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Despite majority, UK's Cameron faces Conservative rebellion

Published:Monday | May 11, 2015 | 11:02 PMAP


Prime Minister David Cameron's Conservatives may have won the British election and ushered their coalition partner out the door, but that doesn't mean it's all smooth sailing for his government for the next five years.

With influential Euroskeptics clamouring in his own party and a very slim majority in Parliament, Cameron will have a hard time tackling the big headaches looming over his second term: Britain's membership in the 28-nation European Union and the growing movement for Scottish independence.

"He would like to be seen as leading a governing party which is united on a core issue at the centre of the political debate, but that's unlikely to happen," said Colin Hay, a British politics professor at the Paris Institute of Political Studies. "It's going to be really tough."

Cameron's Conservatives won an unexpected majority in last week's election, ensuring that he returns to 10 Downing Street with enough power to govern alone. His first term saw Cameron sharing power with the left-of-centre Liberal Democrats, who held key positions in a sometimes-awkward coalition government.

Within hours of declaring victory Friday, Cameron re-appointed his four highest-ranking ministers, those heading defence, the Treasury, home and foreign affairs, to their posts. No big surprises are expected when the rest of the new, all-Tory Cabinet is unveiled this week.

Cameron yesterday made London Mayor Boris Johnson a member of his political Cabinet, which is an advisory role that does not involve running a department. Cameron said Johnson, seen as a potential future party leader, will "devote his attention to his final year as mayor of London."