Brexit flip-flop: 'David Cameron changes tune on new London mayor'

Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron (3rd R) makes a joint appearance with Mayor of London Sadiq Khan (2nd L) as they launch the Britain Stronger in Europe guarantee card at Roehampton University in West London, Britain May 30, 2016. © Yui Mok
UK Prime Minister David Cameron has a agenda to win the EU referendum and anything that he says, no matter how hypocritical it may seem, is just directed towards this agenda, says Ian Dunt, the editor of

Cameron is under fire for an apparent change of opinion on new London Mayor Sadiq Khan, who has publicly declared his support for the UK remaining in the EU, something the British Prime Minister also endorses.

RT: Is it just a coincidence that the Prime Minister's rhetoric towards Mr. Khan suddenly changed, when the mayor expressed support for the ‘Remain in the EU Campaign'?

Ian Dunt: It is not coincidence at all. A month ago David Cameron had a very firm agenda and that was to get a conservative into City Hall in London. Now he has a different agenda, which is to win the EU referendum. And anything that he says, no matter how hypocritical it may seem, is just directed towards this agenda. His agenda has changed and now his rhetoric has changed.

RT: How can we explain such a rapid change of tune from Mr. Cameron over the new mayor?

ID: I don’t believe for a moment that he ever believed any of the things that he said about Sadiq Khan. And that was what was really so pernicious about the whole campaign. What made it frankly Islamophobic was the fact that you didn’t really get this sense that he or the Tory mayoral candidates actually believed any of this stuff. And in fact most of the things they said about him, about people he shared platforms with, were sort of roundly shown to be false within minutes of being said...

RT: Back in April when Sadiq Khan was just a mayoral candidate David Cameron didn't seem very fond of him, he was even accused of racist comments towards Mr. Khan. Do you think Cameron now regrets going so far?

ID: Who knows. His level of hypocrisy at this stage on this matter is so severe it is actually quite hard to assess what he was thinking. Even when he made those comments it looked very unlikely that the Tories were going to win that campaign. I think he probably felt that he had some sort of responsibility as the leader of the Tory party to support the campaign that had been decided upon, and so he made the comments. To be fair to him, he probably had a pretty good idea of the fact that they wouldn’t work when he made them. And it won’t necessarily make anyone more sympathetic towards him but, nevertheless, it is probably the case.   

RT: Do you believe the prime minister's new-found backing for Mr. Khan will win him any more support in the bid to keep Britain in the EU?

ID: Where it would have an effect is in London. Londoners would be quite happy to see him do at least some retreat on the rhetoric he was using during the London mayoral campaign. The thing is in terms of the EU referendum that doesn’t make a lot of difference because London is quite disproportionally pro-Remain in comparison to the rest of the country. It is pretty much a safe place to be honest for the prime minister. He will win in the EU campaign in the capital at least. So where this kind of message is effective is with voters who are anyway already planning to vote in the way they want. So, it won’t have much of an effect.

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