"Sink or swim" - reaction to PM's speech

David Cameron delivering his conference speech. Photo: PA Wire

The Prime Minister today promised to "get Britain on the rise" by unleashing the power of enterprise and aspiration to overcome the economic crisis.

In a speech to Conservatives in Birmingham, David Cameron warned that the UK faces an "hour of reckoning" in which the decisions it makes will determine whether it will "sink or swim, do or decline".

Martin Vickers, the Conservative MP for Cleethorpes, said Mr Cameron "pressed all the right buttons".

But the Labour MP for Barnsley East, Michael Dugher, said the Prime Minister was "out-of-touch".

This was a defensive speech, from an out-of-touch, clearly rattled leader, who cannot be the One Nation Prime Minister we need.

David Cameron never once mentioned the double-dip recession or the one million young people out of work. His speech failed to set out the real change our economy needs.

Rather than tackling the banks, or explaining why borrowing is going up not down, he chose to defend his millionaires' tax cut.

– Michael Dugher MP (Labour, Barnsley East)