1. ITV Report

Cameron and Clegg renew coalition pledge

Prime Minister David Cameron and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, leave 10 Downing Street Photo: PA

Prime Minister David Cameron insisted the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition was "as important and necessary" now as it was when the two parties came together in Government two years ago.

In a joint appearance with Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, Mr Cameron insisted the Government could not "let up" on its deficit reduction strategy but said it was "not just about the dry numbers of the economy".

Mr Clegg said the Government would "constantly strive" to do more to promote growth, as well as reducing debt, but warned that voters should not expect quick results.

It was worth remembering, he said, that there had been a "socking great heart attack at the very centre of our British economy" and there was a six to seven-year plan in place to cure it - well beyond the next general election.

"It is painstaking work recovering from that and it is not something we are going to achieve and so we need to bear in mind the enormity of the trauma we suffered," he cautioned.

There was a "moral duty" to deal with the debt so future generations did not have it hanging over them, he added, but conceded that more efforts were required.

The two leaders were taking part in a question and answer session with employees at the CNH Tractors plant in Basildon, Essex, where Labour won seats in last week's local hammering for the power-sharing parties.

The circumstances - and the Essex factory venue - for today's event could not be more different from the jokes and smiles of the Downing Street garden in the bright spring sunshine of 2010.

Today Mr Cameron said the coalition partners remained separate parties with distinct identities, but were working together in the national interest.

We are different parties, the Conservative Party and the Liberal Democrat party, and we don't always agree.

"But I would argue in the last two years, the Government has done a lot of things that needed to be done.

Senior Political Correspondent Chris Ships reports on the visit:

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