British PM says trusts deputy, but not yet friends

Conservatives, Lib Dems had taken a risk in governing together, said Cameron.

Updated: Jan 08, 2011, 12:22 PM IST

London: British Prime Minister David Cameron said he trusted his deputy Nick Clegg but would not go so far as to say they were friends, in an interview out on Saturday.

Cameron told the Daily Mail newspaper that both his Conservatives and Clegg`s Liberal Democrats had taken a risk in governing together.

Asked if he would describe himself and Clegg as friends yet, Cameron replied: "Hmm. Well, we wouldn`t go to the cinema together, quite, but we`ve had him and (his wife) Miriam round for supper."

Cameron has been accused of being closer to Clegg, in person and politics, than to some of his fellow Conservatives.

They are both aged 44 and went to similar high-ranking schools.

"Politics evolves. We trust one another. Both of us started off from the same position, taking a risk," he said.

"It would probably have been easier not to do this, politically and personally.”

"But in the end -- and I don`t want to sound pompous or pious -- you ask yourself if you are doing the right thing for the country. We both think we are."

Cameron said he hoped the coalition would be about more than simply clearing Britain`s record deficit.

"I want this to be more than a `cuts-and-rescue` government. I want this to be a genuinely reforming and modernising government," he said.

Their coalition faces its first test at the polls on Thursday in a by-election in northwest England.

The opposition Labour Party narrowly beat the Lib Dems to the seat in the May general election, but bookmakers have Labour as the clear favourite to win this time as polls show Clegg`s party riding as low as seven percent.

Bureau Report