UK prime minister rallies party before 'knife edge' election

AP News
Posted: Mar 28, 2015 9:57 AM
UK prime minister rallies party before 'knife edge' election

LONDON (AP) — Prime Minister David Cameron said Saturday that Britain's election campaign is on a knife edge, as he rallied the Conservative party with a personal attack on his main rival.

Cameron told a party rally that "this isn't any election. This is a high-stakes, high-risk election."

"This is a knife-edge election and can only be cut two ways: Conservative or Labour," Cameron said. "Britain on the rise or turning the clock back."

The campaign officially kicks off Monday, when Parliament is dissolved before the May 7 vote. Polls suggest neither the Conservatives nor Labour will win a majority of seats.

In a sign the close-fought battle will be bruising, Cameron launched a personal attack on Labour leader Ed Miliband.

"I know what this role needs — and frankly, I don't think Ed Miliband has it," Cameron said.

"Some people might say, 'Don't make this personal,' but when it comes to who's prime minister, the personal is national."

Cameron slammed Miliband's left-of-center party as a "bunch of hypocritical, holier-than-thou, hopeless, sneering socialists."

Miliband launched his election campaign Friday from the top of London's Orbit tower, promising to preserve the cash-strapped National Health Service.

Cameron also made the NHS a key issue, vowing that his government would ensure people had access to doctors and hospital services seven days a week.

"With a future Conservative government, we would have a truly seven-day NHS," Cameron said — though he didn't outline how he would pay for it.

Cameron's coalition government has cut billions in spending in a bid to curb the country's deficit, and he says austerity measures will continue in a second term.