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Page last updated at 14:17 GMT, Sunday, 16 March 2008

Cameron's warning

Interviewed on The Politics Show, David Cameron warned that it 'will be tough' to commit to tax cuts at the next election.

David Cameron MP

Mr Cameron continued: There is no doubt when it comes to the economy that we are badly prepared, you know we have the highest tax burden in our history.

We've got one the highest levels of budget deficit of any developed country. We've got one the highest inflation rates in the G7, we're not well prepared and I wouldn't be doing anyone a service if I pretended that the garden was rosy.

Specifically what I said about saying no rather than yes is we have to recognise, as an Opposition, that if we win the next election, it will be tough and there will not be some large kitty of money to spend and we will have to say no a lot as well as hopefully, being able to say yes to some of the things we want to do."

No 'Punch and Judy'

When asked about his comment when he became Conservative Party leader that he wanted an end to 'Punch and Judy' politics, there was the following exchange:

JON SOPEL: And of the things, other things you said when you started, which was aside from Let the Sun Shine In, was about ending the Punch & Judy politics and you've kind of - this is the way you talk now about this government and the kind of weak man, the strange man in Downing Street, what a phoney he now looks, you're weak. How does that square up with... (interjection)

DAVID CAMERON: Well I feel incredibly frustrated for the country with this government that it's just sort of limping on. So I sometimes maybe let that frustration show too much and I do accept in the House of Commons, you know, Prime Minister's questions is quite, what's the word... (interjection)

JON SOPEL: Confrontational.

DAVID CAMERON: Confrontational. It is and you, you can't really get away from that. And maybe it was, you know, I think maybe it was a mistake to say that you can. You just - the point is... (interjection)

JON SOPEL: Do you regret saying that you can get away from Punch & Judy politics.

DAVID CAMERON: I think - no. What you can do is when the government do something right, like renewing Trident, when they introduce Academy Schools, you can back them and you can be - I actually got my MPs to vote for their legislation that otherwise wouldn't have gone through. So ending Punch & Judy politics in that way, I'm completely committed to.

When asked about comparisons between himself and Barack Obama, he said:

JON SOPEL: Do you see any similarities between yourself and Barack Obama.

DAVID CAMERON: Not really no because I think American politics and British politics are quite different. He's a Democrat, I'm a Conservative. I mean I suppose we're both trying to, you know, kind of overturn the government and win. I enjoy watching him and he's a great speaker.

But I'm also a big John McCain fan.

I think the plain speaking of this man who just, you know, he goes to Michigan and says look, I know we've lost a lot of jobs here but I've got to tell you they're not coming back.

You know, it's so frank and refreshing to see somebody who really tells it how it is.

Talking to terrorists?

The Security Minister, Admiral Lord West, also came on the programme to confirm that the Prime Minister will unveil the Government's National Security Strategy on Wednesday.

On talking to terrorists, he told Jon Sopel:

JON SOPEL: And very briefly, we've heard Jonathan Powell, Tony Blair's former Chief of Staff say that what you need to do is you need to start talking to the leaders of Hamas, al Qaeda and other groups if you want to deal with these problems. Do you agree with that?

ADMIRAL, LORD WEST: I think one has got to be quite careful there. To say that there should be no link at all through any strange back source, back route in to anywhere, would be silly but that's done on a very careful, secret level, really to find out what they're up to.

I think to actually get in to dialogue with people, who at the moment don't seem to have any aim other than causing mass casualties, no clear way ahead, I think would be wrong and I don't believe we're doing that at the moment, to the best of my knowledge. I don't believe we're doing it.

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