London, April 14: A 10-year-old Iraqi girl has done what hardened inquisitors have failed to do: lob an election question that British Prime Minister David Cameron could not answer.
Reema, from Salford near Manchester, asked Cameron: “If you could pick one politician apart from yourself to win, who would it be and why?”
Cameron was facing a panel of children on a BBC children’s programme, Newshound, in the run-up to the May 7 general election in the UK.
The flummoxed Prime Minister replied: “Wow. If I could pick one politician? Would they have to be living or dead?”
He continued hesitantly: “Obviously, if I thought some one else should win the election wouldn’t be standing myself, so I can’t really answer the question about who else I would like to win.”
Then he added vaguely: “There are lots of candidates around the country I am very enthusiastic about. I am afraid it is too difficult to say I would like someone else to win rather than me. Otherwise, I wouldn’t be here. I’m afraid I am quite keen on winning.”
Reema did not say so but political Commentators would deconstruct her question like this: “Prime Minister, I am assuming you are not going to win this election. If the Tories fail to emerge as the biggest party in the Commons after the May 7 elections, you will obviously have to step down as party leader. In those circumstances, who would you like as your successor?”
Last month, Cameron told the BBC that he would serve another five years if re-elected on May 7 but would stand down if the Conservatives are voted in for another term in 2020.
This time, as Cameron got up to leave after facing the panel of children, he admitted being beaten by Reema. “Top question — I think it’s the best one I have been asked all election,” Cameron acknowledged.
An earlier version of this article had erroneously mentioned that Reema is of Indian descent instead of Iraqi origin. We apologise for the mistake.