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New British PM, Deputy Hail 'Historic and Seismic' Political Shift

British Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron says the new coalition government with the Liberal Democrats represents a "historic and seismic shift" in Britain's political landscape.

Mr. Cameron spoke Wednesday alongside coalition partner and new Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg. He said key provisions of the new government will include, in his words, "freedom, fairness and responsibility." He described the coalition as "a government that will last," and said a united Britain can look forward to better days.

The new prime minister said the coalition deal with the Liberal Democrats commits the new government to speed up budget cuts worth nearly $9 billion, as Britain faces a record deficit of more than $235 billion. The deal also permits Conservatives to move forward with school and welfare reform.

Mr. Cameron also said the Liberal Democrats will be represented at all levels of government.

Cabinet appointments include Conservative William Hague as foreign secretary and George Osborne as finance minister. Liam Fox will serve as defense minister, while Michael Gove has been awarded the education portfolio and Andrew Lansley health.

Mr. Clegg, as deputy prime minister, will be joined by four other Liberal Democrats in the power-sharing Cabinet. Party deputy Vince Cable will serve as business secretary, while David Laws takes over as chief secretary to the treasury. Liberal Democrat Danny Alexander will serve as Scottish secretary, while Chris Huhne is slated for the environment and climate change portfolio.

Queen Elizabeth appointed Mr. Cameron prime minister Tuesday, shortly after his predecessor, Gordon Brown of the Labor Party, resigned. Mr. Brown's resignation came after talks on forming a Labor coalition with Mr. Clegg's Liberal Democrats broke down.

The Conservatives have not led Britain since 1997.