Here are some key themes from David Cameron’s speech to Welsh Tories later today where he will focus on the role of the family in fighting crime, reducing poverty and improving the quality of life:

  • Britons are tired of living in a nation that is "economically rich but socially poor".
  • "This is not about saying that single parents do a bad job.  They do the hardest job in the world. It is simply saying that kids do best when mum and dad are both there for them.  And we should not ignore that one compelling fact.  Nearly one in two cohabiting parents split up before their child’s fifth birthday, compared to one in 12 married parents.  That is why we support marriage."
  • He will acknowledge that culture will play at least as important a role as government policies such as tax breaks: "In particular we need to create the right social pressures, applying the full force of shame to fathers who run away from their responsibilities."
  • "Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, who opposed everything Margaret Thatcher did in the 1980s, now admit they were wrong… You know and I know and everyone out there knows that the big argument in British politics today is about our society.  Because it’s not economic breakdown that Britain faces today, but social breakdown.  I think it’s time we recognised that family breakdown is the central factor in the social breakdown we see in our country today."

Editor’s comment: "This is a bold and unambiguous commitment by the Tory leader to the central role of marriage and the family in defeating our nation’s social challenges.  It is very welcome.  When Iain Duncan Smith’s social justice policy group makes its recommendations on family policy David Cameron will have the policy tools to deliver the family-friendly government that he seems determined to lead."

12.45pm update: The Sunday Times is reporting that there is internal resistance to the emphasis on marriage: "Despite the lead set by Duncan Smith and Cameron, insiders say Oliver Letwin, Cameron’s policy chief and mentor, is fearful that “banging on” about marriage will undermine the campaign to show the Conservative party has changed… Privately Francis Maude, the party chairman, is said to share Letwin’s concerns. However, both Cameron and his chief adviser, Steve Hilton, are convinced that pushing marriage is the right thing."

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