Corporation. Employees of the newspaper were accused of engaging in phone hacking, police...

, although stating that he knew nothing about it. In June 2010 Downing Street
Downing Street
Downing Street in London, England has for over two hundred years housed the official residences of two of the most senior British cabinet ministers: the First Lord of the Treasury, an office now synonymous with that of Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, and the Second Lord of the Treasury, an...

 confirmed Coulson's annual salary as £140,000, the highest pay of any special adviser to UK Government. In January 2011 Coulson left his post, saying coverage of the phone hacking scandal was making it difficult to give his best to the job. In July 2011 he was arrested and questioned by police in connection with further allegations of illegal activities at the News of the World, and released on bail. Despite a call to apologise for hiring Coulson by the leader of the opposition Ed Miliband
Ed Miliband
Edward Samuel Miliband is a British Labour Party politician, currently the Leader of the Labour Party and Leader of the Opposition...

, Cameron defended the appointment, saying that he had taken a conscious choice to give someone who had screwed up a second chance. On 20 July, in a special parliamentary session at the House of Commons
House of Commons of England
The House of Commons of England was the lower house of the Parliament of England from its development in the 14th century to the union of England and Scotland in 1707, when it was replaced by the House of Commons of Great Britain...

, arranged to discuss the News of the World phone hacking scandal, Cameron said that he "regretted the furore" that had resulted from his appointment of Coulson, and that "with hindsight" he would not have hired him.

Standing in opinion polls

In the first month of Cameron's leadership, the Conservative Party's standing in opinion polls rose, with several pollsters placing it ahead of the ruling Labour Party
Labour Party (UK)
The Labour Party is a centre-left democratic socialist party in the United Kingdom. It surpassed the Liberal Party in general elections during the early 1920s, forming minority governments under Ramsay MacDonald in 1924 and 1929-1931. The party was in a wartime coalition from 1940 to 1945, after...

. While the Conservative and Labour Parties drew even in early spring 2006, following the May 2006 local elections
United Kingdom local elections, 2006
Local government elections took place in England on Thursday 4 May 2006. Polling stations were open between 7:00 and 22:00.All London borough council seats were up for election, as well as a third of the seats on each of the metropolitan borough councils, and a third of some unitary authorities...

 various polls once again generally showed Conservative leads.

When Gordon Brown
Gordon Brown
James Gordon Brown is a British Labour Party politician who was the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and Leader of the Labour Party from 2007 until 2010. He previously served as Chancellor of the Exchequer in the Labour Government from 1997 to 2007...

 became Prime Minister
Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is the Head of Her Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom. The Prime Minister and Cabinet are collectively accountable for their policies and actions to the Sovereign, to Parliament, to their political party and...

 on 27 June 2007, Labour moved ahead and its ratings grew steadily at Cameron's expense, an ICM poll in July showing Labour with a seven point lead in the wake of controversies over his policies. An ICM poll in September saw Cameron rated the least popular of the three main party leaders. A YouGov
YouGov
YouGov, formerly known as PollingPoint in the United States, is an international internet-based market research firm launched in the UK in May 2000 by Stephan Shakespeare, now Chief Executive Officer, and Nadhim Zahawi...

 poll for Channel 4 one week later, after the Labour Party Conference, extended the Labour lead to 11 points, prompting further speculation of an early election.

Following the Conservative Party Conference in the first week of October 2007, the Conservatives drew level with Labour When Brown declared he would not call an election for the autumn, a decline in his and Labour's standings followed. At the end of the year a series of polls showed improved support for the Conservatives giving them an 11 point lead over Labour. This decreased slightly in early 2008, and in March the Conservatives had their largest lead in opinion polls since October 1987, at 16 points. In May 2008, following the worst local election performance from the Labour Party in 40 years, the Conservative lead was up to 26 points, the largest since 1968.

In December 2008, a ComRes
ComRes
ComRes is a polling and research consultancy with British origins. The company has its registered company headquarters in London, United Kingdom and also has offices in Brussels, Edinburgh and Cardiff...

 poll showed the Conservative lead had decreased dramatically though by February 2009 it had recovered to reach 12 points.
A period of relative stability in the polls was broken in mid-December 2009 and by January 2010 some polls were predicting a hung parliament
Hung parliament
In a two-party parliamentary system of government, a hung parliament occurs when neither major political party has an absolute majority of seats in the parliament . It is also less commonly known as a balanced parliament or a legislature under no overall control...



A YouGov
YouGov
YouGov, formerly known as PollingPoint in the United States, is an international internet-based market research firm launched in the UK in May 2000 by Stephan Shakespeare, now Chief Executive Officer, and Nadhim Zahawi...

 poll on party leaders conducted on 9–10 June 2011 found 44% of the electorate thought he was doing well and 50% thought he was doing badly, whilst 38% thought he would be the best PM, 23% preferred Ed Miliband
Ed Miliband
Edward Samuel Miliband is a British Labour Party politician, currently the Leader of the Labour Party and Leader of the Opposition...

 and 35% didn't know.

Personal life

Cameron married Samantha Gwendoline Sheffield
Samantha Cameron
Samantha Gwendoline Cameron , often known simply as "Sam Cam", is a British business executive and wife of David Cameron, the current Conservative Party leader and Prime Minister of the United Kingdom....

, the daughter of Sir Reginald Adrian Berkeley Sheffield, 8th Baronet
Sheffield Baronets
The Sheffield Baronetcy, of Normanby in the County of Lincoln, is a title in the Baronetage of Great Britain. It was created on 1 March 1755 for Charles Herbert Sheffield, the illegitimate son of John Sheffield, 1st Duke of Buckingham and Normanby....

 and Annabel Lucy Veronica Jones (now The Viscountess Astor
Annabel Astor, Viscountess Astor
Annabel Lucy Veronica Astor, Viscountess Astor is an English businesswoman who is the CEO of OKA Direct, a home furnishings design company...

), on 1 June 1996 at the Church of St Augustine of Canterbury, East Hendred
East Hendred
East Hendred is a village and civil parish in the English county of Oxfordshire, about east of Wantage in the Vale of White Horse and a similar distance west of Didcot. In 1974 it was transferred from Berkshire....

, Oxfordshire
Oxfordshire
Oxfordshire is a county in the South East region of England, bordering on Warwickshire and Northamptonshire , Buckinghamshire , Berkshire , Wiltshire and Gloucestershire ....

. The Camerons have had four children. Their first child, Ivan Reginald Ian, was born on 8 April 2002 in Hammersmith and Fulham
London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham
The London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham is a London borough in West London, and forms part of Inner London. Traversed by the east-west main roads of the A4 Great West Road and the A40 Westway, many international corporations have offices in the borough....

, London, with a rare combination of cerebral palsy
Cerebral palsy
Cerebral palsy is an umbrella term encompassing a group of non-progressive, non-contagious motor conditions that cause physical disability in human development, chiefly in the various areas of body movement....

 and a form of severe epilepsy
Epilepsy
Epilepsy is a common chronic neurological disorder characterized by seizures. These seizures are transient signs and/or symptoms of abnormal, excessive or hypersynchronous neuronal activity in the brain.About 50 million people worldwide have epilepsy, and nearly two out of every three new cases...

 called Ohtahara syndrome
Ohtahara syndrome
Ohtahara syndrome , also known as Early Infantile Epileptic Encephalopathy with Burst-Suppression , is a progressive epileptic encephalopathy. The syndrome is outwardly characterized by tonic spasms and partial seizures, and receives its more elaborate name from the pattern of burst activity on an...

, requiring round-the-clock care. Recalling the receipt of this news, Cameron is quoted as saying: "The news hits you like a freight train
Freight train
A freight train or goods train is a group of freight cars or goods wagons hauled by one or more locomotives on a railway, ultimately transporting cargo between two points as part of the logistics chain...

... You are depressed for a while because you are grieving for the difference between your hopes and the reality. But then you get over that, because he's wonderful." Ivan died at St Mary's Hospital, Paddington
Paddington
Paddington is a district within the City of Westminster, in central London, England. Formerly a metropolitan borough, it was integrated with Westminster and Greater London in 1965...

, London, on 25 February 2009, aged six.
David and Samantha Cameron have two daughters, Nancy Gwen (born 2004), and Florence Rose Endellion (born 24 August 2010), and a son, Arthur Elwen (born 2006). Cameron took paternity leave when his second son was born, and this decision received broad coverage. It was also stated that Cameron would be taking paternity leave after his second daughter was born. His second daughter, Florence Rose Endellion, was born on 24 August 2010, three weeks prematurely, while the family was on holiday in Cornwall
Cornwall
Cornwall is a unitary authority and ceremonial county of England, within the United Kingdom. It is bordered to the north and west by the Celtic Sea, to the south by the English Channel, and to the east by the county of Devon, over the River Tamar. Cornwall has a population of , and covers an area of...

. Her third given name, Endellion, is taken from the village of St Endellion
St Endellion
St Endellion is a civil parish and village in north Cornwall, England, United Kingdom. The village and parish church are situated four miles north of Wadebridge....

 near where the Camerons were holidaying.

A Daily Mail
Daily Mail
The Daily Mail is a British daily middle-market tabloid newspaper owned by the Daily Mail and General Trust. First published in 1896 by Lord Northcliffe, it is the United Kingdom's second biggest-selling daily newspaper after The Sun. Its sister paper The Mail on Sunday was launched in 1982...

 article from June 2007 quoted Sunday Times Rich List
Sunday Times Rich List
The Sunday Times Rich List is a list of the 1,000 wealthiest people or families in the United Kingdom, updated annually in April and published as a magazine supplement by British national Sunday newspaper The Sunday Times since 1989...

 compiler Philip Beresford
Philip Beresford
Philip Beresford is well-known as the compiler of the Sunday Times Rich List, compiled in January every year featuring the richest 100 people in the United Kingdom. He also does many interviews and new stories with many influential people. He is known as an expert on charitable giving by the...

, who had valued the Conservative
Conservative Party (UK)
The Conservative Party, formally the Conservative and Unionist Party, is a centre-right political party in the United Kingdom that adheres to the philosophies of conservatism and British unionism. It is the largest political party in the UK, and is currently the largest single party in the House...

 Leader for the first time, as saying: "I put the combined family wealth of David and Samantha Cameron at £30 million plus. Both sides of the family are extremely wealthy." Another estimate is , though this figure excludes the million-pound legacies Cameron is expected to inherit from both sides of his family.

In early May 2008, David Cameron decided to enroll his daughter Nancy at a State school. The Camerons had been attending its associated church, which is nearby the Cameron family home in North Kensington
North Kensington
North Kensington is an area of west London lying north of Notting Hill Gate and south of Harrow Road.North Kensington is the key neighbourhood of Notting Hill...

, for three years.

On 8 September 2010 it was announced that Cameron would miss Prime Minister's Questions
Prime Minister's Questions
Prime minister's questions is a constitutional convention in the United Kingdom that takes place every Wednesday during which the prime minister spends half an hour answering questions from members of parliament...

 in order to fly to southern France
Southern France
Southern France , colloquially known as le Midi is defined geographical area consisting of the regions of France that border the Atlantic Ocean south of the Gironde, Spain, the Mediterranean, and Italy...

 to see his father, Ian Cameron, who had suffered a stroke
Stroke
A stroke, previously known medically as a cerebrovascular accident , is the rapidly developing loss of brain function due to disturbance in the blood supply to the brain. This can be due to ischemia caused by blockage , or a hemorrhage...

 with coronary complications. Later that day, with David and other family members at his bedside, Ian died. On 17 September 2010, Cameron attended a private ceremony for the funeral of his father in Berkshire
Berkshire
Berkshire is a historic county in the South of England. It is also often referred to as the Royal County of Berkshire because of the presence of the royal residence of Windsor Castle in the county; this usage, which dates to the 19th century at least, was recognised by the Queen in 1957, and...

, which prevented him from hearing the address of The Pope
Pope Benedict XVI
Benedict XVI is the 265th and current Pope, by virtue of his office of Bishop of Rome, the Sovereign of the Vatican City State and the leader of the Catholic Church as well as the other 22 sui iuris Eastern Catholic Churches in full communion with the Holy See...

 to Westminster Hall, an occasion he would otherwise have attended.

Cameron supports Aston Villa Football Club
Aston Villa F.C.
Aston Villa Football Club is an English professional association football club based in Witton, Birmingham. The club was founded in 1874 and have played at their current home ground, Villa Park, since 1897. Aston Villa were founder members of The Football League in 1888. They were also founder...

. He also owns a cat, Larry
Larry (cat)
Larry is the name of the current 10 Downing Street cat popularly known as the Chief Mouser to the Cabinet Office.A brown tabby, believed to be between three and five years old, Larry is a rescue cat from the Battersea Dogs and Cats Home and was chosen by Downing Street staff...

, who lives at 10 Downing Street.

Cycling

He regularly uses his bicycle to commute to work. In early 2006 he was photographed cycling to work followed by his driver in a car carrying his belongings. His Conservative Party spokesperson subsequently said that this was a regular arrangement for Cameron at the time. Cameron's bicycle was stolen in May 2009 while he was shopping. It was recovered with the aid of The Sunday Mirror. His bicycle has since been stolen again from near his house. He is an occasional jogger and has raised funds for charities by taking part in the Oxford 5K and the Great Brook Run
Great Brook Run
The Great Brook Run is an annual mile-long cross country run which takes place on 27 December in Chadlington, Oxfordshire, England. It is a fun run event for charity and all proceeds go to The Friends of Chadlington School, a charitable group which supports the local primary school...

.

Faith

Speaking of his religious beliefs, Cameron has said: "I've a sort of fairly classic Church of England
Church of England
The Church of England is the officially established Christian church in England and the Mother Church of the worldwide Anglican Communion. The church considers itself within the tradition of Western Christianity and dates its formal establishment principally to the mission to England by St...

 faith". He states that his politics "is not faith-driven", adding: "I am a Christian
Christian
A Christian is a person who adheres to Christianity, an Abrahamic, monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth as recorded in the Canonical gospels and the letters of the New Testament...

, I go to church, I believe in God, but I do not have a direct line." On religious faith in general he has said: "I do think that organised religion can get things wrong but the Church of England and the other churches do play a very important role in society."

Questioned as to whether his faith had ever been tested, Cameron spoke of the birth of his severely disabled eldest son, saying: "You ask yourself, 'If there is a God, why can anything like this happen?'" He went on to state that in some ways the experience had "strengthened" his beliefs.

Styles

  • David Cameron Esq (1966–2001)
  • David Cameron Esq MP (2001–2005)
  • The Rt Hon David Cameron MP (2005–)

Ancestry

Among Cameron's ancestors is King William IV
William IV of the United Kingdom
William IV was King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and of Hanover from 26 June 1830 until his death...

, who is his 5-times great-grandfather through an illegitimate daughter who was the mother of Agnes Duff, Countess Fife
Earl Fife
The title Earl Fife was created in the Peerage of Ireland in 1759 for the 1st Baron Braco, and though in the Irish Peerage it referred to Fife in Scotland. The 1st Earl had been created Baron Braco, of Kilbryde in the County of Cavan, in 1735, and was created Viscount Macduff at the same time as...

, who is shown in the ancestry chart below.



External links

  • David Cameron official website
  • David Cameron official Conservative Party profile
  • Number 10 Official Number 10 website
  • David Cameron collected news and commentary at The Telegraph
    The Daily Telegraph
    The Daily Telegraph is a daily morning broadsheet newspaper distributed throughout the United Kingdom and internationally. The newspaper was founded by Arthur B...

  • The David Cameron story, Brian Wheeler, BBC News
    BBC News
    BBC News is the department of the British Broadcasting Corporation responsible for the gathering and broadcasting of news and current affairs. The department is the world's largest broadcast news organisation and generates about 120 hours of radio and television output each day, as well as online...

    , 6 December 2005
The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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