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Cameron on protesting in Parliament Square, defence spending, the long summer recess, debates between the party leaders and Andy Coulson

PROTEST David Cameron has said that "enough is enough" when it comes to the protest in Parliament Square by anti-war protestors, including Brian Haw.  I'm all in favour of free speech and the right to protest, the Tory leader said, but when our Parliament Square looks like a "shanty town" something needs to be done.  Alan Duncan attacked the same protest as "vulgar and pointless" last August.   

CameronOnSkySome other bullet point highlights from David Cameron's interview with Sky's Adam Boulton at just after 10am this morning:

  • No commitment to protect defence expenditure from cuts - only the NHS and international development budgets would be ringfenced. There is a difference, however, between long-term defence spending and the immediate crisis in Afghanistan where resources must get to the frontline quickly, he said.  Mr Cameron attacked the government for failing to heed his 2006 warning that our troops needed more helicopters and said that our efforts in the country should focus on helping train Afghan soldiers and police rather than creating a "perfect democracy". He repeated his line that four Defence Secretaries in as many years was a sign of Brown's lack of seriousness about the issue. He welcomed former Defence Secretary John Hutton's intervention this morning in which he made it clear that a lack of helicopters was a serious issue.
  • Mr Cameron said the summer recess was too long although the total length of the time spent legislating was internationally comparable.
  • He said that democracy would benefit from leadership debates during the next election and will agree to any reasonable stipulations about the wheres and whens of how these debates should be organised.  He rejected the suggestion that they would make British politics "too presidential".  The election is partly a choice between potential Prime Ministers, he said, and predicted that debates would increase voter interest in the elections and increase information.
  • He repeated his defences of Andy Coulson and said appropriate questions were asked and answered at the time he was appointed as Director of Tory Communications.  He left the News of the World after twenty years in journalism and should not be expected to resign twice for the same issues.  He said that Coulson was now operating "honestly" and "honourably" since he joined the Conservative team.

Tim Montgomerie


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