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Britain is back, insists Cameron

David Cameron has declared that "Britain is back" after warning that a fresh global economic disaster could be looming.

In a speech at the annual Norwood dinner in front of Simon Cowell and media mogul Richard Desmond, the Prime Minister said that being in Australia for the G20 gave him an opportunity to "reflect on some of the things that make our country great".

He said: "I was able to go to Australia and say to my colleagues, be in no doubt, Britain is back."

At the event at Grosvenor House in central London, Mr Cameron told the 1,300-strong crowd about the G20: "You're at an international summit with the biggest and most powerful economies on the planet.

"But Britain was back on the global stage with the fastest-growing economy of any of the advanced economies.

"After the difficult decisions of recent years, we are now home to record numbers of new businesses.

"We've seen the largest ever fall in unemployment this year, and created more jobs than the rest of the European Union put together."

Writing in the Guardian today, Mr Cameron said: "As I met world leaders at the G20 in Brisbane, the problems were plain to see.

"The eurozone is teetering on the brink of a possible third recession, with high unemployment, falling growth and the real risk of falling prices too.

"Emerging markets, which were the driver of growth in the early stages of the recovery, are now slowing down.

"Despite the progress in Bali, global trade talks have stalled while the epidemic of Ebola, conflict in the Middle East and Russia's illegal actions in Ukraine are all adding a dangerous backdrop of instability and uncertainty."

Norwood is the UK's largest Jewish social welfare charity, and this evening Mr Cameron took the opportunity to pledge his continued support to the Jewish community.

"No disagreements on politics or policy should ever be allowed to justify racism, prejudice or extremism in any form," he said.

"There is never an excuse for anti-semitism. It destroys that diverse yet strong society that we are proud to have in this country of ours which we all call home.

"And I promise you I will fight anti-semitism in this country, wherever it is found," he said.

There is a "dangerous backdrop of instability and uncertainty", with diplomatic, humanitarian and economic problems around the world, potentially putting the UK's recovery at risk , he said .

Mr Cameron was introduced to the stage by the owner of Express Newspapers, Mr Desmond, who is also president of Norwood.

The Prime Minister said Mr Desmond was a "remarkable man" and a "credit to our country".

Mr Cameron referred to the unrest in the Middle East, and said Britain will stand with Israel "every step of the way".

He said: "During the summer Hamas rained down rockets on Israel, built extensive tunnels to kidnap and murder, and repeatedly refused to accept ceasefires.

"As Prime Minister Netanyahu has said: Israel uses missile defence to protect its civilians.

"Hamas uses civilians to protect their missiles. There can never be equivalence between the two.

"Like all of you, I long for a lasting peace in the Middle East.

"I look forward to the day when Israeli parents can send their 18-year-old children to university rather than the army.

"But that peace does not start with giving in to terrorists. It has to be built on the values that make a country successful. And that begins with the rule of law.

"Of course, the road to peace in the Middle East remains long and challenging. But Britain will stand with Israel every step of the way.

"Israel is our ally. Israel is our friend. And with me as Prime Minister, that will never change."

Mr Cameron also made reference to Islamic State, or Isil, in his speech.

He said: "Today our armed forces are putting their lives on the line once again as part of an international coalition including Arab states in support of the Iraqis to defeat Isil.

"All of us were sickened by the news yesterday of the murder of another American hostage.

"Isil will be defeated, and these sick and barbaric terrorists will face the justice they deserve."

In closing remarks, Simon Cowell, who was accompanied to the event by his partner Lauren Silverman, described Norwood as a "fantastic organisation".

Cowell said he only found out his father was Jewish about 11 years ago. He also referred to the latest Band Aid single, saying: "We were very fortunate last night to have Bob Geldof on the X Factor where we introduced the new Band Aid video. Within 10 minutes we raised £1 million."

The event was also attended by Sir Philip Green and Karren Brady.

Cowell said he supported "a lot of charities" every year. "Anything which gives money to kids I like to support," he said.

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