[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Wednesday, 6 December 2006, 11:29 GMT
Verdicts on Cameron's first year
As David Cameron celebrates his first anniversary as Conservative leader, politicians, commentators and campaigners give their views on his performance so far.

LORD HESELTINE, FORMER TORY DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER

"He has played an absolute blinder. He set a first-year target and hit it.

"David has done something very rare for an opposition leader. He has changed politics by putting his own agenda at the forefront and getting the government to follow it."

LORD TEBBIT, FORMER CONSERVATIVE CHAIRMAN

"The long march to the middle ground is almost complete, but where will the battle be fought? The Liberal Democrats and the Guardian are captivated but those five million Tory abstainers are not yet back on board."

ED DAVEY, LIBERAL DEMOCRAT CAMPAIGNS CHAIRMAN

"David Cameron's first-year charm offensive has certainly brought him good headlines, but has left most traditional conservatives confused by his spin.

"As Cameron's honeymoon ends, the central question of his leadership remains: is he sincere about changing the Conservative Party, and prepared to take on traditional Tory activists who strongly oppose his views, or is his talk of change simply empty rhetoric?

"The revelation this week that David Cameron made his decision about Trident and the defence of Britain by consulting a focus group is the worst of all worlds for most Tories - they may get the policy they wanted, but only by the insincere methods of New Labour that they despise."

NIGEL FARAGE, UK INDEPENDENCE PARTY LEADER

"It has been a year in which he has turned his back on every sound conservative issue.

"Millions of voters who believe in a self-governing country, with lower taxes and choice in education, have been left wondering where to go."

TONY JUNIPER, FRIENDS OF THE EARTH DIRECTOR

"David Cameron has played a significant role in putting climate change at the top of the political agenda. And his support for a new climate change law requiring annual cuts in carbon dioxide - a campaign Friends of the Earth has led on through The Big Ask - made a huge difference.

"But the critical test for Mr Cameron will be to turn his concern into a comprehensive and credible set of policies that can switch the UK to a low-carbon economy.

"There seems little doubt that the Quality of Life Commission Mr Cameron set up to advise the party on these issues has grasped the size of the challenge ahead, recently saying that targets for cutting carbon dioxide emissions must get tougher. How the party responds to its recommendations will also be crucial."

SIMON HEFFER, DAILY TELEGRAPH

"The fact remains that, in large stretches of the United Kingdom, the Conservative Party, even under the benign, unthreatening leadership of Mr Cameron, hasn't a prayer....

"The only belief I feel Mr Cameron holds is in his own ambition. This is helped by the fact that he has shown himself supremely flexible of principle. He is not by most definitions of the term a conservative, but the Conservative Party is a ripe vehicle for him and for those who would hitch themselves to him."

DAVID FROST, BRITISH CHAMBERS OF COMMERCE DIRECTOR

"What David Cameron needs to understand is the fundamental role business plays in building a successful and cohesive society.

"We hear a lot about increased public expenditure and improving public services but all of this has to be paid for. Business creates wealth and jobs and our views should not be ignored as part of a repositioning of the Tories' image."

SIAN BERRY, GREEN PARTY PRINCIPAL SPEAKER

David Cameron exists in a carefully manufactured policy vacuum trying to be all things to all people.

"But we have yet to see any real substance to his rhetoric. He has had an eventful year, swotting up on climate change - the Tory party's manifesto for 2005, which he wrote, didn't mention the phrase once."

SHAMI CHAKRABARTI, DIRECTOR, LIBERTY

"Mr Cameron can be credited with bolstering public interest in politics but his intermittent attacks on the Human Rights Act are ill-conceived and in direct conflict with his liberal position on many other issues.

"Standing up against the disastrous identity card scheme and maintaining opposition to 90-day internment showed strong principles. And who would believe that his brave stance against the demonisation of young people could prove to be so controversial?

"Mr Cameron should uphold our human rights framework which truly represents intrinsic British values. Protecting our rights and freedoms against attack would be a great platform for any political leader."

ALEX SALMOND, SCOTTISH NATIONAL PARTY LEADER

"Mr Cameron has certainly injected enthusiasm into his first year in charge of the Conservative Party. The real challenge now is to back this up with substance to his policies, something which has been lacking so far.

"The Cameron effect certainly has taken place in Scotland. It is as if the Tories north and south of the border have become two distinct entities with entirely different agendas.

"Indeed, under Cameron, the Conservative party in Scotland are going boldly where no major party gone before - single figures in the opinion polls."


SEE ALSO
Cameron promises some 'real grit'
05 Dec 06 |  UK Politics
Cameron's first end of year report
05 Dec 06 |  UK Politics

RELATED INTERNET LINKS
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites



FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

PRODUCTS & SERVICES

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific