First Speech as Prime Minister of Great Britain
delivered 11 May 2010, Downing Street, London, England
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[AUTHENTICITY CERTIFIED: Text version below transcribed directly from audio]
Her Majesty, the Queen, has asked me to form a new government and I have accepted. Before I talk about that new government, let me say something about the one that has just passed.
Compared with a decade ago, this country is more open at home and more compassionate abroad, and that is something we should all be grateful for. And on behalf of the whole country I'd like to pay tribute to the outgoing Prime Minister for his long record of dedicated public service.
In terms of the future, our country has a hung parliament where no party has an overall majority; and we have some deep and pressing problems -- a huge deficit, deep social problems, and a political system in need of reform.
For those reasons, I aim to form a proper and full coalition between the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats. I believe that is the right way to provide this country with the strong, the stable, the good and decent government that I think we need so badly. Nick Clegg and I are both political leaders who want to put aside party differences and work hard for the common good and for the national interest.
I believe that is the best way to get the strong government that we need, decisive government that we need today. I came into politics because I love this country. I think its best days still lie ahead and I believe deeply in public service.
And I think the service our country needs right now is to face up to our really big challenges, to confront our problems, to take difficult decisions, to lead people through those difficult decisions, so that together we can reach better times ahead.
One of the tasks that we clearly have is to rebuild trust in our political system. Yes, that's about cleaning up expenses. Yes, that's about reforming parliament. And yes, it's about making sure people are in control -- and that the politicians are always their servants and never their masters.
But I believe it's also something else. It's about being honest about what government can achieve. Real change is not what government can do on its own. Real change is when everyone pulls together, comes together, works together, where we all exercise our responsibilities to ourselves, to our families, to our communities, and to others.
And I want to help try and build a more responsible society here in Britain. One where we don't just ask what are my entitlements, but what are my responsibilities: When we don't ask where, "What am I just owed?" But more, "What can I give?" And a guide for that society -- that those that can should, and those who can't we will always help.
I want to make sure that my government always looks after the elderly, the frail, the poorest in our country. We must take everyone through [sic] us on some of the difficult decisions that we have ahead. Above all, it will be a government that is built on some clear values -- values of freedom, values of fairness, and values of responsibility. I want us to build an economy that rewards work. I want us to build a society with stronger families and stronger communities. And I want a political system that people can trust and look up to once again.
This is going to be hard and difficult work. A coalition will throw up all sorts of challenges. But I believe together we can provide that strong and stable government that our country needs based on those values -- rebuilding family, rebuilding community; above all, rebuilding responsibility in our country.
Those are the things I care about.
Those are the things that this government will now start work on doing.
Thank you very much.
U.S Copyright Status: Text = United Kingdom Open Government Licence v1.0. Audio = Uncertain.