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Work Life special: David Cameron on a day in the life of a Prime Minister


David Cameron, 49, is Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Leader of the Conservative Party and MP for Witney. He lives at Downing Street with his wife Samantha and their children Nancy, Elwen and Florence

At 5.45am, in the flat above Downing Street. I go straight to the kitchen table to start working through my red box – a sort of briefcase full of papers, draft speeches, intelligence briefings, policy proposals and letters. Later, Samantha and I make breakfast for the children. I normally have porridge or toast. It can be pretty chaotic as we’re all getting ready for work and school.

Leading the Government of the United Kingdom. I’m also the Leader of the Conservative Party and the MP for Witney, which includes all of West Oxfordshire.

As Leader of the Conservative Party in December 2005 and as Prime Minister in May 2010, after forming a coalition between the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats. A general election campaign feels like one very long job interview.

Involves meeting with lots of different people. On Tuesday mornings I meet with my Cabinet ministers to deal with the big issues of the week. I’m proud that a third of the people around my Cabinet table are women but I would like it to be more. A couple of days a week I head out of Westminster on a visit. During my conference speech, I announced plans to improve social work so I recently met with social workers and a family in south-west London who are working hard at their parenting skills and domestic problems to stop their children being taken into care.

A lot of the day is spent chasing progress on our commitments – making sure we are doing the things we said we would. Then there are the emergencies – dealing with terrorist threats, floods and other national problems.

Back in Downing Street, I’ll sit down with my speech writers and go through upcoming speeches. Sometimes I’ll download my thoughts, other times we’ll make revisions and bat around ideas. There can be several speeches a week – in Parliament, overseas or around Britain. I’ve delivered them in schools, factories, colleges and even the Welsh mountains.

David Cameron

Was walking through Number 10’s big black door after being re-elected last May with a majority. We’d packed everything up in the flat, just in case.

Is receiving bad news about British citizens in danger at home and abroad. In recent months we’ve had the dreadful terrorist attacks in Tunisia and Paris. 

Is seeing our policies transform people’s lives. A few weeks ago, I went to Burton upon Trent and met with Gemma, James and their two-year-old daughter. Thanks to our changes to shared ownership, they’re now able to buy a house of their own. I remember that same feeling of excitement when I got the keys to my first flat.

Samantha and I regularly host receptions for some of Britain’s heroes. We’ve had everyone from the Ebola medics to the England women’s rugby team. They make you truly proud to be British. Or some nights I’ll cook dinner – Italian sausage meat pasta is a family favourite.

I sometimes head over to Parliament for a vote. MPs can sit well into the night. I then go to bed, with my BlackBerry still buzzing. As I do, my red box is delivered, ready for the next day.

I try to grab some time to watch TV with the kids. Nancy and I love The Great British Bake Off. We backed Nadiya to win in the last series. We’re hoping our support will have the same effect on Sam when she appears on The Great Sport Relief Bake Off in March. I don’t envy her. I’d rather fight an election than make pastry from scratch.

“Is to help end the gender pay gap in a generation. Even though the gap is the lowest it’s ever been, women are still paid less than men. That’s why I’m making large companies publish the difference between men and women’s pay. It’s transparency like this which will close that gap, once and for all.”

Words: David Cameron
Photography: Press Association, Rex Features

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