British PM meets backbenchers first time, since winning
David Cameron is due to address Conservative back-benchers for the first time since winning a majority, as he continues to appoint his new cabinet. He retains Iain Duncan Smith as Work and Pensions Secretary, while Baroness Stowell remains leader of the Lords.
The PM revealed he has already spoken to European leaders about renegotiating Britain’s relationship with the EU, ahead of his planned in/out referendum. A senior back-bencher said ministers should be free to back a UK exit. Another said Mr Cameron should allow “freedom of expression” to avoid tension within the party.
The prime minister will address the committee on plans to renew the UK’s relationship with Europe and show “respect” for all parts of the Union.
Mr Cameron had already called some European leaders ahead of efforts to renegotiate Britain’s terms of membership of the EU. But the ministers from Poland, Hungary and Slovakia have told that they are not prepared to give up on the principle of freedom of movement for their citizens. EU rules mean everyone can move to live, and in most cases have the right to work in any member state.
Mr Cameron had told last year’s Conservative conference: “I will go to Brussels, I will not take no for an answer and – when it comes to free movement – I will get what Britain needs.”