Page last updated at 08:16 GMT, Monday, 18 August 2008 09:16 UK

Cameron book: key quotes

Conservative leader David Cameron has spoken out about political rivalries, family life and his personal ambitions in a book by GQ editor Dylan Jones. Here are some of the key quotes:

PERSONALITY/BELIEFS

"I think I'm canine rather than feline. I like company, I like people, and that is much more dog-like than cat-like. And I'm more of a dog lover."

"I'm a pretty classic Church of England 'racked with doubt and scepticism' believer."

POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY

"My favourite political quote is by Disraeli: he said the Conservative Party should be the party of change but change that goes along with the customs and manners and traditions and sentiments of the people rather than change according to some grand plan."

"I'm going to be as radical a social reformer as Mrs Thatcher was an economic reformer, and radical social reform is what this country needs right now."

FAMILY

"Samantha is actually very unconventional and hard to put in a box. She went to a day school, was a Goth at 14, had quite a wild childhood, is unconventional and challenging and that is very good as it stopped me from being too straight down the line."

"We sometimes row about politics but I'd say the most common thing we row about is arrangements."

"I tell her I love her when we go to bed at night, when we're happy, which, fortunately for us, is quite a lot."

"For two nights a week, I come home early enough to be with Sam; one I should be back for suppertime and the other I should be back to do bath time with the children."

ON BEING A CRIME VICTIM

"I've been burgled twice in the last eight years, I've had my car stolen and I was on my bike the other day and this white van had been following me, stopping and starting. This was very late at night, about midnight, I was coming back from some dinner. I got rather nervous about it so I turned down a road I don't normally go down, and I slowed down and sort of pulled in behind a line of parked cars and as this van drove by this hand came out and just bashed me in the back with the aim of pushing me in front of the car. Luckily I managed to put the brakes on... But I've never been the victim of proper violent crime."

LEADERSHIP

"...you appoint good people, and trust their decisions, but you have to know when to step in. William Hague has really helped me, because he made all the mistakes the first time round."

"William Hague once said to me, 'Being leader of the Conservative Party and wearing a hat are incompatible'."

RIVALS

"I absolutely believe that if we'd have had that [2007] election that Gordon Brown would no longer have been prime minister and that the Conservatives would have been the largest party in a hung Parliament."

"Brown compounded calling off the election by then saying it was nothing to do with the polls, which was a massive mistake. It was a lie and it was treating people like fools."

Asked for his favourite political joke: "[Lib Dem leader] Nick Clegg, at the moment."

MISTAKES

"I regret that my government driver took some of my papers home while I was on my bike... Sometimes maybe I put off making decisions that maybe I should have taken earlier."

TONY BLAIR

"I remember going for a drink...and it was just after John Smith died, and we said it will be Blair [who becomes next Labour leader] and that will be disastrous for us."

"He wasn't tough enough with his team. They kept saying, I am sorry I'm not going to accept this, I don't want to go. Well, I'm sorry but in my position when I want someone to go I simply tell them, and then that's that. You have to be tough about it."




SEE ALSO
Cameron targets 'broken society'
18 Aug 08 |  UK Politics
Cameron not rejecting tax rises
20 Jul 08 |  UK Politics
Youth crime plan targets families
15 Jul 08 |  UK Politics
Jail knife carriers, says Cameron
07 Jul 08 |  UK Politics
Cameron focuses on 'social decay'
07 Jul 08 |  Scotland

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