CONSERVATIVE leader - and future Prime Minister - David Cameron paid a whistlestop visit to Taunton this week in 2009.

Mr Cameron was at the Citizens Advice Bureau to gauge the affects of the recession.

He told the County Gazette: “It’s beginning to hit home. CAB offers a lifeline. We should be grateful for all they do and encourage councils to fund them adequately.

“The Government needs to deal with the situation by getting credit moving.

“We’ll get out of the recession – there are plenty of strong aspects to the South-West economy – but the longer it takes to fix the banking system, the worse things will get.”

During his visit, Mr Cameron defended under-fire Mark Formosa, who is standing for the Tories at the General Election, after local Lib Dem MP Jeremy Browne criticised his support for hanging and calls for the UK to leave Europe.

“Capital punishment is a matter of conscience, not party policy,” said Mr Cameron.

The visit did little to boost Mr Formosa's chance, however, as he lost the 2010 election to Mr Browne by 4,000 votes.