Born on 9th of October 1966
British hero of the week June 9th 2009
A distant relation to the Queen, from a family that made its considerable fortune in stock-broking, an Old Etonian who has surrounded himself politically with many others from that elite establishment, David Cameron was perhaps a surprise choice to become leader of the Conservative Party in 2005 with a need to make it more relevant to the British people.
David Cameron was born in London on October 9 1966 into an exceedingly well-connected family able to number Adam Hart-Davis, John Julius Norwich and Ferdinand Mount among his relatives. After prep school and Eton he went up to Brasenose College Oxford to read Politics Philosophy and Economics, a traditional route to a political career in Britain. While at Oxford he was a member of the exclusive Bullingdon Club – whose uniform costs thousands, and which is famed for the drunken trashing of restaurants. George Osborne and Boris Johnson were Bullingdon contemporaries.
Before Oxford he used his gap year to work for his godfather, Conservative MP Tim Rathbone, and then for three months in Hong Kong in a job secured via his father. After Oxford he worked for the Conservative Research Department for four years, at one time briefing John Major before PMQs. He was also special advisor to Norman Lamont for a period. In July 1994 he diverted from politics into the real world, or rather the media, becoming Director of Corporate Affairs at Carlton Communications until 2001.
Cameron failed to be selected as Conservative Party candidate for Ashford in 1994, stood at Stafford in 1997 and was defeated, then entered Parliament via the safe seat of Witney in 2001. He was rapidly (as a newcomer) parachuted into the Home Affairs Select Committee, and by June 2003 was a shadow minister, rising to be a Vice-Chairman of the Conservative Party under Michael Howard. When the latter resigned having lost the 2005 general election David Cameron defeated more established candidates like Ken Clarke to become leader of the Tories. Whether he is ‘heir to [the equally public school] Blair’, Margaret Thatcher (of whom he is a fan) or (given his Etonian coterie) Macmillan remains to be seen.
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