British Prime Minister denies that he spends a ‘crazy and scary’ amount of time playing games on ipad
A crisis in the eurozone, crucial talks on Afghanistan and a faltering economy at home might seem more than enough to keep him occupied.
Yesterday, however, David Cameron was forced into frantic denials over bizarre claims that he spends a ‘crazy and scary’ amount of time playing computer games on his iPad.
The Prime Minister, a fan of Apple’s trendy tablet computer, is said to be obsessed with the cult game Fruit Ninja, in which players swipe their fingers across a screen to slice through moving images of pieces of melon, orange and pineapple.
Cameron is said to spend hours tinkering with his iPad and playing computer games.
Yesterday Fraser Nelson, editor of the respected and pro-Conservative Spectator magazine, suggested that what was harmless fun had become an obsession.
He said a senior adviser to Mr Cameron had told him the Prime Minister spends ‘a crazy, scary amount of time playing Fruit Ninja on his iPad’.
Mr Nelson suggested the Prime Minister should ‘turn off the iPad and start dealing with our debt’. Downing Street last night flatly denied the claim, saying it was one of Mr Cameron’s children – aged eight, six and 21 months – who played the game.
A source said: ‘It is absolutely not true that the Prime Minister plays Fruit Ninja.’
But Mr Cameron has himself admitted to dabbling with the game, saying it helps him cope with the everyday stress of life in Downing Street.
Indeed, he told an interviewer earlier this year: ‘It’s quite good, to get your frustration out. If you can’t have a reshuffle, play Fruit Ninja.’
The Prime Minister has also said that computer games can help him relax during long journeys.
Last night former Labour minister John Spellar said it was astonishing that Mr Cameron could find time to play computer games at all, given the scale of the problems facing Britain.
The MP said: ‘Anyone who has ever been a minister knows that the pressures on your time are intense – and that is only a fraction of the time pressure faced by a prime minister.
‘It is a round-the-clock job and I think it is frankly extraordinary that he is wasting time on computer games when Britain is in the throes of an international economic crisis.
‘Instead of trying to show that he is down with the kids he should be getting on with the job.’
Mr Cameron is thought to have taken up Fruit Ninja after completing the hit game Angry Birds. In a separate interview earlier this year the Prime Minister admitted that he found Angry Birds ‘addictive’, but denied it was taking up too much of his time.
He said: ‘It is quite addictive, but I want to reassure you I don’t spend a huge amount of time on it.
‘Sometimes on these long flights, when you have done all your work, you have had all your conversations and prepared all your speeches, you need something to relax with.
‘Sometimes I watch a bit of television, sometimes I play a bit of Angry Birds.’
Mr Cameron is also known to have become increasingly reliant on his iPad.
He has ordered civil servants to create an application for the device to keep him informed of breaking news and the performance of government departments and ministers.
The £20,000 app will also produce data on polling, unemployment figures, NHS waiting lists and movements in the markets.
It will also give ‘real time’ feeds from Twitter and news websites so the Prime Minister can keep up to date with events in the UK and around the world.