The Prime Minister, marking the effective start of the General Election campaign with an exclusive interview declared just days before a meeting in London with German Chancellor Angela Merkel: ‘If I don’t get what is needed I rule nothing out.’
Mr Cameron, who pledges to ‘hit the ground running and hard’ if he is re-elected in May, warns Labour’s budget plans would cost £13.5billion extra just in interest payments on the deficit, more than the police and transport budgets combined, if Ed Miliband became PM.
He says: ‘This is the most important Election for a generation, a real choice between a continued competence or disaster. This is all about security from the Conservatives and the chaos you’d get from everybody else. If you lose control of your debt and deficit, you get massive cuts in things such as health and education. You get appalling insecurity, jobs lost, firms going overseas.’
The PM’s warning came as Labour launched its own campaign today with posters claiming that the NHS in its current form would not survive another five years of a Tory government.
Shadow Health Secretary Andy Burnham said the health service would fall prey to a ‘toxic mix of cuts and privatisation’ if Mr Cameron was returned to No10.
In a highly personal and wide-ranging interview, Mr Cameron promises to introduce reforming legislation on education and welfare within the first 50 days of a new Government, says that he is so close to Barack Obama that the American President calls him ‘bro’, reveals that he authorised the removal from the Tory candidates list of an aide to Home Secretary Theresa May, and tells Boris Johnson that he will have to wait for a Cabinet seat.
Amid speculation at Westminster about his political future if he does not win a convincing victory in May, or if he is felled by Tory European rebels unhappy about his strategy over the 2017 EU referendum, Mr Cameron says he is determined to stay in Downing Street until 2020: ‘We have to see it through,’ he says.
The Prime Minister said his discussions with Mrs Merkel on Wednesday would include the so-called ‘red lines,’ areas of national policy which he needs to be repatriated to the UK if his Government is to back a vote to remain in the European Union.
‘The key areas are safeguarding the single market, getting out of ever closer union, being able to veto regulations and a package of measures on welfare,’ he says.
Labour’s high command today launches a four-month campaign to prove that the NHS would not ‘survive another five years of David Cameron’, claiming that cutbacks would lead to nearly two million waiting longer than four hours at casualty departments and more than 20 million patients left waiting a week or more to see a GP.
But the attack was immediately blunted when former Labour welfare minister Frank Field said his own party showed no signs of facing up to the ‘existential crisis’ engulfing the health service.
In an article for The Mail on Sunday, the senior Labour MP accused Mr Miliband of coming up with ‘sticking plasters and short-term palliatives’ for the NHS, not the ‘far-sighted vision’ needed to save the service from extinction.
Mr Field also accused Mr Cameron of being too scared to tell voters what needed to be done to save the NHS.