Cameron pledges radical reforms

Elizabeth Fournier
DAVID Cameron will today pledge a sweeping review of the UK’s approach to social policy in the wake of last week’s devastating riots.

The prime minister will use a speech this morning to announce a “social fightback” to match last week’s security operation.

He will pledge to “review every aspect of our work to mend our broken society, on schools, welfare, families, parenting, addiction, communities, on the cultural, legal, bureaucratic problems in our society; from the twisting and misrepresenting of human rights that has undermined personal responsibility, to the obsession with health and safety that has eroded people’s willingness to act according to common sense.”

With 97 per cent of City A.M./’s Voice of the City panel of business and financial professionals saying that the riots have damaged London’s international business reputation, Cameron will have his work cut out to reassure investors and tourists. He will talk of reforms “big enough and bold enough to deliver the change I feel this country now wants to see”.

Of the 470 business and finance professionals that took part in our latest survey, 35 per cent thought last week’s riots had been “very damaging” to London’s international reputation for investors and tourists, with a further 38 per cent calling the violence and looting “quite damaging” and 24 per cent “a little damaging”. Just three per cent felt that no damage had been done.

Though chancellor George Osborne insisted over the weekend that planned cuts to the UK’s police budget would go ahead, 60 per cent of our panel say the cuts should be rethought – echoing Boris Johnson’s call. The Mayor reiterated his stance yesterday in a move bound to raise hackles among the coalition, saying of police numbers in the capital: “The general movement has got to be static or upwards, and that is vital for policing London.”

The Metropolitan police has made more than 1,400 arrests in connection with the riots. Courts remain open round the clock.

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