Page last updated at 14:26 GMT, Wednesday, 12 May 2010 15:26 UK

New government: Reaction in quotes

As the new Prime Minister David Cameron begins to shape his government - with Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg as his deputy - here are some of the first reactions to the historic Tory-Lib Dem coalition.

US PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA

"I was pleased to call David Cameron to extend my personal congratulations for the successful campaign that he ran and for becoming the new British prime minister.

"As I told the prime minister, the United States has no closer friend and ally than the United Kingdom, and I reiterated my deep and personal commitment to the special relationship between our two countries - a bond that has endured for generations and across party lines, and that is essential to the security and prosperity of our two countries, and the world.

"I look forward to meeting with the prime minister at the G8/G20 meetings in June, and Michelle and I invited Prime Minister Cameron and his wife Samantha to visit Washington this summer."

EUROPEAN COMMISSION PRESIDENT JOSE MANUEL BARROSO

(Message of congratulations to David Cameron):

"Many of the challenges ahead - delivering economic recovery, fighting global poverty, tackling climate change, ensuring energy security, - are common across the European Union and require a common response. I look forward to working closely with you on these and other issues, such as boosting the internal market and promoting smarter regulation, more transparency and greater accountability in the European Union.

"I also look forward to welcoming you to Brussels in the near future."

AUSTRALIAN PRIME MINISTER KEVIN RUDD

"We've had a good conversation just now. He's looking forward to a further upgrade in the Australia-UK relationship. We even talked about the possibility of him coming out to Australia at some stage, perhaps coinciding with a few games of cricket."

CANADIAN PRIME MINISTER STEPHEN HARPER

"The relationship between our two countries means a lot and I look forward to working with you in the years to come. Give my best to your wife Samantha; Laureen and I look forward to meeting her. Once again Prime Minister, congratulations and my best wishes."

FRENCH PRESIDENT NICOLAS SARKOZY

"The president of the republic... extends his warmest wishes of success in his [Mr Cameron's] mission and hopes to be able to work with him on reinforcing the very close co-operation and close ties between France and the United Kingdom."

FOREIGN SECRETARY WILLIAM HAGUE

"Of course we've all had to make compromises, but we've made those in a sensible way. Really it is the best of the Liberal Democrat manifesto with the bulk of the Conservative manifesto. And it's politics, it's government, to make the necessary compromises.

"[The five-year fixed term] will require primary legislation. It is how we are locking this coalition together. A coalition can only be stable if they know that one of the parties, the largest party, is not suddenly going to call a General Election. So this is an innovation in our constitution to meet the special demands of this time."

FORMER LIB DEM LEADER PADDY ASHDOWN

"Hooray! Listen - you've heard my comment, which is one word. It's the first time you've had a one word statement and it is, hooray. And I'll repeat it."

LIB DEM TREASURY SPOKESMAN VINCE CABLE

"I don't pretend it's going to be easy. We are in very difficult economic circumstances. Everybody has now accepted that there are going to be severe pressures on the budget. It's going to be a very difficult environment with which to operate. The fact is, this is a new departure. It is extremely positive that we have two parties working together in the national interest."

SCOTLAND'S FIRST MINISTER ALEX SALMOND

"The Liberals have gone in with the Tories. I think they'll rue the day. The Labour Party of course had the prospect of leading that progressive alliance, but instead have chosen the safety of opposition... Well that will be remembered as well.

"So it's a great pity not just for Scotland but for people across these islands that the idea to change politics fundamentally wasn't grasped. It was a failure of political will."

ALASTAIR CAMPBELL, FORMER LABOUR DIRECTOR OF COMMUNICATIONS

"The reality is that Nick Clegg has taken the decision to take the Liberal Democrats to the right. They've got into bed with the Conservatives, I think they will regret it. It was extraordinary last night at the Labour Party, how many Liberal Democrats were phoning up to join the Labour Party, because they were basically saying 'I voted Lib Dem to keep the Tories out, not to put them in'."

FORMER BUSINESS SECRETARY LORD MANDELSON

"I led our team in talks with the Liberal Democrats because that's what they said they wanted to do. In the final analysis, I'm wondering though, whether that's what they actually intended.

"When I think about it, I think they were creating so many difficulties and barriers and obstacles, that perhaps they thought their interests lay on the Conservative side rather than the progressive side."

FORMER LABOUR EDUCATION MINISTER KIM HOWELLS

"There's visceral loathing between the parties in constituencies, no question about it, you know - and the Lib Dems especially.

"I tell you why it's been rejected by most Labour MPs. Because they know that they're [the Lib Dems] a bunch of opportunistic toe-rags, who'll say anything to anybody in order to get power. And they've done it this time, they've got power. Good luck to them."

RICHARD HUNTER, HEAD OF UK EQUITIES AT INVESTMENT FIRM HARGREAVES LANDSDOWNE

"The question, of course, still remains as to the fiscal deficit and the national debt.

"We've effectively wasted the last six months in the run-up to the election, because we didn't know exactly where we were going - and of course there were then the worries about the hung parliament, but the absolute number one priority will now be to start putting some meat on the bone, in terms of how this new government plans to reduce what is quite a yawning deficit in the UK".



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