PM In Salmond 'Pickpocket' Gaffe

22 April 2015, 14:37

David Cameron has been caught joking about Alex Salmond pinching people's wallets in remarks broadcast after a TV interview ended.

The Prime Minister, who had just done a viewer call-in on ITV's This Morning, made the comment as host Phillip Schofield moved on to the next item.

Mr Schofield said: "Up next, a man who can pinch your wallet, your watch and even your tie without you noticing."

Mr Cameron, who was off camera, could then be heard saying: "Is that Alex Salmond?"

Co-host Amanda Holden burst out laughing at the remark as the programme went to ads.

Alex Salmond said the "jibe" is typical of the Tory leader's style, warning: "The Tories have been picking Scotland's pocket for years, and have been well and truly rumbled, which is why David Cameron and the rest of the Westminster gang are sinking like a stone in Scotland."

In the interview, Mr Cameron admitted the "close election" means he is not getting to see his family as much as he would like, revealing his four-year-old-daughter often asks if he has won the election yet.

The Prime Minister outlined his plans on the This Morning sofa and admitted the race for power would be close all the way to May 7.

The Tory leader vowed to give the campaign "everything I have got".

He said: "(My family) are sad they are not seeing as much of me as they were but they are very enthusiastic.

"Even Florence gets there's a blue team and I'm in charge. She keeps coming back home at night and saying 'Daddy have you won the election yet?'

"(I say) 'no, no it doesn't work like that, it's a long process'.

"This is I think such an important election for our country so I'm going to give it everything I have got."

Mr Cameron said he understood why people were thinking hard about who to vote for and said he hoped in the end they would turn to him.

He described his frantic campaign schedule, set to include an appearance with London Mayor Boris Johnson later today.

The Prime Minister said: "It is a close election, it is a very tough and tight fight. I am not surprised by that.

"In this country, since 2008, since the great financial crash, we have had a difficult time. It has been hard for people and as a country together sacrifices have been made to get the country back on track.

"So I understand why people are thinking very carefully about how they vote - I just believe in the end and hope in the end they will stick with the people turning the economy around rather than go back to the people who crashed it in the first place.

"But in the end, we are a democracy, people will choose."

Mr Cameron said he was left "angry" by Labour attacks describing him and the Conservatives as heartless.

He told the ITV programme: "What I have done as Prime Minister is try to turn our economy around, get our country back on its feet. It was the poorest that were hit hardest by Labour.

"I get very angry when I hear this attack because we have taken three million of the lowest paid people out of income tax, there are two million extra jobs - people who didn't have work now have work.

"The NHS is absolutely vital to me and is there for everyone's family. Labour can talk about this stuff but I remember what they did in office, I remember the people thrown out of work, who had their houses repossessed.

"It drives me mad sometimes now to hear them talk after five years of opposing everything we have done to get the economy back on track.

"My fear for the country is if they get back in again, they will do it all over again and wreck it."

Asked if he had any regrets, Mr Cameron said there were things he wished he had done quicker, but added that he believed the country was on the "brink of something really special".

He went on: "You get judged in this job all the time and that's the way it should be.

"There are things we have done which I wish we had done even quicker. The question about housing, I think, is spot on. I wish we had produced Help to Buy even faster to get that market going and get more young people on the housing ladder.

"But overall, I would say the big task I faced in 2010 was to get the economy moving, get people back to work, get our deficit down, make sure Britain was striding forward. We are now.

"I feel so excited about the next five years ... I think we are on the brink of something really special, which is turning that good economic news into good news for Britain's families and workers and everybody else because there are going to be more jobs and lower taxes, and houses that we want to live in and schools we'd be proud for our children to go to.

"That's what it's all about and that's what fires me up."