David Cameron answered six demands made in a readers’ manifesto during an exclusive interview with a regional daily.
The Middlesbrough-based Teesside Gazette secured an exclusive interview with Mr Cameron, in spite of recent criticism from others in the regional press industry about the Prime Minister’s entourage’s treatment of journalists during the General Election campaign.
The Gazette’s manifesto was created as part of a group-wide initiative by parent company Trinity Mirror, which saw 24 of its titles quiz readers about what they wanted from the next government in an online survey.
Demands in the Teesside manifesto included support to bring big businesses to the area, greater investment in roads and fairer treatment over council cuts.
Readers also urged whoever is in government after 7 May to bring empty homes back into use, keep the private sector out of the NHS and cut the benefits bill by helping people off welfare into work that pays.
The Prime Minister was quizzed by the Gazette on each of the six issues and also posed for a photograph while holding a poster publicising the manifesto.
The Gazette also asked Mr Cameron about Stockton South Tory candidate James Wharton’s chances of retaining the seat, after recent polls revealed he was lagging behind Labour.
He responded:”There’s only one poll that counts – that’s the poll on polling day. With James Wharton people know they have got a strong local MP. He’s got a great track record.”