Belfast Telegraph

Cameron hits back at his critics as Miliband rules out SNP deal

By Joe Churcher

Protecting the economic recovery "matters more than anything", David Cameron declared last night as he hit back at critics in a passionate rallying cry to Tory activists.

In a punchy speech, he defended the decision to focus on risks posed to the economy by Labour and the SNP, insisting there was no "lack of drive" and saying claims he favoured the wealthy should be stuck "where the sun don't shine".

Mr Cameron has faced internal sniping over what has been perceived by critics to be a lacklustre campaign.

Ed Miliband accused him of having "given up" on key issues such as the NHS and immigration in favour of a "desperate" focus on the potential for Labour relying on Scottish nationalists in the event of another hung parliament.

The Opposition leader was promoting Labour plans to help private tenants by curbing real-terms rent increases and renewed his insistence that he was "not interested in deals" with the SNP.

But Mr Cameron said those who accused him of "playing it a bit safe" ignored the central issue facing the electorate.

"I have been Prime Minister these last five years. If people are saying to me we are putting too much emphasis on a strong and stable economy and in securing our future, I plead guilty," he told activists in Somerset.

"If you think economic security and stability don't matter, if you want to take a risk, go with the other guy, vote with the other man. By God he's got plenty of risks," he said.

"I'm not going to put the British economy at risk, I'm not going to put the stability of Britain's families at risk, that is what is at stake in these last 11 days."

He said Conservatives "don't always shout with the passion that some people would like.

"But don't mistake that for any lack of drive in changing this great country of ours and making it greater still.

"We are the only people that can stop the prospect of Ed Miliband and the SNP teaming up and wrecking our economy and taking us right back to square one."

Belfast Telegraph


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