Author: By James Tapsfield, Press Association
The Tory leader also said he was determined to maintain a “normal” family
lifestyle if he won the next General Election.
But he displayed his ruthless streak by insisting he would not hesitate to
sack shadow chancellor George Osborne, or other senior colleagues, if they
were not up to the job.
In an interview with the Evening Standard, Mr Cameron said his faith ran
“hotter and colder by moments” and he did not feel he had a “direct line to
“If you are asking, do I drop to my knees and pray for guidance, no,” he said.
“But do I have faith and is it important, yes. My own faith is there, it’s
not always the rock that perhaps it should be.
“I’ve a sort of fairly classic Church of England faith, a faith that grows
hotter and colder by moments but… I suppose I sort of started life
believing that one’s individual faith was important, but actually the
institutions of the church were less important.
“I do think that organised religion can get things wrong, but the Church of
England and the other churches do play a very important role in society.”
He went on: “I think that it’s perfectly possible to live a good life without
having faith, by which I mean a positive and altruistic life, but I think
the teachings of Jesus, just as the teachings of other religions, are a good
guide to help us through.”
Questioned about his fears, Mr Cameron – whose disabled son Ivan died aged six
earlier this year – said that the biggest one was of something happening to
“That’s fear number one, particularly as it has happened already, it is a sort
of permanent fear,” he said.
“The most natural thing in your life is to look after your little ones.”
He said his other children seemed to have dealt with the death in a much
better way than the adults: “They are amazing; they are able to remember
Ivan with happiness in a way that adults find difficult. They say lovely
things about where he is and what he’s doing.”
Mr Cameron said a terror of failure and letting others down also drove him on.
“I’ve always thought that the fear of getting things wrong inspires me more
than the wonder of getting things right,” he added.
With the Tories in pole position to win the next General Election, Mr Cameron
indicated he would try to get a better work-life balance than the current
incumbent of Number 10.
“I’m sure although there are security restrictions in your life, you just have
to battle for normality,” he said. “If you spend your life in a poorly-lit
bunker surrounded by your aides you are not going to make very good
“But I believe it must be possible to be a good father, good husband, normal
person, a good party leader and, by dint of that, a good prime minister.”
And he stressed that he would be willing to sack even close political allies
if they did not perform well.
“I’ve done so before with other colleagues and I will do so again,” he said.
“With George, the answer is yes. He stayed in my shadow cabinet not because
he is a friend, not because we are godfathers to each other’s children but
because he is the right person to do the job. I know and he knows that if
that was not the case he would not be there.
“I think he had a very, very tough time last year. He really did suffer quite
a lot of slings and arrows. But I have faith in him as a talented politician
and a talented shadow chancellor and someone who has a great feel and
understanding of politics and the great issues. I think he has come back in
a very strong way.”
Mr Cameron also confirmed that he had finally managed to give up smoking.
“I am now clean,” he insisted. “But I still dream I have just had a cigarette
and then have deep remorse on waking, until I realise it was only a dream.
The yearning has gone. I have genuinely given up and do not even miss it.”
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