Britain’s first coalition government since the Second World War begins work today under its new prime minister.
The Conservative David Cameron has finally secured the job he so wanted after five days of uncertainty and political turmoil.
Speaking on the steps of Number 10 Downing Street, Cameron said:
“Our country has a hung parliament where no party has an overall majority. And we have some deep and pressing problems. A huge deficit, deep social problems and a political system in need of reform. For those reasons I aim to form a proper and full coalition between the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats.”
Cameron went on to acknowledge the work of Gordon Brown.
“On behalf of the whole country, I would like to pay tribute to the outgoing prime minister for his long record of dedicated public service.”
A huge task awaits the new prime minister. It is a thankless task according to some commentators who insist the cuts a new government will have to make to save the economy could make it unelectable when the next election comes round in five years time.
Between then and now, Cameron has to convince. He has to convince his coalition partners to stay onboard, he has to convince the market the economy is going to get better fast, and he must convince an electorate that has not given his Conservatives a clear mandate to govern.