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PM David Cameron offers chance to buy shares in Lloyds

By Joe Churcher

David Cameron has promised voters the chance to buy Lloyds bank shares if the Tories win the General Election - as he renewed warnings of the "frightening prospect" of a Labour government relying on SNP votes.

Despite opinion polls remaining deadlocked, the Prime Minister insisted an outright Tory majority was "within reach" and said he would be getting "out on the streets" to press home his message in the run-up to May 7.

The proposal to offer small investors up to £4 billion worth of Lloyds bank shares below market value was only possible because the coalition's economic plan was working, he said, and would "help us recover billions more and pay down the national debt".

Mr Cameron rejected Labour claims that the Lloyds offer had been made several times before, insisting it was the first time there had been a "retail offer to individuals so they can own shares in healthy, successful British banks".

"The crucial point of this is that it is more clearing up the mess that Labour left us," he added.

"The taxpayer put £20 billion into these banks and I want to get the money back. We have already recovered billions and this will help us to recover billions more to pay down the national debt.

"But at the same time I think having people in our country being able to own shares in a healthy, successful British bank is the sort of country we should be building."

In an often-tetchy appearance on BBC1's Andrew Marr Show he declined to rule out any post-election deal with Ukip if there was a hung parliament and said flagging poll support suggested the eurosceptic party "will be lucky if they have even one seat".

He seized on comments by SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon that her party - which appears on course to snatch dozens of seats from Labour and to become the third-biggest in the Commons - would seek to "change the direction" of a Labour administration.

Belfast Telegraph


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