Key paraphrased points from the interview:

  • I am a Conservative because I instinctively do not turn to the state to solve problems.
  • I make no apologies for Sunday Telegraph attack on Gordon Brown.
  • Taxes have been pushed up too high under Tony Blair and businesses are going to relocate abroad if we’re not careful.  I’m not going to be pushed around in making rushed commitments to tax cuts.  Stability must come before tax cuts.  But over the course of time we will share the proceeds of growth between tax cuts and public spending.  Labour has not shared the proceeds of growth – they have put all of the money into public spending and much of it has been wasted.
  • I welcome the Forsyth Tax Commission’s work on simplifying the tax system but I will not promise upfront cuts in tax.
  • We have fought elections in the recent past on up front, unfunded tax cuts and we are not going to do that again.
  • The share of taxation funded by environmental taxes should go up.
  • Let’s clear away the regulations that stop the greenest energy sources from competing in the energy market but nuclear energy must be the last resort – particularly because we still haven’t sorted out the nuclear waste problem.
  • We cannot quit Afghanistan because we will only leave a hotbed of terrorism behind.
  • If Labour spent a little bit less time thinking about the Blair succession it could spend more time encouraging more commitment to Afghanistan from other NATO countries.
  • In Iraq we need to do more to train up the Iraq army and police but the troops cannot come home until the Iraqi government is strong enough to make their country safe.
  • MPs must stop voting on their own pay and too many chums are being appointed as special advisers in New Labour’s Whitehall.
  • I am the only party leader who has proposed a full package of reforms that will clean up party political funding including a £50,000 limit on individual donations.
  • We will keep the best things that New Labour did including Bank of England independence and the minimum wage.  Conservatives were wrong on the minimum wage.

It was a confident performance – David Cameron looked relaxed and offered no encouragement to those who are demanding tax cuts now.