Prime Minister David Cameron used his New Year message to promise action on removing discrimination in society, poverty and tackling extremism concertedly so that 2016 becomes a “game-changer” for Britain and its future.
Delivering a video message and writing for a Conservative website, Cameron said: “For me, there are no New Year’s resolutions, just the resolve to continue delivering what we promised in our manifesto.”
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, in his New Year message, said 2016 will mark the “start of the journey” to a Labour government in 2020. He will face his first major test as party leader during elections to local bodies across Britain in May.
The Cameron government may hold a promised referendum on Britain’s membership of the European Union this year. Cameron, who has been meeting EU leaders to re-negotiate terms of the membership, has promised to hold the referendum before 2017.
Cameron wrote: “I genuinely believe we are in the middle of one of the great reforming decades in our history – what I would call a ‘turnaround decade’, where we can use the platform of our renewed economic strength to go for real social renewal.”
Describing extremism as one of the biggest issues facing Britain, he said: “Of course, we need to tackle the hate preachers and take down the online material that radicalises so many. But we also need to address the issues that for too long have been swept under the carpet.”
He added, “When our national security is threatened by a seething hatred of the West, one that turns people against their country and can even turn them into murderous extremists, I want us to be very clear: you will not defeat us.
“And we will not just confront the violence and the terror; we will take on their underlying poisonous narrative of grievance and resentment. We will come down hard on those who create the conditions for that narrative to flourish.”