Cameron tells the City the UK still has clout on the world stage

DAVID Cameron will tonight claim that Britain is still a great economic power, as he seeks to draw a line under the spending cuts and present an optimistic vision for the future.

In his first speech to the Lord Mayor’s banquet, the Prime Minister will argue that the City’s status as a centre for global finance means Britain will continue to be a major player on the world stage, even as emerging economies like China and India gain influence.

“Britain remains a great economic power. Show me a City in the world with stronger credentials than the City of London,” Cameron is expected to say at the Guildhall.

“Show me another gathering with the same line-up of financial, legal, accounting, communications and other professional expertise.”

With an audience drawn mainly from the Square Mile, the Prime Minister’s warm words for the City are to be expected.

However, they mark an important, if subtle, shift in tone. Since entering Downing Street, Cameron has been careful to talk up manufacturers and small firms at the expense of financial services and so-called “big business” – much to the chagrin of some Tory backbenchers.