Britain’s Popular Conservative Party Leader Calls for 2009 Election

By David Stringer | December 30, 2008 | 10:54 AM EST
London (AP) - Britain's opposition leader on Tuesday urged Prime Minister Gordon Brown to call an election in 2009, saying the country needs a chance to choose between their competing economic plans.
In a written New Year's message to Conservative Party supporters, David Cameron said Brown had failed to prepare Britain for the financial crisis and was now pursuing policies likely to deepen and lengthen the country's recession.
Brown, of the Labour Party, spent a decade as Treasury chief before he replaced Tony Blair as prime minister in 2007. Brown must call a national election by mid-2010.
He has largely pinned his hopes of reviving Britain's economy on a 20 billion pound ($30.2 billion) package of tax cuts and public works projects.
Cameron claims the package involves an irresponsible amount of government borrowing.
Public sector net borrowing is predicted to hit 118 billion pounds ($174 billion) in 2009-2010, or 8 percent of gross domestic product -- up from 78 billion pounds ($115 billion) in 2008-2009.
"The longer Labour are in, the worse it gets. So let's make sure we're ready for an election at any time, and let's do all we can to make sure that 2009 is the year when change comes to Britain too," Cameron said in his message.
His party holds a small edge over Labour in opinion polls and has led Brown's governing party in all but one major poll published during 2008.
Brown has acknowledged that 2009 is likely to be a difficult year for Britain's economy.
The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, a leading human resources consulting company, said Monday it predicts 600,000 people in Britain will lose their jobs in the next year. That would make 2009 the worst year for job losses since 1991.
Brown says that to cope with the recession, the public should remember the spirit of the Blitz, when Britons stood resolute in the face of Nazi bombardment during World War II.
"The prime minister tells us to find our Blitz spirit when he is the one dropping the bombs _ the tax and debt bombshells that are taking Britain to the brink of bankruptcy," Cameron said.
He said his opposition party would advocate lower taxes, smaller government and curbs on public borrowing if it wins office.
The resurgent Tory Party wants British voters to decide the fate of unpopular Prime Minister Gordon Brown's government -- and his Labour economic plan.