LONDON: He has managed to stand his ground against hawks like UKIP leader Nigel Farage, coalition partner turned critic Nick Clegg and his primary tormentor and prime minister hopeful Labour leader Ed Miliband.
But Britain’s prime minister David Cameron was left stumped on Tuesday by a bouncer coming from an unlikely foe – a 10 year-old.
With just over 20 days to go before Britain goes into what is being called the most unpredictable general elections in the country’s recent history, Cameron was on his campaigning trail in Greater Manchester when he was faced by a question he hadn’t prepared for.
Reema, a student of Indian origin from the city of Salford asked him “If you could pick one politician apart from yourself to win who would it be and why?”.
At first, Cameron who unveiled the Conservative Party’s cradle-to-grave election manifesto on Tuesday promising voters “security at every stage of your life” decided to duck the question and tried to buy time by replying “Wow. If I could pick a politician? Would they have to be living or dead?”.
However, unable to evade the direct question, Cameron replied “If I thought someone else should win the election I would not be standing myself, so I can’t really answer the question about who else I would like to win. There are lots of candidates around the country I am very enthusiastic about. I am afraid it is too difficult to say I would like someone else to win other than me or I wouldn’t be here, and I am quite keen on winning”.
Impressed, the PM who can fend off any query around the NHS or immigration of whether Britain would stay in the EU, admitted that it was the toughest question he had faced. “Top question, it is the best one I have been asked all election campaign,” Cameron said when he was leaving.
Cameron recently announced he will step down and will not serve a third term as prime minister if his party remains in government after the general election on May 7 this year.
Cameron who on May 11, 2010 was elected Britain’s youngest PM in decades following the resignation of Gordon Brown said that if re-elected, he would serve the full five years of another parliament and then leave the top office. Cameron confirmed he would occupy 10 Downing street till 2020.
Cameron said “I’ve said I’ll stand for a full second term, but I think after that it will be time for new leadership. Two is wonderful but three might just be too many”. He added “No. I think I’m standing for a full second time”
The last general election in 2010 in UK was won by the Conservatives, led by Cameron, who won 306 seats – 20 seats short of an overall majority and resulted in the a hung parliament.