PM: I'll work to win back voters
Published 03/05/2013 | 15:33
Conservative leader David Cameron has said he will "work really hard" to win back voters who switched to support the UK Independence Party in Thursday's elections.
In a sign of a less hostile tone towards the eurosceptic party, the Prime Minister - who previously dismissed them as "fruitcakes, loonies and closet racists" - said that he wanted to show "respect" for people who voted Ukip.
All of the mainstream political parties had "major lessons" to learn from Thursday's polls in county councils across England, he said.
Speaking in his Oxfordshire constituency, Mr Cameron said: "I think there are major lessons for the major political parties.
"For the Conservatives I understand why some people who have supported us before didn't support us again, they want us to do even more to work for hard-working people to sort out the issues they care about.
"More to help with the cost of living, more to turn the economy round, more to get immigration down, to sort out the welfare system. They will be our focus, they are our focus, but we have got to do more."
Asked if he stood by his "fruitcakes" attack on Ukip, Mr Cameron said: "Well, look, it is no good insulting a political party that people have chosen to vote for.
"Of course they should be subject and they will be subject to proper scrutiny of their policies and their plans.
"But we need to show respect for people who have taken the choice to support this party and we are going to work really hard to win them back."