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Saturday, June 25, 2016

David Cameron

David William Donald Cameron, born 9 October 1966) is a British politician who has served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom since 2010, and as Member of Parliament for Witney since 2001. The Leader of the Conservative Party since 2005, Cameron identifies as a One-Nation Conservative, and has been associated with both economically liberal and socially liberal policies.

Born in London to wealthy upper middle-class parents, Cameron was educated at Heatherdown School, Eton College, and Brasenose College, Oxford. From 1988 to 1993 he worked at the Conservative Research Department, assisting the Conservative Prime Minister John Major, before leaving politics to work for Carlton Communications in 1994. Becoming an MP in 2001, he served on the opposition shadow cabinet under Conservative leader Michael Howard, succeeding Howard in 2005. Cameron sought to rebrand the Conservatives, embracing an increasingly socially liberal position. The 2010 general election led to Cameron becoming Prime Minister as the head of a coalition government with the Liberal Democrats. His premiership was marked by the ongoing effects of the late-2000s financial crisis leading to a large deficit in government finances, which his government sought to reduce through austerity measures. His administration introduced large-scale changes to welfare, immigration policy, education, and healthcare. It privatised state assets like the Royal Mail and legalised same-sex marriage.

Internationally, his government militarily intervened in the Libyan Civil War and later authorised the bombing of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant; domestically, his government oversaw the unsuccessful referendum on voting reform and Scottish independence referendum, both of which confirmed Cameron's favoured outcome. Cameron was re-elected Prime Minister in the 2015 general election, leading a Conservative government. As per a manifesto pledge, he introduced a referendum on the UK's continuing membership of the EU. Cameron supported continued membership; following the success of the "Leave" vote, he announced that he would step down before the October 2016 Conservative Party conference to make way for a new Prime Minister.

A controversial figure in British politics, Cameron has been praised for modernising the Conservative Party and for reining in the United Kingdom's national debt. Conversely he has been criticised by figures on both the left and right, accused of political opportunism and social elitism.

Cameron is married to Samantha Gwendoline Sheffield, the daughter of Sir Reginald Sheffield, 8th Baronet, and Annabel Lucy Veronica Jones (now Viscountess Astor). A Marlborough College school friend of Cameron's sister Clare, Samantha accepted Clare's invitation to accompany the Cameron family on holiday in Tuscany, Italy, after graduating from Bristol School of Creative Arts. It was then David and Samantha's romance started. They were married on 1 June 1996 at the Church of St Augustine of Canterbury, East Hendred, Oxfordshire, five years before Cameron was elected to parliament. The Camerons have had four children. Their first, Ivan Reginald Ian, was born on 8 April 2002 in Hammersmith and Fulham, London, with a rare combination of cerebral palsy and a form of severe epilepsy called Ohtahara syndrome, requiring round-the-clock care. Recalling the receipt of this news, Cameron was quoted as saying: "The news hits you like a freight train ... You are depressed for a while because you are grieving for the difference between your hopes and the reality. But then you get over that, because he's wonderful." Ivan was cared for at the specialist NHS Cheyne Day Centre in West London, which closed shortly after he left it. Ivan died at St Mary's Hospital, Paddington, London, on 25 February 2009, aged six.

Samantha Cameron in a saree with David Cameron welcoming Indian Prime Minister Modi, 13 November 2015
The Camerons have two daughters, Nancy Gwen (born 2004) and Florence Rose Endellion (born 24 August 2010), and a son, Arthur Elwen (born 2006). Cameron took paternity leave when his son was born, and this decision received broad coverage. It was also stated that Cameron would be taking paternity leave after his second daughter was born. His second daughter was born on 24 August 2010, three weeks prematurely, while the family was on holiday in Cornwall. Her third given name, Endellion, is taken from the village of St Endellion near where the Camerons were holidaying.

In early May 2008, the Camerons decided to enrol their daughter Nancy at a state primary school. For three years before that they had been attending its associated church, St Mary Abbots, near the Cameron family home in North Kensington. Cameron's constituency home is in Dean, Oxfordshire, and the Camerons are reported to be key members of the Chipping Norton set.

On 8 September 2010, it was announced that Cameron would miss Prime Minister's Questions in order to fly to southern France to see his father, Ian Cameron, who had suffered a stroke with coronary complications. Later that day, with David and other family members at his bedside, Ian died. On 17 September 2010, Cameron attended a private ceremony for the funeral of his father in Berkshire, which prevented him from hearing the address of Pope Benedict XVI in Westminster Hall, an occasion he would otherwise have attended.

In October 2010, David Cameron inherited £300,000 from his father's will. The Camerons' family fortune was built up by his late father, Ian Cameron, who had worked as a stockbroker in the City. Ian Cameron used multimillion-pound investment funds based in offshore tax havens, such as Jersey, Panama City, and Geneva, to increase the family wealth. In 1979 he took advantage of the end of capital controls made by Margaret Thatcher during her first month in power, which made it legal to take money out of the country without it being taxed or subject to any financial controls by the UK government. In 1982, Ian Cameron created the Panamanian Blairmore Holdings Inc. an offshore investment fund, valued at about $20 million in 1988, "not liable to taxation on its income or capital gains", which used bearer shares until 2006.

In April 2016, following the Panama Papers financial documents leak, David Cameron faced calls to resign after he was forced to admit that he and his wife Samantha profited from Ian Cameron's offshore fund. He owned £31,500 of shares in the fund and sold them for a profit of £19,000 shortly before becoming Prime Minister in 2010. The former Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, even argued that Cameron "shouldn’t just resign, he should be sent to prison". David Cameron argued that the fund was set up in Panama so that people who wanted to invest in dollar-denominated shares and companies could do so. Cameron had personally intervened in 2013 to water down a planned EU crackdown on tax evasion.

Thousands of protesters assembled in London on 9 April 2016 to demand Cameron's resignation. A second protest demanding Cameron's resignation followed on 16 April 2016.

An estimate of his worth is £3.2 million, though this figure excludes the six-figure legacies Cameron is expected to inherit from both sides of his family.

David Cameron, Barack Obama, Angela Merkel, Fran├žois Hollande, and others watch the penalty shootout of the 2012 UEFA Champions League Final. The faces of Cameron, Obama, and Merkel reflect the outcome of the match – a Chelsea victory on penalties.
Before becoming prime minister, Cameron regularly used his bicycle to commute to work. In early 2006, he was photographed cycling to work, followed by his driver in a car carrying his belongings. His Conservative Party spokesperson subsequently said that this was a regular arrangement for Cameron at the time. Cameron is an occasional jogger and in 2009 raised funds for charities by taking part in the Oxford 5K and the Great Brook Run.

Cameron supports Aston Villa Football Club, although at a press conference on 25 April 2015 jokingly claimed he would rather people support West Ham United – who wear the same colours as Villa – than Manchester United. This "brain fade" (as Cameron himself called his slip-up) received widespread Twitter coverage under the name '#villagate'. Although a Villa supporter, he was photographed celebrating Chelsea's victory over Bayern Munich in the 2012 UEFA Champions League Final. The match took place during the 38th G8 summit, and Cameron celebrated an English victory while in the same room as German Chancellor Angela Merkel, a noted football fan.

Cameron is also a keen cricket fan and has appeared on Test Match Special.

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