Conservative Party leader David Cameron will be the next British Prime Minister, and the youngest in nearly 200 hundred years, after a deal was struck with the Liberal Democrats to boost the Labour party out of power for the first time in over a decade.
The deal comes after days of grueling negotiations, during which both the Labour and Conservative parties attempted to woo the centrist Liberal Democrats party to form a coalition in the first hung Parliament in over 30 years.
Cameron, who is only 43 years old, will form a new Government with Liberal Democratic leader Nick Clegg taking the role of deputy Prime Minister. After an official ceremony with Queen Elizabeth, Cameron announced his intention to form a new government, but did not give any details about how the coalition would work.
Instead, he said he and Clegg will “put aside party differences and work hard for the common good and the national interest”. He also added Britain will face economic turmoil as conditions recover from the global financial crisis.
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George Osborne, of the Conservatives, will become chancellor, while former Conservatives leader William Hague will become foreign secretary.
Clegg needs 75% of his party to approve the coalition, but it is already believed at this stage that his party will take five cabinet posts.
In his speech, Cameron said the Labour Party, at Brown’s hands, had made Britain “more open at home and more compassionate abroad and that is something we should all be grateful for”.
The announcement comes after Brown attempted to strike a deal with the Liberal Democrats, and even announced his intention to resign in order to help form a coalition. It is understood he believed striking a deal with the Liberal Democrats would be easier if he stepped aside.
Brown said overnight that he took responsibility for Labour’s loss of government, and said he will immediately step aside in order for Cameron to form a new administration.
“I loved the job not for its prestige, its titles and its ceremony – which I do not love at all. No, I loved the job for its potential to make this country I love fairer, more tolerant, more green, more democratic, more prosperous and more just – truly a greater Britain.”
Businesses will welcome the Conservatives’ rise to power, as the party campaigned on a number of issues specific to small businesses. These include:
- Cutting the main corporate tax rate from 28% to 25% and slashing the small business rate from 22% to 20%.
- Exempt all businesses starting in the first two years of a Conservative Government from Employers’ National Insurance on the first 10 employees.
- Reduce red tape by introducing a rule whereby new regulations cannot be introduced unless one has been reduced for another issue.
- Reduce the amount of forms needed to start a new business, with the goal of becoming the fastest country in the world in which to start a business.
- Simplify business tax with a five-year reform, which Cameron says will provide certainty for small businesses.
- Extend Government procurement to SMEs but cutting admin requirements, with the aim of 25% of all contracts going to SMEs.
- Increase Britain’s exports to make it the leading hi-tech exporter of manufactured goods.
- Make small business rate relief automatic, and create “more diverse sources of credit” for SMEs.
However, as the Conservatives intend to develop a “full coalition… and put political differences aside”, according to Cameron, it is unknown just how many of these initiatives will become law.