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Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government takes office

David Cameron meets the Queen

David Cameron meets the Queen

First published in News Daily Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Politics and business reporter

THE Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats are today finally rolling up their sleeves to begin the work of Government six days after last week’s indecisive general election.

David Cameron was installed as the first Tory Prime Minister in 13 years after Gordon Brown quit in an emotional announcement on the steps of Number 10 last night.

The Labour leader stood down when it become clear a power sharing pact with Liberal Democrats could not be made.

After a 25-minute audience with the Queen Mr Cameron, 43, accepted her invitation to become Prime Minister and announced he intended to form a “proper and full coalition” with the Lib Dems promising “real change”.

Mr Cameron said: “Nick Clegg and I are both political leaders who want to put aside party differences and work hard for the common good and for the national interest.

“I believe that is the best way to get the strong government that we need, decisive government that we need today.

“I came into politics because I love this country, I think its best days still lie ahead.”

George Osborne, 38, was last night confirmed as Chancellor of the Exchequer with reports of five Cabinet posts being handed to the Lib Dems, including leader Nick Clegg, 43, as deputy prime minister. William Hague, 49, will become Foreign Secretary.

No other positions were due to be announced last night amid reports that Liberal Democrat positions in the Cabinet would include Vince Cable as Chief Secretary to the Treasury and David Laws as Schools Secretary.

Tory Andrew Lansley was reported to be the new Health Secretary.

Speaking to the Daily Echo last night following intense negotiations with the Tories, Eastleigh MP Chris Huhne, the Lib Dem home affairs spokesman, said he was unsure about him being given a position in a Lib-Tory cabinet.

“No news – it has not been discussed,” he said.

However reports this morning suggest Mr Huhne will be given the job of environment minister.

Hampshire Tories were jubilant.

Desmond Swayne, MP for New Forest West and a close aide of Mr Cameron, said: “I’m very pleased. It’s been a long day.”

Caroline Dinenage, the new Tory MP for Gosport, said: “It’s really exciting. It’s been very up in the air for a couple of days, really undecided and unclear, and I’m very hopeful now.” Addressing the prospects of a coalition between the Tories and Lib Dems, Miss Dinenage said: “It’s a time when we just have to bury our differences and work together for the good of the country.

That’s the absolute priority at the moment.”

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