Saturday, August 13, 2011
More Than Half Of The Britains Think PM Failed To Control Riots
More than half of Britons think Prime Minister David Cameron failed to provide leadership early enough to control riots that erupted in London and spread to other English cities, a survey showed on Friday.
The results of the ComRes poll for The Independent newspaper chimed with those of an ICM survey for The Guardian, in which only 30 percent said Cameron responded well to the riots while 44 percent thought the opposite.
The ComRes survey also found that only 36 percent have confidence in Cameron's leadership of Britain in general. A different poll by Reuters/Ipsos MORI on July 20 said only 38 percent were happy with the way he was doing his job.
Fifty-four percent said Cameron, who did not return from holiday until the riots reached their peak on Monday, had failed to provide leadership early enough.
Five people were killed during four nights of looting, arson and violence.
Half of those polled also said they had less confidence in London's ability to hold safe Olympics next year, while a third had not changed their mind.
Cameron has called the initial police response to the riots, which were triggered after a man was shot dead by police on Saturday in north London, inadequate. His remarks drew a sharp response from the police, which is facing deep cuts in numbers as part of a government austerity drive to cut public debt.
In a sign of possible damage to London's reputation, a German member of parliament said on Friday that Olympic officials should consider moving the 2012 Olympics from London if the riots and looting were to continue.
Games organizers and the International Olympic Committee have insisted the violence would neither affect preparations for the Games nor the city's image.
The riots have also dented confidence of some leading businessmen. According to a separate ComRes survey for The Independent, 9 percent said they would reduce investment in London over the next year, although 90 percent had made no changes to their investment plans.
ComRes conducted an online survey of 2,008 British adults between Wednesday and Thursday. Data were weighted to be demographically representative of all British adults.
For the business poll, 150 London business leaders were questioned online between Tuesday and Thursday.
Cameron became prime minister in May 2010 at the head of a coalition government led by his Conservative Party.