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In your first speech as party leader you called for "a massive
road-building programme". How is that compatible with your claim to be
green?

I don’t think that having
congested roads with cars stuck in traffic jams is good for the
environment and I therefore don’t believe that building new roads where
they are needed is at all incompatible with a green agenda. We also
need to do more to increase the capacity on our railways and other
forms of public transport and these are areas our policy review will be
looking at carefully.

Should I buy green beans flown in from an impoverished part of Africa?

Food
miles can be misleading because what matters more is the carbon
footprint. I think there is a growing awareness about the environmental
impact of flying food thousands of miles, and people are right to try
to source their food locally where possible. But, of course, this is
not always possible.

Do you despair of your party members’ determination to live in the past?

I
don’t accept that they are. It is the Conservative Party that voted for
change 18 months ago. Local constituency associations that are
selecting women candidates up and down the country. And Conservative
councils taking the lead when it comes to local recycling projects.

Do you think we should pull out of Iraq now as Sir Christopher Meyer recommended?

No,
but we should focus on rapidly building up the Iraqi army and passing
more responsibilities to Iraqi government. That will make it easier to
bring our troops home sooner.

Are you ashamed to have written the 2005 manifesto, which
pledged to pull Britain out of the UN Convention on Refugees? And which
former Tory policy most appalls you?

In elections, you fight as a team and you win or lose as a team. When you lose, as we did in 2005, then you learn as a team.

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38 comments for: Cameron Q&A with Independent readers

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