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Cameron urges cross-party unity to tackle finance crisis

Conservative leader David Cameron has called for cross-party co-operation to tackle the financial crisis and avoid the “political wrangling” that saw the US bailout fail.

Speaking in an unscheduled address to the party conference in Birmingham on Tuesday, Cameron said people were justifiably angry with the excesses of City bankers and promised that there would be a “day of reckoning” but said the immediate priority was for the party to work with the Government to restore financial stability.

Cameron revealed that the Conservatives were prepared to drop their objection to the FSA being given the responsibility for triggering the Spe-cial Resolution Regime rather than the Bank of England and return to the argument at a later stage. He said it was more important to ensure the “rapid and safe passage” of the Banking Reform Bill through Parliament.

Cameron also called for the Government to accelerate legislation to improve depositor protection and ensure it is paid out quickly. He criticised “marking to market” accounting standards that automatically downgrade banks when the value of their assets fall, making it harder to raise money and exasperating their problems.

But he challenged his party’s perceived alignment with the City, saying it was in favour of free enterprise but not a market “free-for-all”.

He said: “For the last three years, I have made clear that the Conservative Party is not some wholly-owned subsid-iary of the CBI or the City of London.”

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