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David Cameron's LBC Interview: 10 Things We Learned

19 September 2019, 07:44 | Updated: 19 September 2019, 09:53

David Cameron in the LBC studio
David Cameron in the LBC studio. Picture: PA

Nick Ferrari held a wide-ranging interview with David Cameron on LBC - these are the most interesting things that the former Prime Minister said.

David Cameron on... a second referendum

"We are stuck, we’ve been stuck for three years and if you think about it, if this deal doesn’t go through there are only three other options.

"You have to find another deal or you have to have a general election to see if they can change the arithmetic or you have to have a second referendum and I don’t think we should be now ruling things out. Let’s hope that Boris gets his deal."

When asked if he wouldn't rule out a second referendum, he insisted: "I don’t think you can because we can’t go on being stuck.

"We’ve had a three year hiatus and it’s very painful for the country and difficult for business and difficult for people and I feel it very intensely. We can’t go on like this so we’ve got to have either a deal, another deal, an election or a referendum."

David Cameron on... where the Remain campaign went wrong

"i thought it would help when you had such a cross-party appeal. We had the Labour Party, we had the Liberal Democrats, we had the Greens, the Conservatives, the business and the trade unions.

"But we didn't have enough of the British public, that's absolutely true. I think a lot about how we could have done better.

"I think the truth is we ended up with too many technical arguments about the economy and access to the market and we didn't have enough emotional arguments.

"The one emotional argument I did try to get in was that the EU did try to bring together countries which had formerly been at each other's throats and had helped to build peace on the continent. But when I made that speech in the referendum campaign, it was headlined by the newspapers as Cameron predicts World War 3. So one of the emotional arguments I had didn't chime."

David Cameron on... Jeremy Corbyn and the referendum

"I was on the battle lines fighting as hard as I could and sometimes I’d turn around and wonder where Jeremy Corbyn was and I still wonder that today because I had, I hope, some appeal in Sunderland but, not as much as I’d like and and I needed the Labour Party, the Labour leader. The Labour Party worked hard but I needed the Labour leader to do more to help me.

"He just didn’t seem engaged at all.

"What we did, casting my mind back to the days when we had a grid. You know, you have a programme for the week and you’ve got, you know, Tony Blair speaking on Monday and I’m on Tuesday and Paddy Ashdown’s doing a photo call on Wednesday. We kept leaving spots, whole areas of the day and of the week for Jeremy Corbyn and nothing happened.

"Gordon Brown really pitched in and made some fantastic speeches but, I couldn’t get Jeremy Corbyn to give anything but rather lukewarm support. But in the end, it’s my referendum."

David Cameron on... "privileged pain" Guardian article

"There is no privilege in holding your eldest born child in your arms as their life drains away. Death knows no privilege.

"So I, from the little I saw it, I couldn’t understand what they were trying to say.

"But fortunately it has been deleted and apologised for, so I think we can leave it there."

David Cameron on... Dominic Cummings

"I didn’t get on with Dom Cummings. He’s obviously a very bright guy, a brilliant campaigner and all the rest of it.

"Politics has to be a team enterprise and it’s quite difficult because obviously every Cabinet minister has got their own team and their own department and you have to work so hard to break down those barriers, that people who kind of try and erect them make your life more difficult.

"So I wasn’t a Cummings fan, I think it’s safe to say.

"Everyone needs their own advisors and their own team and in the end, look, the game of blaming the advisors I think is always a mistake. In the end it’s the politicians who make the decisions and they should be held accountable."

David Cameron on... the prorogation of parliament

"I think, as I put it, it was slightly sharp practice, because it didn't need to be done in the way that it was. I don't see the need for bringing the session to the end, I don't see the need for a Queen's Speech.

"It's actually backfired because it's fired up the people that want to avoid no-deal to take action more quickly.

"It was a mixture of slightly cute and slightly sharp practice and I didn't think it worked.

"Whether it's legal or not, that's for the courts to decide."

David Cameron on... John Bercow

"On his best days he really does empower back benchers, he tries to help the House of Commons reach a conclusion.

"There were times, I have to admit, when, you know, I almost got out of bed every morning and thought, whatever John Bercow, whatever the speaker can do to make my life hell today, he will do, and that, on the whole, was a pretty good guide to life.

"Now the Speaker’s not there to be nice to the Prime Minister, of course. But, there were times when things were done which had never been done before.

"You know, taking amendments to the Queen’s speech on a European referendum, odd now that he’s such an opponent of it. Things were done sometimes, you scratch your head and thought, hold on, where the hell did that one come from?"

David Cameron on... leaving his daughter in the pub

"Oh come on we’ve all done… well I’m not saying you’ve done, but we’ve all done that thing. A lot of people have done it on motorway service stations, actually, friends of mine. You get out of the car, you rush in, everyone is buying different things and doing different things, and you get back in the car, and you just, you know, leave one behind.

"There was a bit of an excuse this time, because what we used to do, we walked from Chequers to the pub, a nice long walk, a couple of different families. Then the protection team and someone from the house in Chequers came in a car, so there was about three cars, we were loading everyone into the cars, and I thought Nancy had got in with Mum and she thought Nancy got in with me, and we got back and suddenly realised that she wasn’t there.

"Total panic. But luckily we got back to the pub.

When they got back to the pub, he added: "She was behind the bar pulling the pints and helping out.

"She’s got this cartoon in her bedroom to this day, from Matt in The Telegraph. It’s a picture of her with her head in her hands, on a bar stool, going, ‘Oh no I’ve left my Dad running the country’, which still amuses her."

David Cameron on... rekindling his friendship with Michael Gove

"I read her [Sarah Vine's] article actually last night. We both actually thought it was incredibly sensitive and well written and rather emotional piece.

"Look, over time I hope that, a lot of water has flown under the bridge, but it just was very difficult at the time of the referendum.

"We were very close, and the children were friends and all the rest of it. Who knows, a lot of water has flown under the bridge, as I say.

Would they want to rekindle their friendship? "I want to try. I think the difficulty is just been that, Michael was a very, very close member of the team. He was so central to my thinking on education reform and other things, and so watching what happened next was very painful and I did in some ways thought he’d become quite a different person in all of it. But as I say, life goes on."

David Cameron on... the pig's head story

Does anyone mention it? "I do sometimes...

"I was walking along the street with Elwen, my son, the other day and someone shouted a pig-based remark, if I can put it that way.

"Elwen is a sweet boy and people up until then had been saying some friendly things and he turned to me and said, ‘Don’t worry, Dad. On the whole people have been pretty friendly today.’

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