David Cameron has met up with New Zealand National Party leader John Key. It’s actually the third time they’ve met, they were introduced to eachother when they were both up-and-coming backbenchers. Commenting on the comparisons often drawn between the two men, Key said:
"I think there are a reasonable number of similarities – we are both
centrist in our thinking, both ambitious for our respective countries
to make a change and to deliver on the promise that our respective
They were both new kids on the block when elected leader too. Key said Cameron wanted to cultivate their relationship:
"He’s quite keen to build a lasting personal relationship, he’s got
some ideas about things – how we can exchange ideas and stay in touch –
and that’s something I am certainly going to work on. We’re really starting a good personal relationship which I think can serve us both well into the future."
Cameron recently forged a strong partnership with Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats, and there were a record number of international delegates at this year’s conference as a result of the efforts of CCHQ’s International Office (they certainly filled up our own reception!). As a keen advocate of developing active relationships with sister parties ConservativeHome warmly welcomes these developments. Next step please: Cameron to finally visit Washington DC.
The National Party are in a similar position to the Conservatives in that they are both in opposition facing a third-term government of the Left. The Nationals have sustained a double-digit opinion poll lead since the spring.
I spent a couple of days meeting them in Wellington last summer and they are a great bunch. For those wanting to keep tabs on Kiwi politics, I recommend David Farrar’s Kiwi Blog.