Upon his return, Cameron chaired a meeting of the Government's emergency committee Cobra, then described the scenes as 'sickening', promised to get 16,000 police officers on London's streets and recalled Parliament for one day on Thursday.
How I see it
Sacha Deshmukh, CEO, MHP Communications
Finally rushing back to London at least draws a line under a bad fortnight for the PM. There was already more than a distinct whiff of Callaghan-esque 'Crisis, what crisis?' in the message that he and senior cabinet colleagues were reacting to the longest sustained stockmarket falls in living memory through sunlounger-based conference calls.
But it is Cameron's invisible man response to three days of rioting across London that really threatens long-term damage.
Cameron's greatest strength was that he came across as someone whom the nation felt was in touch with their concerns and hopes. But if he wants to keep the support of the proverbial 'man on the Clapham omnibus', then he should be very worried that today, that man is driving past burned-out buildings with an image in his mind of a PM fiddling in Italy while London burns.