Friday, January 27, 2006

EXCLUSIVE: New Tory Leader speaks to ‘The Gown’

Soon after his election as leader of the Conservative Party, David Cameron made a brief visit to Northern Ireland. On December 15th he attended Lagan College, the provinces first integrated school.

The assembled press focused their questioning on Mr Cameron’s policy toward Northern Ireland. Mr Cameron evaded giving any detailed response, merely suggested that he supported the peace process and the Prime Minister’s efforts to find political accommodation.

Putting Northern Ireland at the top of his nationwide tour schedule, came as a surprise to many. In an interview with The Gown Mr Cameron revealed the reason for his visit, he said “the purpose of my visit today is because I am now leader of the opposition, I think it’s important to get to every part of the United Kingdom early on and that’s the reason for coming to Northern Ireland.” When asked by The Gown if his visit was intended to boost support for the Conservative Party in Northern Ireland he said, “clearly the Conservative Party has a presence in Northern Ireland and where Conservatives in Northern Ireland want to stand and they feel it advances the cause of the Conservative Party they then obviously have my support.”

The Conservative leader went on to make a number of classroom visits, talking to pupils who seemed pleased to see him. A student asked him a question on the issue of tuition fee’s, a worry facing many new students across Northern Ireland and in other parts of the U.K. Mr Cameron said that he felt that students would have to accept to pay more for their education. This policy has become clearer in recent weeks with the announcement by the Party that they will reverse their opposition to the Governments plans.


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