Brexit, cannabis and the loss of his son: Key quotes from David Cameron’s career

PM David Cameron

After more than 10 years in the public eye as Tory leader, here are some of the key quotes from David Cameron’s political and personal life:

“We need to change the way we feel. No more grumbling about modern Britain. I love this country as it is, not as it was, and I believe our best days lie ahead.”
– Victory speech after winning the Tory leadership, December 6 2005.

“I’m fed up with the Punch and Judy politics of Westminster, the name calling, backbiting, point scoring, finger pointing.”
– Leadership victory speech, December 6 2005.

“I want to talk about the future. He was the future, once.”
– Taunting Tony Blair at first Prime Minister’s Questions, December 7 2005.

“So when you see a child walking down the road, hoodie up, head down, moody, swaggering, dominating the pavement – think what has brought that child to that moment. If the first thing we have to do is understand what’s gone wrong, the second thing is to realise that putting things right is not just about law enforcement.”
– “Hug a hoodie” speech on July 10 2006.

“Like many people, I did things when I was young that I shouldn’t have done and that I regret. But I do believe that politicians are entitled to a past that remains private.”
– Response to allegations of smoking cannabis while at Eton, February 11 2007.

David Cameron

“He leaves a hole in our life so big that words can’t describe it. Bed time, bath time, meal time – nothing will feel the same again.”
– On the death of his eldest son Ivan, March 1 2009. Ivan was born with cerebral palsy and severe epilepsy, and died in 2009.

“This idea that what people want is an in-out referendum, I don’t think is right. It’s a con.”
– On Europe in second TV leaders’ debate, April 22 2010.

“This has been a wake-up call for our country. Social problems that have been festering for decades have exploded in our face… Do we have the determination to confront the slow-motion moral collapse that has taken place in parts of our country these past few generations?”
– On the summer riots, August 15 2011.

“It is great to be in free Libya. Col Gaddafi said he would hunt you down like rats, but you showed the courage of lions.”
– Addressing the crowd in Benghazi on visit with Nicolas Sarkozy, September 15 2011.

“I am a pasty eater myself. I go to Cornwall on holiday. I love a hot pasty.”
– Defending “Omnishambles budget”‘, March 29 2012.

“It is clear to me that the British Parliament, reflecting the views of the British people, does not want to see British military action. I get that and the Government will act accordingly.”
– Responding to Commons defeat over military action in Syria, August 29 2013.

“Britain may be a small island, but I would challenge anyone to find a country with a prouder history, a bigger heart or greater resilience. Britain is an island that has helped to clear the European continent of fascism and was resolute in doing that throughout the Second World War. Britain is an island that helped to abolish slavery, that has invented most of the things worth inventing, including every sport currently played around the world, that still today is responsible for art, literature and music that delights the entire world.”
– Responding to Vladimir Putin’s spokesman’s dismissal of Britain as a “small island”, September 6 2013.

“There can be no disputes, no reruns. We have heard the settled will of the Scottish people.”
– After Scotland voted No to independence, September 19 2014.

“She purred down the line.”
– Caught on camera revealing the Queen’s response to the Scottish referendum result, September 23 2014.

“I truly believe we are on the brink of something special in our country. We can make Britain a place where a good life is in reach for everyone who is willing to work and do the right thing.”
– Downing Street speech, May 8 2015.

“We cannot let that man inflict his security-threatening, terrorist-sympathising, Britain-hating ideology on the country we love.”
– On Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, conference speech, October 7 2015.

“Throughout our history the United Kingdom has stood up to defend our values and our way of life. We can, and we must, do so again.”
– Setting out the case for military action against Islamic State fighters in Syria, November 26 2015.

“The British people have voted to leave the European Union and their will must be respected. The will of the British people is an instruction that must be delivered… I love this country and I feel honoured to have served it and I will do everything I can in future to help this great country succeed.”
– Announcing he will quit as Prime Minister after humiliating referendum defeat, June 24 2016.

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