David Cameron is Britain's new Prime Minister
May 12 2010 by Jonathan Walker
DAVID Cameron is Britain’s new Prime Minister today after Gordon Brown announced he was quitting.
Speaking in Downing Street, Mr Cameron said he was forming a full coalition government with the Liberal Democrats, following an inconclusive election result which left the Tories as the largest party, but without a Commons majority.
He warned: “This is going to be hard and difficult work.
“The coalition will throw up all sorts of challenges, but I believe together we can provide that strong and stable government that our country needs, based on those values, rebuilding family, rebuilding community, above all, rebuilding responsibility in our country.”
And Mr Cameron pledged: “I want to make sure that my Government always looks after the elderly, the frail, the poorest in our country.”
Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg will play a key role in the new government as deputy Prime Minister.
Mr Brown, who also quit as Labour leader, tendered his resignation to the Queen after Labour’s attempts to form their own alliance with the Liberal Democrats broke down.
The 15-minute meeting at Buckingham Palace took place as Tories and Liberal Democrats were still thrashing out the fine print of a deal to give Mr Cameron the keys to Number 10. But as details emerged, it appeared Mr Cameron had agreed to postpone his party’s plans to cut inheritance tax and provide tax breaks for married couples.
Instead, he has agreed to adopt Liberal Democrat proposals to cut income tax for the lowest paid.
The new coalition government is expected to hold a referendum on changing the voting system – although Conservatives are expected to campaign for a “no” vote while Liberal Democrats will support reform. A coalition also means that five posts in Cameron’s Cabinet will be filled with Liberal Democrats, including Nick Clegg.
Birmingham Conservative MP Andrew Mitchell (Con Sutton Coldfield) said: “A full coalition will bring stability which is enormously important as we tackle the very difficult problems that the incoming Government is going to inherit.” But Labour MPs said they were ready to oppose the new government, under a new Labour leader. MP Khalid Mahmood (Lab Perry Barr) said: “The Conservative Party was the party with the most votes and they deserved the opportunity to form a Government.
“But we have seen the cuts and the damage the Conservative-Liberal partnership has caused in Birmingham and this is what we can expect across the country now.”
MP Richard Burden (Lab Northfield) said: “We will need to defend people in constituencies like mine from the effects of Tory policies.”
It was confirmed last night that William Hague will be Foreign Secretary in the new government while George Osborne will be Chancellor.
It is expected that Lib Dem Vince Cable will be appointed Mr Osborne’s number two as Chief Secretary to the Treasury.
Reports suggested Liberal Democrat David Laws will be made Schools Secretary and Tory Andrew Lansley Health Secretary. Tory Liam Fox was also reportedly given the post of Defence Secretary.
Announcing his resignation, Mr Brown said he had “loved the job, not for its prestige, its titles and its ceremony, which I do not love at all. No, I loved the job for its potential to make this country I love fairer, more tolerant, more green, more democratic, more prosperous, more just – truly a greater Britain.”
It marked the end of 13 years of Labour government in which Mr Brown played a leading role, first as Chancellor and then as Prime Minister. Mr Brown was also a key figure in transforming Labour during the 1990s alongside Tony Blair, creating the “New Labour” brand which went on to win three election victories.
Labour’s schools spokesman Ed Balls, a possible candidate for the party leadership, said talks with the Liberal Democrats had broken down after they called for swift spending cuts to reduce Britain’s deficit.