3pm After Ed Balls' speech to the Labour party conference, Sajid Javid MP on Comment says: Come on then Ed, back my National Debt Cap Bill now

2pm Local government: Contrary to claims by Ed Balls Liverpool is boosting bureaucracy and cutting services

2pm WATCH: Ed Balls apologises for some of Labour's mistakes in his conference speech, but continues to blame Tory economic policy

1.45pm LeftWatch: A news round-up of Ed Balls' Labour party conference speech

12.30pm Mark Field MP on Comment: The vacuum of vision and leadership at the heart of Europe's economy

Noon ConHomeUSA: Today's top Republican and American political news 

Shapps 11.30am LeftWatch: Grant Shapps helps to highlight Labour's "cover-up" on immigration

11.15am LISTEN: Ed Balls apologises for some of Labour's mistakes on the economy

10.15am Local Government: Livingstone's fares pledge: Mind the credibility gap

ToryDiary: Tory message must focus on economy and jobs – not deficit – if they are to build majority

On Comment: Lord Ashcroft: Polling from marginal Tory seats shows the Party needs to expand its voter base in order to win a majority

Duncan Smith On Marr Also on ToryDiary:

Bruce Anderson on our columnists' page: Don't be fooled by the weather. This is the deep mid-winter

LeftWatch: Ed Balls is too weak to say sorry

Local Government: Will Labour back a housing allocation policy to reward work?

ConservativeAccountability: In Making Britain Better, Richard Benyon says that he is leading the drive to end "the wasteful and grotesque practice of discarding perfectly edible fish"

WATCH: David Miliband: I don't want to be a distraction

As the UK is lined up to help fund Eurozone bailout…

Screen shot 2011-09-26 at 07.48.31 The International Monetary Fund last night issued an extraordinary warning that it might not have enough cash to stem the crisis engulfing the Eurozone, prompting fears that Britain could be forced to find billions more to bail out  debt-stricken economies. Chancellor George Osborne has refused to put British funds on the line for a new EU rescue scheme but he would be unable to resist a call from the IMF to do more." – Daily Mail

…The total cost of which could approach £2 trillion…

"Their plans would see up to £1.7trillion being added to the £384billion bailout fund set out by countries in the euro. There would also be a injection of funds to prop up as many as 16 European banks hit by the Greek meltdown. The UK is not part of the eurozone bailout. But Chancellor George Osborne would still have to underwrite billions of pounds of funding from the International Monetary Fund — on behalf of UK taxpayers. Experts estimated the plan would need up to THREE trillion euros — or £2.6trillion." – The Sun

…Of which British taxpayers could be hit for £1 billion…

Britain may have to contribute more than £1 billion – Daily Express

> Yesterday: Ruth Lea on our Columnist's Page: The €uro cannot go on and governments must plan for its break-up

…It's Balls's day at Labour's conference.  And his plans would put Britain £90 billion deeper in debt

Screen shot 2011-09-26 at 07.56.17
"Ed Balls is today expected to call for a massive rise in borrowing and spending in a bid to kick-start the economy. The Shadow Chancellor will demand a “global plan for growth” in his keynote speech to the Labour conference in Liverpool. He is to call for an immediate cut in VAT and a slowing in the pace of Government deficit reduction to pump more cash into the economy. But critics last night accused him of plotting to increase Britain’s national debt by the equivalent of £5,000 for every man, woman and child in the country." – Daily Express

"In a speech to the Labour conference in Liverpool, Mr Balls will promise to set out “tough fiscal rules” at the next election to bring the current budget back to balance and put the nation’s debt on a downward path. Given the lack of credibility attached to Gordon Brown’s old fiscal “golden rule”, Mr Balls is putting his faith in the independent Office for Budget Responsibility – set up by George Osborne – to ensure Labour’s new rules are met." – Financial Times (£)

Shadow Chancellor won't apologise for Brown – Ed Balls interview, The Independent

Extra, extra: football special

  • Shadow Chancellor fluffs chance to equalise as Labour team goes down to the lobby 3-2 – Daily Mail
  • Aston Villa supporter Cameron's Labour Conference spoiler: he is photographed with son Arthur as they see his team draw with QPR – The Sun

Douglas Alexander will say that Iraq still casts a shadow over Labour – The Guardian

Labour yesterday: Confusion over tuition fees

Screen shot 2011-09-26 at 06.05.34

"Confusion reigned tonight over Ed Miliband’s pledge to cap tuition fees at £6,000 after the Labour leader said the pledge would apply if he were in office now, but might not appear in his election manifesto. Mr Miliband had sought to woo parents and students worried about the jump in the costs of university from next year, but the move risked generating confusion over Labour’s policy. The announcement means Labour would keep fees, raising the maximum rate from £3,375 to £6,000, not £9,000 as the coalition plans." – The Times (£) 

…And climbdown over the unions

"Earlier this summer Mr Miliband indicated that he wanted to find ways to curb the power of the unions – and end public perceptions that he is in their grip. Plans included ending the infamous block vote which allows a tiny cabal of union barons to decide votes on policy at the party’s annual conference. But the proposals provoked an angry backlash from union leaders and have now been put off until at least next year." – Daily Mail

  • Miliband admits that Labour's immigration boom did drive down living standards – Daily Telegraph
  • Jim Murphy, leading Blairite, sets out plan to allow armed forces members to join Labour for £1 – The Guardian

And guess who's back

David Miliband "David Miliband warned Labour last night that it must come up with more original ideas and broaden its appeal as he gave his strongest public backing to his brother’s leadership. In his only appearance at Labour’s conference, the former Foreign Secretary said that “outrage” at the Government’s policies had to be “combined with insight and imagination” if Ed Miliband’s party was to return to power at the next election." – The Times (£) 

Apathy stuns conference as Livingstone speaks

"[Livingstone's] name was under every chair at the Labour conference in Liverpool. “Ken for London” said one side. “Cut crime, not police” was on the other…When Ken arrived, only about 15 people remembered to hold up their footprinted signs." – Ann Treneman, The Times (£)

Conference comment:

> Yesterday on ConservativeHome

Osborne strikes ten-year deal for defence equipment budget

"The Treasury has struck a ground-breaking deal with the Ministry of Defence to guarantee parts of its budget after 2015. George Osborne has promised that the Ministry of Defence’s equipment budget — 40 per cent of its overall funding — will grow in real terms until 2020. The Ministry is preparing to set out how it will spend the budget over the decade, which must be audited by the National Audit Office. The deal allows the MoD, which has been beset by budget difficulties, to claim that it is “broadly in balance”." – The Times (£)

Osborne advised of Universal Credit problems

Screen shot 2011-09-26 at 07.47.43 "The Daily Telegraph has learnt that Universal Credit — the Government’s answer to simplifying the benefits system — has been moved to the top of George Osborne’s warning list of projects that could fail and threaten the Coalition. A team of senior Whitehall officials and industry experts has been assigned to investigate the development of the single payment, which is due to replace several different benefits in 2013." – Daily Telegraph

  • Chancellor warned over ringfencing health and overseas aid – Financial Times (£)
  • Osborne plans £100m tax break to help fast-growing small firms – The Guardian

Neil Carmichael "fights wind farm while planning his own"Daily Telegraph

Wales has seen a rise of 8.7% in public sector employment in a year Wales Online

Primaries "forced to give sex education to be Healthy Schools’"Daily Telegraph

Andrew Marr says he will ignore BBC diktat to stop use of BC and ADDaily Mail

Political News and Comment in brief

  • Six charged over suicide bomb plot – The Sun
  • Terrorist we can't kick out because of his human rights - Daily Mail
  • Gusty Spence, terrorist turned peacemaker, dies – Belfast Telegraph
  • Fresh ruling due on Dale Farm – Press Association
  • Libya conflict may cost UK £1.75bn – Guardian
  • Prisoners' wages to help crime victims – BBC
  • Saudi Arabia gives women the right to vote (but not until 2015) – Daily Telegraph
  • Sikhs protest at 'disrespect' of turban searches at airports – The Independent
  • Tony Blair and an ill-judged obsession with making money – Stephen Glover, Daily Mail
  • UK will be hotter than Hawaii – Daily Express


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