David Cameron reaches out to party
David Cameron reaches out to party

David Cameron has attempted to quell the 'swivel-eyed loon' row which threatens to fracture his party in an appearance on national radio this morning.

Cameron appeared on Radio 4 just days after one of his close allies allegedly referred to Tory activists as "mad, swivel-eyed loons."

The prime minister attempted to express support for his party's activists during his radio appearance, telling the audience: "I am one of them.

"If I wasn't an MP, I would be with them [the activists] supporting my local MP."

Cameron also insisted a "high degree of unity" exists within his party. On Europe, he said: "The Conservative party managed to have a disagreement over an issue we actually agree about."

However, despite his attempt to alleviate tension within the Conservative party, Cameron insisted he will not change his stance on Europe or gay marriage - two key sources of dispute.

He maintained there will be no change to the In/Out European referendum which has received fierce criticism from Ukip and Tory backbench MPs.

Huge pressure has been put on Downing Street to hold the EU referendum before 2015. However Cameron ruled out further change to the vote, and said he will be voting for Britain to stay inside Europe.

Cameron also insisted he was right to legalise gay marriage in the teeth of opposition from his own party.

"They see what I see that this is a profoundly radical and reforming government. look at the reforms on reform and welfare.

"The gay marriage issue has been divisive and I respect the different opinion; I don't think it's wrong-headed and bigoted."

Cameron insisted the Tory party under his leadership could accommodate a range of views.

"The Tory party has always been a broad church. There are some things you don't like, of course there are - you do have to take tough decisions. But we should respect each other."

And he insisted the Coalition with the Liberal Democrats is strong and "absolutely focused on the big picture" of reforming pensions, welfare and the European Union.

"This is a government that has an enormous programme of work.

"To anyone who doubts the life there is in the coalition - there is plenty of life in this coalition and that's what we're going to do up until polling day."