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David Cameron

David Cameron is a British Conservative Party politician who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 2010 to 2016.

He was the Member of Parliament for Witney from 2001 to 2016 and leader of the Conservative Party from 2005 to 2016.

He identifies as a one-nation conservative, and has been associated with both economically liberal and socially liberal policies.

  • Full name: David William Donald Cameron
  • Profession: Former British politician
  • Born: 9 October 1966 (age 53 years), London
  • Height: 1.85 m
  • Spouse: Samantha Cameron (m. 1996)
  • Children: Ivan Reginald Ian Cameron, Florence Rose Endellion Cameron, Nancy Gwen Cameron, Arthur Elwen Cameron
  • Education: Eton College, University of Oxford, Heatherdown School, Brasenose College
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About David Cameron

David Cameron was born on 9 October 1966, London, England. Cameron is the younger son of Ian Donald Cameron (1932–2010) a stockbroker, and his wife Mary Fleur (née Mount; born 1934), a retired Justice of the Peace and a daughter of Sir William Mount, 2nd Baronet.

Cameron’s parents were married on 20 October 1962. The journalist Toby Young has described Cameron’s background as being “upper-upper-middle class”.

Cameron was born in Marylebone, London, and raised at Peasemore in Berkshire. He has a brother, Alexander Cameron QC (born 1963), a barrister, and two sisters, Tania Rachel (born 1965) and Clare Louise (born 1971).

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His father, Ian, was born at Blairmore House near Huntly, Aberdeenshire, and died near Toulon, France, on 8 September 2010; Ian was born with both legs deformed, and underwent repeated operations to correct this.

Blairmore was built by Cameron’s great-great-grandfather, Alexander Geddes, who had made a fortune in the grain trade in Chicago, Illinois, before returning to Scotland in the 1880s. Blairmore was sold soon after Ian’s birth.

Cameron has said, “On my mother’s side of the family, her mother was a Llewellyn, so Welsh. I’m a real mixture of Scottish, Welsh, and English.”

He has also referenced the German-Jewish ancestry of one of his great-grandfathers, Arthur Levita, a descendant of the Yiddish author Elia Levita.

Education

From the age of seven, Cameron was educated at two independent schools: at Heatherdown School in Winkfield (near Ascot) in Berkshire, which counts Prince Andrew and Prince Edward among its old boys. Owing to good grades, Cameron entered its top academic class almost two years early.

At the age of thirteen he went on to Eton College in Berkshire, following his father and elder brother. His early interest was in art. Six weeks before taking his O-Levels he was caught smoking cannabis.

He admitted the offence and had not been involved in selling drugs, so he was not expelled; instead he was fined, prevented from leaving the school grounds, and given a “Georgic” (a punishment that involved copying 500 lines of Latin text).

Cameron passed twelve O-Levels and then three A-levels: History of art; History, in which he was taught by Michael Kidson; and Economics with Politics.

He obtained three ‘A’ grades and a ‘1’ grade in the Scholarship Level exam in Economics and Politics. The following autumn, he passed the entrance exam for the University of Oxford, and was offered an exhibition at Brasenose College.

Brasenose College, Oxford

After leaving Eton in 1984, Cameron started a nine-month gap year. For three months he worked as a researcher for his godfather Tim Rathbone, then Conservative MP for Lewes, during which time he attended debates in the House of Commons.

Through his father, he was then employed for a further three months in Hong Kong by Jardine Matheson as a ‘ship jumper’, an administrative post.

Returning from Hong Kong, Cameron visited the then Soviet Union, where he was approached by two Russian men speaking fluent English. Cameron was later told by one of his professors that it was “definitely an attempt” by the KGB to recruit him.

In October 1985, Cameron began his Bachelor of Arts course in Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE) at Brasenose College, Oxford.

His tutor, Professor Vernon Bogdanor, has described him as “one of the ablest” students he has taught, with “moderate and sensible Conservative” political views.

Guy Spier, who shared tutorials with him, remembers him as an outstanding student: “We were doing our best to grasp basic economic concepts.

David—there was nobody else who came even close. He would be integrating them with the way the British political system is put together.

He could have lectured me on it, and I would have sat there and taken notes.” When commenting in 2006 on his former pupil’s ideas about a “Bill of Rights” to replace the Human Rights Act, however, Professor Bogdanor, himself a Liberal Democrat, said, “I think he is very confused.

I’ve read his speech and it’s filled with contradictions. There are one or two good things in it but one glimpses them, as it were, through a mist of misunderstanding”.

While at Oxford, Cameron was a member of the Bullingdon Club, a student dining society that has a reputation for an outlandish drinking culture associated with boisterous behaviour and damaging property. Cameron’s period in the Bullingdon Club was examined in a Channel 4 docu-drama, When Boris Met Dave.

Cameron graduated in 1988 with a first-class honours BA degree (later promoted to an MA by seniority).

Career

From 1988 to 1993 he worked at the Conservative Research Department, latterly assisting the Conservative Prime Minister John Major, before leaving politics to work for Carlton Communications in 1994.

Becoming an MP in 2001, he served in the opposition shadow cabinet under Conservative leader Michael Howard, and succeeded Howard in 2005.

Cameron sought to rebrand the Conservatives, embracing an increasingly socially liberal position. Following the 2010 general election, negotiations led to Cameron becoming Prime Minister as the head of a coalition government with the Liberal Democrats – the youngest holder of the office since the 1810s.

His premiership was marked by the ongoing effects of the late-2000s financial crisis; these involved a large deficit in government finances that his government sought to reduce through austerity measures.

His administration introduced large-scale changes to welfare, immigration policy, education, and healthcare.

It privatised the Royal Mail and some other state assets, and legalised same-sex marriage in England and Wales.

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Internationally, his government intervened militarily in the Libyan Civil War and later authorised the bombing of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant; domestically, his government oversaw the referendum on voting reform and Scottish independence referendum, both of which confirmed Cameron’s favoured outcome.

When the Conservatives secured an unexpected majority in the 2015 general election he remained as Prime Minister, this time leading a Conservative-only government.

To fulfil a manifesto pledge, he introduced a referendum on the UK’s continuing membership of the EU. Cameron supported continued membership; following the success of the Leave vote, he resigned to make way for a new Prime Minister and was succeeded by Theresa May.

Cameron has been praised for modernising the Conservative Party and for decreasing the United Kingdom’s national deficit.

However, he has been the target of criticism surrounding his decision to hold the referendum on Britain’s membership of the EU which led to a period of political instability in the UK during the late 2010s.

He has also been criticised by figures on both the left and right, and has been accused of elitism and political opportunism.