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Tories are back, David Cameron is UK's new PM

May 12, 2010 06:59 AM IST India India
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London: After days of uncertainty, Britain finally has a new government. Conservative leader David Cameron became the new resident of the 10 Downing Street as he took over as the Prime Minister of Britain on Tuesday. Liberal Democrat (Lib Dem) leader Nick Clegg will be the deputy prime minister. Forty-three-year-old Cameron is the youngest British Prime Minister in almost 200 years. With this change of guard, 13 years of Labour rule have come to an end. After days of hard negotiations, the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats finally sealed a deal to form a coalition government. David Cameron addressing the world media said, "I aim to form a proper and full coalition between the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats. I believe that it the right way to provide this country with the strong, the stable, the good and decent government we need so badly." Meanwhile, as talks between the Lib-Dems and the Conservatives firmed up, outgoing prime minister Gordon Brown tendered his resignation to the Queen Elizabeth. These were Gordon’s parting words: "My resignation as leader of the Labour Party will take effect immediately. And in this hour I want to thank all my colleagues, ministers, Members of Parliament. And I want to thank above all my staff, who have been friends as well as brilliant servants of the country. "Above all, I want to thank Sarah (wife) for her unwavering support as well as her love, and for her own service to our country. I thank my sons John and Fraser for the love and joy they bring to our lives. And as I leave the second most important job I could ever hold, I cherish even more the first - as a husband and father. Thank you and goodbye." The Conservatives won most seats in a parliamentary election last week but fell short of a majority. Labour came second and the Liberal Democrats a distant third. Giving his first speech as prime minister, Cameron said he aimed to form what would be Britain's first coalition government since 1945. The exact shape of the new government was not yet clear and the Liberal Democrats had yet to give their final approval to the deal on offer from the Conservatives. "This is going to be hard and difficult work. A coalition will throw up all sorts of challenges. But I believe together we can provide that strong and stable government that our country needs," Cameron said, his pregnant wife Samantha by his side. First among his challenges will be how to reduce Britain's record budget deficit, which is running at more than 11 percent of national output and has raised fears that the country could lose its triple-A credit rating. Britain's sterling currency rose against the dollar and the euro as he spoke. Markets were impatient to see an end to the uncertainty thrown up by last Thursday's inconclusive election. A Conservative Party source said George Osborne, a close friend and ally of Cameron, would become the new Chancellor of the Exchequer, or finance minister. Some in the finance industry have expressed doubts about Osborne because he is untested and takes over an economy emerging from the worst recession since World War Two. The Conservative source said William Hague, a former Conservative leader and one of the main negotiators with the Lib-Dems, would be the foreign minister. Both the Conservatives and Labour had tried to win Lib Dem support to form the next government during five days of intense negotiations, but it became clear on Tuesday afternoon that Labour had lost and Brown would have to resign. US President Barack Obama called Cameron to congratulate him, the White House said. Details of what the Conservatives and Lib-Dems had agreed have not yet been made public. Both negotiating teams were due to report back to their legislators and party colleagues later in the evening. The two parties will have to endorse any deal agreed by the negotiating teams. (With inputs from Reuters)