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Cameron and Labour trade 1980s record claims

By Channel 4 News

Updated on 03 April 2010

Labour launches a new poster campaign depicting David Cameron as the 1980's TV detective Gene Hunt accompanied by the slogan "don't let him take Britain back to the 1980s". But the Conservative leader says he is "flattered" by the comparison.

Labour poster of David Cameron (credit:Reuters)

On the final weekend before Prime Minister Gordon Brown is expected to call a general election for 6 May, brothers David and Ed Miliband launched the poster campaign, which was the winner of a public competition.

The poster the Conservative leader sitting on the bonnet of an Audi Quattro like that driven by politically-incorrect TV detective Gene Hunt in the BBC1 series Ashes To Ashes, next to the slogan: "Don't let him take Britain back to the 1980s."

The Gene Hunt theme was the brainchild of activist Jacob Quagliozzi, 24, from St Albans, Herts, and was worked up by Labour's ad agency Saatchi and Saatchi.

Foreign Secretary David Miliband said he and his brother first got into politics in the 1980s and said the poster was a "powerful reminder of the damage which the Tories did to Britain in the 80s and the threat which they pose to the country should they win the election".

But Mr Cameron said he was "flattered" by the comparison and Tories quickly produced a spoof version of the poster drawing on Hunt's catchphrase: "Fire up the Quattro. It's time for change."

"I think there will be thousands of people, millions of people, in the country who wish it was the 1980s and that police were out there feeling collars and nicking people instead of filling in forms," Mr Cameron said.

Today the Conservative leader met with kidney cancer campaigners in his constituency. Mr Cameron also used an article in the Daily Telegraph this morning to set out his personal "manifesto" and accuse Labour of inflicting "devastation and waste" on the country.

He defended his privileged background and promised a "different style of government" to Mr Brown that put country before party.

And he also referred back to the party's record in the 1980s, renewing a pledge to emulate Margaret Thatcher's administrations in taking on vested interests, including "union barons that threaten another spring of discontent", teachers and big business.

The Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg focused on banks, saying he would sack the boards of largely state-owned banks if they failed to meet lending targets.

He said it was an "outrage" that banks which had been bailed out by taxpayers were now "hoarding" money instead of using it to lend to businesses and households.

The government agreed binding targets with Lloyds Banking Group and RBS when it stepped in to rescue them in 2008, but Mr Clegg said they had so far failed to honour their promises.

Prime Minister Gordon Brown is expected to officially start the firing gun on a 6 May general election on Tuesday.

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