David Cameron: getting tough on immigration
Tory MPs and activists were delighted today after David Cameron hardened his image with calls for curbs on immigration and "tough punishment" for criminals.
The Conservative leader also confirmed that he would push up air taxes and hit airlines with new levies for flying half-empty planes.
Mr Cameron said his party had "fire in its belly" for a snap autumn poll, but refused to reveal whether he would step down should he fail to defeat Gordon Brown at the next election.
Having until now deliberately avoided talk of immigration, Mr Cameron declared that it was putting too much pressure on housing and public services in an interview on Newsnight last night. He said that the level of migration had been "too high" under Labour.
"I do think that people have a very real concern about levels of immigrationand not because of different cultures or the colour of their skin," he said. "Concern is about services. It's the pressure on schools, pressure on hospitals, pressure on housing.
"It's important to understand that if your child is going into a reception class and suddenly 20 new kids turn up because lots more families have arrived, then that is a big pressure."