|75th Prime Minister of the United Kingdom|
|Term of office|
May 11 2010 - present
|Political party||Conservative Party|
|Preceded by||Gordon Brown|
|Born|| October 6, 1966 |
|Religion||Church of England|
David Cameron, born 9 October 1966, is the current Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and leader of the British Conservative Party (a centre-right political group). Following the May 2010 election, the Conservatives won the most seats but were short of a majority, resulting in a hung parliament. Labour Leader Gordon Brown resigned, and Cameron was appointed Prime Minister, leading a Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition government.
Cameron was born in London, but spent his early years near Wantage in Oxfordshire, England, though his family's roots lie in Inverness, Scotland, and "Cameron" is well known in Britain as a Scottish name.
Cameron was educated at Eton, Britain's most prestigious public school (a "public school" in the UK referring to a privately run institution, as opposed to a "state school"), and at Brasenose College, Oxford, Britain's most ancient and prestigious university.
Cameron is self-described as "upper middle class", though his bloodline is noble, and he is a direct descendent of William IV, and thus a distant cousin of HRH Queen Elizabeth II. His family has historically been involved in finance and banking, with his great great grandfather being head of HSBC in the late 19th century, and worked alongside the Rothschilds to finance the Russo-Japanese war.
Cameron's leadership and indeed his own party are supported by businesses, as opposed to the liberal, socialist aligned Labour Party, led by Ed Miliband; which is funded and largely controlled by the trade unions. Many intervening leaders have been middle-class (Edward Heath, Margaret Thatcher) or even working-class (John Major).
Cameron's reluctance to discuss his past, citing the right to a private life before politics has led to class-based attacks on his education and ancestry from a small proportion of left-wing media sources and opposition members of Parliament.
He has been married to Samantha since 1996. She is of direct noble bloodline, the daughter of 8th Baronet Sheffield, and a descendent of Charles II. They have two sons and a daughter. Their eldest son, Ivan Cameron, died on February 25, 2009.
Cameron's pre-parliamentary career included spells as a staffer for controversial Conservative politician Norman Lamont and as a PR executive.
Cameron was elected to Parliament as MP for Witney in Oxfordshire at the 2001 general election.
In late June 2007, at the end of then-Prime Minister Tony Blair's final Prime Minister's Questions session in the House of Commons, David Cameron led his opposition party in giving the outgoing leader a standing ovation.
Cameron has attempted to move the Conservative party towards what is perceived by some to be the centre ground of British politics. While the party under his leadership has expressed support for some traditional elements of Conservative policy, such as the importance of the family, Cameron has also expressed a passionate concern about global warming. He has suggested a move towards privatization within the strongly-socialist National Health Service, in an attempt to combat the economic failures resulting from the flawed socialist ideas upon which the organisation is based. Designed and originated by the leftist Labour Party, the organisation is notorious for its bureaucracy and the failure of its left-wing values in an economic sense.
Some traditional Conservatives, particularly those on the Thatcherite wing of the party, have criticized Cameron for moving the party too far to the left. They point to surveys showing that many voters feel they no longer know what the Conservative Party stands for. However, he has stated that he is "certainly a big Thatcher fan, but I don't know whether that makes me a Thatcherite." He has also described himself as a "liberal Conservative" (though "liberal" in British English does not have the same meaning as in the United States, and instead has the meaning of "centrist," "moderate" or "libertarian"). Some have gone so far as to claim that true conservatism is today represented in Britain not by the Conservative Party but by the UK Independence Party. On the other hand, the approval ratings of Cameron and his party continue to compare very favourably with those of the Labour Party and its leadership, which is undoubtedly unpopular.
Cameron has said: "My aim is to promote social justice, making sure that everyone has access to good schools, good healthcare and decent housing, take a lead in ending global poverty and do all we can to meet the great environmental threats of our age." Some conservative politicians and commentators, notably Norman Tebbit, have criticised him for prioritising issues of the environment and social justice over more traditionally Conservative policy areas, such as tax, immigration and foreign relations. Tebbit said: "Is he the party's Chairman Mao or Pol Pot, intent on purging even the memory and name of Thatcherism before building a new modern compassionate green globally aware party somewhere on the left side of the middle?" However, Cameron has responded extensively to such criticisms by pointing out that the economic and social problems faced by modern-day Britain are radically different from those faced in the past; he has argued that the Conservative Party needs to re-take the centre ground of politics from the Labour Party. He argued: "The change is not a betrayal. It is a recognition that the challenges faced by Britain are not the challenges of the 1970s. Social justice and economic efficiency are the common ground of British politics. We have to find the means of succeeding where the government has failed."
- BBC News - Cameron's 'beautiful boy' dies
- Tony Blair steps down to standing ovation - Daily Telegraph, June 27, 2007
- "Cameron: Tories need new identity", BBC News Online, 17 November 2005, accessed 6 November 2006
- Andrew Rawnsley, "'I'm not a deeply ideological person. I'm a practical one'", Guardian Unlimited, 18 December 2005, accessed 6 November 2006
- Tories must retake centre ground says Cameron, Guardian Unlimited, 31 January 2006
- Cameron denies 'betraying' Tories, BBC News, 30 January 2006