David Cameron

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David Cameron (2010) David Cameron

David William Donald Cameron (born October 9, 1966 in London ) is a British politician ( Conservative Party ). He was Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from May 11, 2010 to July 13, 2016, and Party Chairman from 2005 to 2016. Cameron was the initiator of the referendum on Scotland's independence and the Brexit referendum because he wanted to stabilize his internal party position with the referendum on it. After the British voters decided in favor of the United Kingdom leaving the European Union, he resigned because he had pleaded for it to remain. His successor in the office of Prime Minister was the previous Interior Minister Theresa May on July 13, 2016 .


David Cameron grew up as the third of four children in Peasemore ( Berkshire ) in England on. His mother is Mary Fleur Mount, daughter of Sir William Malcolm, the second Baronet Mount. His father Ian Donald Cameron (1932-2010) worked as a stockbroker and was for a time chairman of the White's Club in London . David Cameron attended two private schools, first at Heatherdown School, a preparatory school in Winkfield (near Ascot), and then at Eton College . His early interest was in art. After a gap year in which he worked in Hong Kong for Jardine Matheson Holdings and as an assistant to the Conservative MP Tim Rathbone (1933-2002), he studied at Brasenose College at the University of Oxford . During his studies he was a member of the exclusive Bullingdon Club ; He did not join political debating clubs.

One of his professors, Vernon Bogdanor, called him one of his most capable students and described his political views as those of a moderate and sensible conservative. In 1988 Cameron graduated from the interdisciplinary course PPE ( Philosophy, Politics and Economics ) with distinction.

From 1988 to 1992 Cameron worked in the Conservative Research Department of the Conservative Party, which at the time was widely regarded as a cadre for future Conservative leaders; He was responsible for the area of Trade and Industry, Energy and Privatization (trade and industry, energy and privatization). His tasks also included writing speeches and preparing for public appearances by cabinet ministers. In 1991 he also worked in the advisory team of Prime Minister John Major in Downing Street to prepare material for the Prime Minister's Questions, which were then held twice a week . He also later became personal advisor to the government under John Major, initially as an advisor to the British Treasury under Norman Lamont ; During this time the pound crisis occurred on "Black Wednesday" 1992, which dealt a major blow to Major's government. This was followed by a time in the UK Home Office for Michael Howard . During this time, Cameron befriended other up-and-coming young Tories like Ed Vaizey , Steve Hilton, and Edward Llewellyn.

In 1994 Cameron switched to business. From 1994 to 2001, Cameron worked for the media company Carlton Communications. There he rose to Director of Corporate affairs within two years . Until August 2005 he was a manager at Urbium plc, a company that operates a chain of bars called 'Tiger Tiger'. In June 2001 he was elected to the British House of Commons .


Cameron and his wife outside the polling station in the 2010 general election

David Cameron married Samantha Sheffield on June 1, 1996 (born April 18, 1971). He has four children with her; however, their son Ivan, who was born in 2002 and suffered from cerebral palsy and severe epilepsy , died on February 25, 2009 at the age of six. Ivan was considered a private hub for Cameron and his family. The British House of Commons and large parts of the population also shared the family's grief in an unusually public manner .

Both David Cameron, who is a descendant of William IV , and his wife Samantha, whose ancestry goes back to King Charles II , are largely related to the British royal family and belong to the Church of England .

Political career

Cameron first applied for a seat in the House of Commons in 1997 , running as a Conservative Party candidate for the hotly contested Stafford constituency . He was defeated by the Labor Party candidate , David Kidney. For the 2001 election he succeeded in succeeding Shaun Woodward, who had switched to Labor, in the Witney constituency , Oxfordshire , a traditionally conservative-dominated constituency, to be nominated as a Conservative candidate. He won that constituency with a comfortable majority in both the June 2001 general election and subsequent elections.

As on other issues, Cameron followed the official party line in advocating the Iraq war . Unlike his longtime friends and close allies, Michael Gove and George Osborne , both of whom fully supported the war and the neoconservative agenda, Cameron was reluctant to move to the line of the Blair government and conservative leadership. He justified his decision by saying that he would otherwise see the special relationship between the USA and Great Britain, which he considered instrumental for the continued existence of NATO and the peace order after 1945, to be at risk. Cameron, who gave his first speech at the House of Commons in June 2001, rose quickly within the Conservative Party. As early as June 2003, he was made a member of the Shadow Cabinet and Shadow Deputy Leader of the House of Commons . In 2004 he was appointed a senior shadow minister. He played a key role in drafting the Tories' 2005 election manifesto . After the Conservatives were defeated in the general election , he took on the post of minister of culture in the shadow cabinet. His main focus was on reforms in the school system.

Election of party chairman

David Cameron 2006

After the Labor Party victory in the general election in May 2005, Michael Howard announced his resignation as Conservative leader. He set the date for the election of his successor at the beginning of December in order to gain time to reform the complicated electoral procedure. However, he could not enforce this.

On September 29, 2005, Cameron officially announced his candidacy for the presidency. He was supported by many high-ranking party colleagues. Despite all this, his campaign had not received any significant support before the Conservative Party conference in early October 2005. A significant turning point in his intra-party election campaign was his nomination speech at the party congress itself. In addition to his promise to modernize the content and the perception of the party as elitist and old-fashioned, his waiver of a teleprompter and any notes broadened his voting base, according to the BBC to a considerable extent. Cameron also acquitted on important later occasions (for example party conventions).

During the election campaign for party leader , Cameron came under pressure for alleged past drug use. When asked on the sidelines of a conference whether he had used drugs, he replied that he had had "normal" experiences at university. When he during the BBC telecast Question Time was forced to answer, he insisted that everyone has the right to make mistakes in his youth and that everyone is entitled to a private life have before political career. He also noted that members of the ruling Labor cabinet did not respond to such questions either. Cameron's social background was also a topic of conversation during the election campaign and was repeatedly compared to the much more difficult social background of his rival David Davis .

In the first ballot on October 18, 2005, Cameron scored 56 votes, a better result than expected, but was behind David Davis, who received 62 votes. In the second ballot, which took place on October 20, 2005, Cameron beat Davis by a huge margin. To see whether Cameron or Davis should head the Conservative Party in the future, a primary election was held in which all party members were eligible to vote. Cameron received more than twice as many votes as Davis.

Cameron was sworn in as the 26th Conservative Party leader and opposition leader on December 6th . At just four years in parliament, Cameron was the youngest MP after William Pitt the Younger to ever lead a major British party. As opposition leader, he was appointed a member of the Privy Council in mid-December 2005 .

prime minister

In the general election on May 6, 2010 , Cameron's Conservative Party became the strongest political force, but did not receive an absolute majority of the seats. For the first time since 1974 there was a hung parliament : the strongest party cannot rule on its own, but has to rely on a coalition partner. Both Cameron and incumbent Gordon Brown began coalition negotiations with the Liberal Democrats .

On May 11, Brown declared the Labor Party's negotiations with the Liberal Democrats to have failed and submitted his resignation. On the same day, Cameron was appointed Prime Minister by Elizabeth II and charged with forming a government. He formed the Cameron I cabinet .

In the general election on May 7, 2015 , the Conservatives under Cameron's leadership, contrary to all prognoses and opinion polls before the election, just got an absolute majority of the parliamentary seats (with a voting share of 36.9%). Cameron was able to form an all-conservative government after the election .

After a narrow majority (51.89%) of voters in the referendum on June 23, 2016 voted for the United Kingdom to leave the European Union, the Prime Minister announced that he would resign by October 2016.

After Cameron's resignation announcement, five people ( Stephen Crabb , Liam Fox , Michael Gove , Andrea Leadsom and Theresa May ) from the parliamentary group applied for his successor. The 1922 committee organized the election process. On Tuesday, July 5th and Thursday, July 7th, 2016 primaries took place within the parliamentary group. Fox, Gove, and Crabb were eliminated; only May and Leadsom remained as candidates. Leadsom withdrew her candidacy on July 11, 2016, allowing Theresa May to take office as Prime Minister without an internal party election. On July 13th, David Cameron answered the Prime Minister's Questions in Parliament for the last time . He then resigned as Prime Minister; Theresa May was appointed his successor on the same day. After the change in leadership, Cameron returned to the backbenches .

Political positions

Cameron described himself as a "modern, compassionate conservative" prior to his election as Prime Minister. He advocated a change of political style and said that he had had enough of the back and forth of the government of Gordon Brown (2007-2010).

In order to increase the popularity of the Conservative Party, its future focus should be on topics that have so far been untypical for British Conservatives such as environmental protection . When it comes to sociopolitical issues, Cameron is considered to be more liberal than his predecessors, especially when it comes to homosexuality . Cameron supported the Civil Partnership Act (legal equality for same-sex partnerships - see Homosexuality in the UK ) in a vote in Parliament in 2004 . Cameron referred to the famous quote from Margaret Thatcher , which says that there is no such thing as society (" there is no such thing as society ") and repeatedly emphasized that there is indeed society , but it does not exist with the state should be equated (" There is such a thing as society. It's just not the same thing as the state. ").

Cameron also campaigned for an expansion of statutory health insurance , a restructuring of the National Health Service and a flexible immigration policy .

In July 2005, speaking to the Social Justice think tank , he said that the greatest challenge Britain faces is not dealing with economic problems, but dealing with societal problems. Cameron called his concept Big Society . In order to rebuild the “sick society” of Great Britain, he wanted to promote traditional values, volunteer work and social institutions. The aim was to tackle problems that have affected so many communities, such as shabby public facilities, poor housing, broken families, drug abuse and high crime rates. Earlier, he said the Conservatives should sponsor classes for parents who don't give their children enough support. These should preferably be offered by volunteers.

Cameron's success in the election to the Conservative presidency can be attributed to the fact that he was trusted to bring a breath of fresh air into the party, as Tony Blair (Prime Minister 1997–2007) did in the Labor Party. Not only because of his youth and inexperience has Cameron been repeatedly compared to the young Tony Blair; Parallels to Blair can also be seen in his rhetorical skills, the presentation of content and in terms of self-portrayal as an unconventional politician of a new generation. Both have denied similarities by pointing out the differences in their political convictions, for example with regard to European policy or tax policy.

Peter Hitchens (he belongs to the conservative wing of the Church of England ) criticized in 2005 that Cameron had abolished the last differences between his party and the established left.

European Union

In the wake of the financial crisis in EU member Greece , Cameron strongly took the position that the United Kingdom (UK) was not obliged to provide money for Greece (except through the IMF ) as the UK had not joined the euro.

After initially supporting Turkey's accession to the EU at the beginning of his term in office , Cameron distanced himself from this point of view and said in 2016 that Turkey's accession to the European Union would "probably take place around the year 3000".

In a speech on January 23, 2013 criticized Cameron, the high debt, the "lack of competitiveness", the "thought control" and the "loss of confidence of the people in the institutions of Brussels" and announced a renegotiation of the British EU treaties and a subsequent referendum to UK to remain in the EU. In his speech, however, he also emphasized the great achievements of European unification after the Second World War. He described (addressed to the British EU skeptics) the grave consequences that an exit from the EU would have for the UK and expressed the hope that this would not happen. Most of the comments met with incomprehension among the partners in the EU; They found occasional applause from Eurosceptics. In Britain itself, the speech was welcomed by supporters of the Conservative Party as well as representatives of the UK Independence Party (UKIP), while it was clearly spoken by the Liberal Democrats, including their cabinet chairman and cabinet minister Cameron I Nick Clegg , and Labor leaders such as Peter Mandelson was criticized.

The historian Dominik Geppert wrote in 2013 that the negative reception of Cameron's proposals outside of his own country was an indication of the high emotional content of the EU in other countries: “Subliminally, many in Germany were alienating the Prime Minister's remarks because Cameron expressly agreed to it confessed that the EU was a practical and not an emotional matter for the British. The Union is a means to the end of more prosperity, stability, freedom and democracy in Europe, but not an end in itself. Any sacralization of European unification is alien to the British ”.


In a speech at the Munich Security Conference on February 5, 2011, Cameron declared the “state multiculturalism ” which had led to segregation , separatism and ultimately Islamist extremism and terrorism to have failed . Instead, he pleaded for a “common national identity”. He called for “active and strong liberalism” and announced that he would take stronger action against “Islamist, terrorist organizations”. Cameron had already voiced strong criticism in February 2006 of the idea that "within Britain we should respect different cultures to the extent that we allow - and even encourage - them to live apart, apart from each other and apart from the mainstream" and called this idea "state multiculturalism". In particular, he criticized the advance of Rowan Williams , the Archbishop of Canterbury , who had spoken out in favor of an extension of the Shari'a within the British legal system, and he claimed that this "state multiculturalism" led to the disappearance of schoolgirls in Bradford and theirs Forced marriage led. “State multiculturalism” has led to financial support for artistic and other projects based on ethnic backgrounds, with different groups pretending to represent certain minorities, but competing with each other for money. “State multiculturalism” seduces people into tolerating different culturally based behaviors, even if these are incompatible with human rights .

Involvement in the Panama Papers affair

In early April 2016, Cameron stated in a television interview recorded at the University of Exeter that he was involved in the Blairmore Investment Trust . The mailbox company, named after the Camerons' former family home in Scotland, was founded by his late father and processed corporate papers in tax havens to avoid British taxes. The name of Cameron's father appeared in the so-called " Panama Papers ", the publication of which had forced the Icelandic Prime Minister Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson to resign. Cameron said he and his wife owned approximately £ 30,000 worth of shares in the trust through January 2010, but sold and paid tax on them before taking office as Prime Minister. Some Labor MPs called for his resignation and the British Conservative press also criticized Cameron's statements about his involvement in the letterbox company. Under pressure from public opinion, Cameron made his tax returns for the years 2009-2016 public on April 10, 2016. It was obvious that after his father's death in 2010 next to an inheritance of 300,000 pounds sterling had received a gift of 200,000 pounds from his mother. In explanation, Cameron said the payment was in compensation for his older brother inheriting the family home in Peasemore. Speculation arose that this might have avoided the payment of additional inheritance tax ; Tax experts said, however, that this judgment was not justified without knowing the details and that, for example, the gift could also have been made from the private assets of Cameron's mother.

Withdrawal from active politics and afterwards

On September 12, 2016, Cameron resigned as MP for the Witney constituency . As a former prime minister, he is not perceived as a simple backbencher in the lower house. In principle, he fully supported the policies of his successor in office Theresa May, but would be “a constant distraction” ( “a big distraction and a big diversion” ) for the government in matters where he took a different view , which he would not be wool. He was named Steward and Bailiff of the Manor of Northstead and lost his seat in the House of Commons. His successor Robert Courts defended the Witney constituency for the Conservative Party, but with a significantly reduced majority. On January 16, 2019, Cameron said in a short interview with the BBC that he did not regret "having initiated the referendum on leaving the EU". This was an election promise and all parties had spoken out in favor. But he regretted the outcome of the referendum and the difficulties the government had in implementing it. In February 2020, Cameron turned down an offer from Prime Minister Boris Johnson to chair the UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow 2020 in November 2020 as the UK representative.

Memoirs 2019

On September 15, 2019, the first excerpts from Cameron's memoir were published in the Sunday Times . In these excerpts, Cameron settled especially with some of his former political companions and friends. This was on the one hand the incumbent Prime Minister Boris Johnson , on the other hand Vice Prime Minister Michael Gove , with whom Cameron was close friends for years. Both are “ambassadors for the age of populism, which goes hand in hand with the negation of expert opinions and the distortion of the truth”. Johnson, according to Cameron, joined the “Brexit” campaign solely for personal career reasons and not out of inner conviction. In view of the many patriotic-romantic images used by the representatives of the Leave campaign (regaining the "independence" of Great Britain), Johnson could not bear the idea that someone other than himself, in a way the favorite of the Conservative Party, was the United Kingdom out of the EU. Johnson did not believe in the success of the Leave campaign or in Brexit, but even proposed a second referendum against him. In the case of Michael Gove, he [Cameron] was particularly shocked by his disloyalty. Gove, whom Cameron described as an “exuberant Faragist ”, not only behaved disloyal to him, but later also to Johnson, in that he himself aspired to the office of prime minister. Cameron declared his resignation as inevitable due to the lost referendum; Since he had previously advertised to remain and the EU did not want to make further concessions, it was inevitable for him to resign and leave the office to a party colleague who would lead Great Britain out of the EU.


  • David Cameron: For the Record. William Collins, London 2019. ISBN 978-1-78-517659-3 .
  • Francis Elliott & James Hanning: Cameron: Practically a Conservative. Fourth Estate, London 2012. ISBN 978-0-00-743642-2 .
  • Simon Lee & Matt Beech: The Cameron-Clegg Government: Coalition Politics in an Age of Austerity. Palgrave Macmillan, London 2011. ISBN 978-0-230-29644-2 .
  • Anthony Seldon & Peter Snowdon: Cameron at 10: The Verdict. William Collins, London 2016. ISBN 978-0-00-757553-4 .

Web links

Commons : David Cameron  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files


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