Leaders' interviews: David Cameron faces down accusation that Tories are party of the rich

 
Guy Bentley
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David Cameron goes head-to-head with Evan Davis (Source: Getty)

David Cameron has taken on the charge that his party is one that stands for the rich. In the second round of leaders' interviews, conducted by Newsnight's Evan Davis, the Prime Minister said the charge of standing up for the wealthy made him "more angry than almost anything else".

When asked whether he agreed with some of the public that a small number of those at top end of the income scale were "taking the mick" Cameron replied: "Yes. There are people who don’t pay their taxes who damn well should."

Asked whether he felt physically sick when he saw "rapacious capitalists" telling their staff on the minimum wage they're not going to be paid for some hours, Cameron said: "Yes. I find that totally offensive."

"We have put more investigative power into the authorities to get after these companies that don’t pay the minimum wage, and there are many in the care sector, and we’re actually seeing more companies pay higher penalties because of that and I’m proud of that because that does make me very angry when I see that," he added.

Cameron's performance was a world away from his interview with Jeremy Paxman at the start of the campaign. When he came face to face with Paxman, Cameron appeared to be taken off-guard by a series of questions about not just his government's policies, but his personal background.

The Tory leader came across as nervous and the consensus among pundits was that Labour leader Ed Miliband had a given a much more assured performance against the veteran broadcaster. Tonight, however, Cameron was in bullish form and handled questions on welfare and the Tory manifesto confidently.

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