James Forsyth

When Cameron faced down Paxman

When Cameron faced down Paxman
Text settings
Comments

Reading Decca Aitkenhead’s profile of Jeremy Paxman in The Guardian today, I was reminded of David Cameron’s Newsnight interview back in November 2005. Cameron’s electrifying conference speech and his victory in the MP’s ballot had made him the prohibitive favourite to win the leadership. The Paxman interview, though, was widely regarded as the time when we would see if Cameron could take a heavyweight punch.

Cameron turned in a superb performance (you can watch it here), one that sealed the leadership for him and established him as a heavyweight on the scene. He threw Paxman onto the defensive, telling him, “This is the trouble with these interviews, Jeremy. You come in, sit someone down and treat them like they are some cross between a fake or a hypocrite. You give no time to anyone to answer any of your questions. It does your profession no favours at all and it's no good for political discourse." After this interview, it was clear that Cameron was not going to be another Tory leader who was going to be chewed up by the media.

Written byJames Forsyth

James Forsyth is Political Editor of the Spectator. He is also a columnist in The Sun.

Comments
Topics in this articleSociety