Thu, May 13, 2010
World > Europe > 2010 British election race

Coalition gov't takes country in historic new direction: new British PM

2010-05-12 14:35:17 GMT2010-05-12 22:35:17 (Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

LONDON, May 12 (Xinhua) -- The Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition government would take the country in an historic new direction, new British Prime Minister David Cameron said Wednesday afternoon.

Cameron and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, leader of the Liberal Democrats, held their first joint press conference in Downing Street.

Cameron said their alliance represented a "historic and seismic shift" in the political landscape.

The new administration would be united behind three key principles: freedom, fairness and responsibility, he said. It would have one key purpose - "to give our country the strong, stable and determined leadership that we need for the long term." Both parties had given full backing to coalition, Cameron said.

He also said "no government in modern times has ever been left with such a terrible economic inheritance."

The new prime minister said the two parties had a shared agenda and a shared resolve to tackle the challenges Britain faced.

The Lib Dem members would be represented at every level of government, which was a sign of the strength and depth of the coalition, Cameron said.

Clegg said "this is a government that will last." There will be "bumps and scrapes," but it will last despite those differences.

He said both men had a common purpose to give power back to people and give people more opportunity and that would make the coalition work, adding that "this is what new politics looks like." The two parties were proceeding with a very open mind, he said.

Cameron has begun appointing his first cabinet, with George Osborne as finance secretary and William Hague as foreign secretary.

Other appointments confirmed so far are Vince Cable as business secretary, Liam Fox as defense secretary and Andrew Lansley as health secretary.

Britain's Queen on Tuesday night appointed Cameron new prime minister. It is the first time the Tories and Lib Dems have had a power-sharing deal at Westminster and the first coalition in Britain since World War II.

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