PM's chats with Queen 'very useful'


PM's chats with Queen 'very useful'

Talking politics with the Queen is very useful because she has "heard it all before", David Cameron said.

The Prime Minister discussed his weekly Buckingham Palace audiences with the monarch on BBC Radio 2's Steve Wright Show.

"You are very conscious as Prime Minister that I am her 12th," he said.

"She started with Winston Churchill and she has heard it all before.

"I think prime ministers find it very valuable to try and explain the difficult decisions and problems the country faces in the presence of someone who's heard and seen all these problems before."

The Queen was "always" up to speed, he said, "and you have to make sure you are well-informed too if I can put it that way".

Officials were never required to "come and wrap up" the hour-long sessions, he insisted, prompting Mr Wright to quip: "Does she wrap you up?"

"The conversation naturally comes to an end," Mr Cameron told him.

The PM also said he would prefer to put his cookery skills to the test than dance, eat insects or take his clothes off if he was to appear on a reality TV show.

The Prime Minister admitted his attempts to shake his stuff were "probably best done privately" as he spoke about Strictly Come Dancing.

With MPs in the past having appeared on Celebrity Big Brother, jungle-based I'm a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here and diving show Splash!, the PM was pressed to say which he would choose.

"I'm probably better cooking something I think than either taking my clothes off or eating insects," he said in response to a suggestion the Great British Bake Off might be his thing.

Mr Cameron also expressed his determination to avoid sharing power again by securing an outright Tory victory in 2015.

"I'm not looking for another coalition. I've done coalition; I've got the T-shirt," he said.

"If people want more of the things that we've been able to do - getting the country back to work, cutting people's taxes, getting the economy moving, sorting out our schools, capping welfare, sorting out immigration...more Conservative MPs, a Conservative government, that's the way to deliver it."

He criticised the BBC over a disastrous commercial deal that cost the Corporation £80 million, but said he was opposed to privatising the broadcaster.

"Sometimes there are issues about whether the BBC gets into areas perhaps it shouldn't. Buying the Lonely Planet guide perhaps was a step too far.

"But generally I think the BBC produces great content, it should be independent of government, it shouldn't be privatised.

"We should always have a lively debate between politicians and media organisations about issues of impartiality and balance."

He said that among his recent personal TV highlights was US political thriller Homeland - starring British actor Damian Lewis, who attended Eton at the same time as Mr Cameron.

Another American series - Elementary, a modern take on Sherlock Holmes - was among his Christmas presents, he added.

He admitted that he often fell asleep while watching programmes however.

"We absolutely love our life together," he said of home life with wife Samantha.

"We are so proud of our children. And we try and make time for each other and make sure that at the end of the day we'll sit down and have something to eat and chat about what the children are up to and what she's doing and what I've done and then - like everybody else I guess - half an hour of Silent Witness and then we're both asleep."

Mr Cameron did not rule out another attempt at the Great Brook Run in Chadlington in his constituency, though he added "age is creeping up on me".

And he suggested he was able to go running in London parks without being in disguise because they were " mostly full of tourists who just see some middle-aged, slightly overweight man trotting past them and they just think it's another one".

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