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Cameron announces £164 million more for cancer treatments during Andrew Marr interview and insists Britain will keep nuclear deterrent

By Tim Montgomerie

Highlights, not verbatim, of David Cameron's interview with Andrew Marr on BBC1.

Screen shot 2010-10-03 at 09.33.11 I would have rather won the General Election outright, David Cameron said, but the Coalition has still been able to achieve big things - not least radical welfare reform.

Conservatives are coming to Birmingham in high spirits, he insisted, and pointed to the immigration cap, ending Labour's jobs tax and a referendum lock on more powers going to Brussels. Most of all, however, he said Conservatives members are - like the Coalition - focused on the national interest and the national interest means tackling the deficit.

Pressed on Ken Clarke's fears of a double dip recession, Cameron said the economy wouldn't be helped by delaying difficult positions. Businesses were benefiting from deficit reduction because the long-term interest rates under which they borrowed were falling.

Over time welfare reform will save money by encouraging people into work and by eliminating the fraud and administration associated with the current complex system. There will, however, be up front costs and these will be financed by other welfare savings that will be announced on 20th October as part of the spending review. He refused to be drawn on speculation in The Sunday Times (£) that child benefit might be compromised but hinted that some universal benefits might be unaffordable.

Mr Cameron announced an additional £164m more on cancer treatments - affordable, he said, because of the Coalition's commitment to ringfence NHS spending. He said that he wanted to close the cancer treatment gap with Europe where patients are more likely to survive longer.

The Ministry of Defence budget is the biggest of all messes left by Labour. It has overspent by £38bn, he said. As an example of the disorganisation, aircraft carriers had been ordered, he said, but no decision had been taken on what kind of aircraft to put on them. "I am passionately pro-defence," he said. He also insisted that Britain would have an independent nuclear deterrent at the end of this process as the ultimate insurance against global insecurity.


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