David Cameron faced Labour claims of arrogance after declaring that he would not seek a third term in office just weeks before voters go to the polls in a general election that will decide if he gets a second. Allies of the Prime Minister said voters would appreciate his “honest” reply to a question in a BBC interview about his future as leader and played it down as “a statement of the bleeding obvious”. But critics suggested that by naming potential successors he risked Tory leadership speculation overshadowing the election campaign and political opponents accused him of taking the electorate for granted.
Terms are like Shredded Wheat - two are wonderful but three might just be too many.
David Cameron, speaking to the BBC
And there remained confusion over the exact terms of his proposed departure, notably around whether or not he intended to lead the party into the 2020 general election. Interviewed in his kitchen as part of series of profiles of the private sides of party leaders, Mr Cameron said: “I’ve said I’ll stand for a full second term. But I think after that it will be time for new leadership.” Labour campaign chief Douglas Alexander said the Tories were “taking the British public for granted” and a Liberal Democrat spokesman said Mr Cameron was being “incredibly presumptuous” and “agonising over his own long-term legacy” rather than the impact of spending cuts.
It is typically arrogant of David Cameron to presume a third Tory term in 2020 before the British public have been given the chance to have their say in this election.
Labour campaign chief Douglas Alexander