Cameron announces that Help to Buy will be brought forward…

Help to Buy“The Help To Buy scheme’s controversial second part is being rushed forward to begin three months early. … Under the £12billion plan, 190,000 individuals or couples over the next three years will be able to buy a house or flat with just a five per cent deposit — with the Government underwriting a further 15 per cent. … The PM told The Sun on Sunday: ‘I am impatient to help young people get on the housing ladder. … The need is now. I have always wanted this to come in and, frankly, the earlier the better.'” – Sun on Sunday (£)

  • “Bringing forward the Help To Buy scheme is a start. Owning your own home is an ambition for everyone who works hard.” – Sun on Sunday editorial (£)
  • “Will Mark Carney have the courage to burst George Osborne’s housing bubble?” – Observer editorial

> Today, by David Cameron MP on Comment: Welcome to Conference – and thank you for your work for our Conservative cause

…talks energy prices…

“On fuel bills specifically, I think we have to explain: Look, we want competitive fuel prices, not for 20 months [a reference to Miliband’s proposed price freeze], we want them for 20 years and what that means is you have got to make the market more competitive, you’ve got to access new sources of energy like unconventional gas, you’ve got to make sure that consumers are put on to the lowest tariffs.” – David Cameron, interviewed by Matthew d’Ancona in the Sunday Telegraph

“Britain’s biggest energy companies are in late-stage negotiations with the Government to delay the implementation of a multi-billion pound green scheme to help take the pressure off the price of bills.” – Sunday Telegraph

  • “Far from lurching to the Right, the PM wants to reintroduce himself to the Tory voters who famously defected to Tony Blair” – Matthew d’Ancona, Sunday Telegraph
  • “The PM must be a man of action as well as words” – Sunday Telegraph editorial

…attacks Miliband as the “new Neil Kinnock”…

Kinnock“David Cameron has dubbed Ed Miliband ‘the new Neil Kinnock’ in the wake of the Labour leader’s pledge to bring back 1970s-style energy price freezes. … And he mocked Mr Miliband’s 8,000-word speech – made without notes – saying sarcastically: ‘He did well to remember Labour’s entire 1983 Election manifesto.’” – Mail on Sunday

  • “… it is no use ministers saying Miliband’s price controls are a throwback to the 1970s. They are, but governments imposed price controls and incomes policies in the 1970s because voters wanted them to.” – John Rentoul, Indepedent on Sunday
  • “Miliband’s preference for economic analysis over punter-friendly policy comes from the era before Kinnock’s modernising leadership.” – Adam Boulton, Sunday Times (£)
  • “Why the Blairites back the Tories against Red Ed” – Peter Hitchens, Mail on Sunday
  • “Socialism’s return is a gift for the Tories” – Janet Daley, Sunday Telegraph

…and has Steve Hilton helping him with his conference speech

“Sitting in the dining room on Tuesday night were Cameron’s deputy chief of staff Kate Fall, his speechwriter Clare Foges, her predecessor Ameet Gill, now in charge of the Downing Street grid, Education Secretary Michael Gove, and Steve Hilton, back from California to help.” – James Forsyth, Mail on Sunday

  • “Mr Cameron has to find his inner Tory and let it show, loud and clear.” – Mail on Sunday editorial
  • “Tories must pass the Bridget Jones test” – Sunday Times editorial (£)
  • “David Cameron has a women problem” – Janet Street-Porter, Independent on Sunday
  • “David Cameron is boasting about the UK’s transparent government. In fact there is more darkness than daylight” – Nick Cohen, The Observer

> Today on ToryDiary: Now is not a time for the Tories to sound ingratiating

Tory donors are switching to UKIP, reports the Independent on Sunday

Farage“Fourteen individuals have switched support from the Conservatives to Nigel Farage’s party in the three years since the 2010 election, donating £488,000 to Ukip. An analysis of Electoral Commission figures also shows that the number of individual donors to the Tories overall has halved since the election, while the average donation has decreased by £14,000.” – Independent on Sunday

  • Ukip would not exist if Thatcher were still Tory leader, says Norman Tebbit – The Observer

> Yesterday: UKIP/Conservative vote swapping – Toby Young is the alternative Billy Bragg

Gove says he is an “inconceivable choice” as party leader

“‘I am an inconceivable choice as party leader. I don’t want to do it; I wouldn’t do it; it wouldn’t matter how many people asked me to do it — I don’t think there would be very many,’ he says. … In the unlikely event that he is suddenly ‘possessed of the idea’, he explains, family and friends will intervene.” – Sunday Times (£)

Matt Hancock talks down his own prospects, too

“Come on, what about at PMQs? ‘I think David Cameron does it very well,’ Hancock says, continuing to dance around the question of his own leadership ambitions. What about you? ‘No, no, no, no, no, no, no.’ That’s seven times. One day? He feigns absent-mindedness: ‘Hmm?'” – Independent on Sunday

Hancock would bolster the minimum wage – will Osborne?

Matthew Hancock“Intriguingly, the Observer has learned that Matt Hancock MP, a business minister and former adviser to the chancellor George Osborne, fully backs the need to raise the national minimum wage. There is even talk that some encouraging words may even be offered by Osborne at party conference for a raise or tinkering of the minimum.” – The Observer

  • “It’s time for a kinder Conservatism” – Ryan Shorthouse, The Observer

Osborne thought IDS wasn’t clever enough, according to Matthew d’Ancona’s book

“According to his own private audit, Duncan Smith had resisted more or less every Treasury initiative. ‘He opposes every cut,’ Osborne complained to one friend. … Nor was he confident that IDS had the IQ. ‘You see Iain giving presentations,’ he confided in allies, ‘and realise he’s just not clever enough.'” – from the serialisation of Matthew d’Ancona’s book in the Sunday Telegraph

> Yesterday: We will stop paying people to be idle: an interview with Iain Duncan Smith

Grayling to ban cautions for certain crimes, including the carrying of knives

“We’ve already toughened the penalties for threatening someone with a knife: courts are now being told that that should carry a proper jail sentence. But what possible excuse could we have for allowing the carrying of a knife to be dealt with as if it were a minor misdemeanour? … there will be no more cautions for an adult caught carrying a knife.” – Chris Grayling, Mail on Sunday

  • Make heroin and cocaine available on the health service, says chief constable – Mail on Sunday

Hammond prepares for cyber war with a new strike force

Philip HAmmond“A new ‘cyber strike force’ costing up to £500 million is being secretly built by Britain to wage war with a regiment of computer geeks instead of bombs and bullets. … Defence Secretary Philip Hammond, who will announce the new plans at the Tory conference today, has hailed the changes as the biggest military revolution since tanks replaced cavalry brigades in the First World War a century ago.” – Mail on Sunday

McLoughlin stands up for HS2

“Abandoning plans to build the £42.6bn HS2 high-speed rail line would be a national disaster, the cabinet minister in charge of the project has said, as he admits for the first time that it will be more difficult to press ahead without the Labour party’s support. … [Patrick McLoughlin] also says a fresh commitment to the project will be included in the Tories’ manifesto for the 2015 general election.” – The Observer

Whittingdale accuses the Beeb of complacency

“The BBC has been accused of ‘unjustifiable complacency’ after an internal document showed it believes the next royal charter is secured and the broadcaster will survive in its current form until the late 2020s and beyond. … John Whittingdale, chairman of the culture, media and sport select committee, said: ‘Charter renewal is a matter for parliament. This reflects a complacency which I don’t think is justified.'” – Sunday Times (£)

An apology for Andrew Mitchell! (From an Observer columnist)

Andrew Mitchell“It’s a bit late, but nonetheless: an apology. A year ago, I joined in the castigation of Andrew Mitchell, then chief whip, who had just, it was authoritatively confirmed, lost his temper with some police officers, sworn at them and, fatally for his prospects, used the word ‘plebs’. … So who says pleb nowadays? Probably nobody, it turns out; not even Andrew Mitchell.” – Catherine Bennett, The Observer

Kwarteng: Tories should quit apologising

“Mr Cameron was also challenged by a leading Conservative MP to break free from the party’s ‘Stockholm syndrome’ of pandering to Left-wing opinion for approval. … Rising star Kwasi Kwarteng  said the Tories should now stop concentrating on ‘detoxifying’ its image and being ‘apologetic’ for  the faults of previous Conservative governments.” – Mail on Sunday

Boris should be party chairman, reckons Louise Mensch


“David Cameron will lead the party before and after the next election, but what big job can he promise Boris now? … It’s obvious — party chairman. … With membership sliding, the one rock star who could restore the party to complete health is the Mayor of London.” – Louise Mensch, Sun on Sunday (£)

Writers write in opposition to the Government’s building plans

“Sir Andrew Motion, the former poet laureate, and 19 others, including Philip Pullman and Jeanette Winterson, have condemned plans to build 650,000 homes in the countryside, including 150,000 in the green belt, warning that it will destroy many of the country’s most cherished beauty spots.” – Sunday Times (£)

  • The residents of Hook Norton, home of the Prime Minister’s favourite real ale, are angry about a new planning regime – The Observer

Cable readies a crackdown on executive pay

“The 30-year battle over boardroom pay enters a new phase on Tuesday when business secretary Vince Cable hands shareholders the power to throw out executive remuneration policies that are too generous and forces companies to simplify the data they provide about what they pay top bosses.” – The Observer

  • “The government’s social mobility tsar [Alan Milburn] has called for companies and local authorities to be made to disclose the ratio between the earnings of their most highly and lowly paid staff, as part of a campaign to create equality of opportunity.” – Sunday Times (£)
  • The boss of Centrica has seen his salary rise by 40 per cent in 5 years – Sun on Sunday (£)
  • Teaching union chief Christine Blower enjoys a bigger pay packet than the Prime Minister – Sun on Sunday (£)

Miliband wants to introduce more price caps

Miliband“Ed Miliband is to follow up his freeze on energy bills — with a pledge to slap controls on water, rail and food prices. … The Labour leader wants to carve out a new image as a cost-cutting champion in the hope it will catapult him to power.” – Sun on Sunday (£)

  • “Don’t bully the energy giants — here’s how to help the little guys” – Camilla Cavendish, Sunday Times (£)
  • “Ed Miliband can’t freeze those bills he himself sent through the roof” – Christopher Booker, Sunday Telegraph
  • “Ed Miliband’s new deal might just work” – Will Hutton, The Observer
  • “‘Red Ed’ Miliband? Not really, but at least he’s made a start” – Heather Stewart, The Observer

> Yesterday, by Charles Hendry MP: How Miliband’s energy plan will harm and not help consumers

Cherie Blair’s snub helped me write my book, reveals McBride

“During the interview, McBride reveals that Cherie Blair, one of his many Blairite targets, unwittingly triggered him into revealing all when they both attended a Labour fundraising event at Arsenal’s Emirates stadium in 2012. … ‘I was told, “Would you mind popping to the toilets for five minutes because Cherie wants to come to this table for photos and won’t if you’re here?” So I went and sat in the toilet.’” – Mail on Sunday

  • “[Alastair] Campbell has been on his high horse all week saying he never briefed against Tony Blair’s ministers – apart from the time he lost his temper with anti-Iraq leftie Clare Short and suggested Gordon Brown was ‘psychologically flawed’. … Those of us with longer memories know this is spin.” – Guido Fawkes, Sun on Sunday (£)

Poor NHS care means that 2,000 children could be dying needlessly each year

NHS“The NHS must reform the way it treats children to prevent 2,000 youngsters dying needlessly every year due to poor care. … The call comes from Hilary Cass, president of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, who said children in Britain were far more likely to die from diseases or infections such as asthma, pneumonia and meningitis than elsewhere in western Europe.” – Sunday Times (£)

  • “Almost half of maternity units have been forced to turn away women in labour because they are full and struggling to cope with the highest birth rate for 40 years” – Sunday Times (£)
  • Claims that NHS patients are being denied minor operations unless they promise to quit smoking – Mail on Sunday
  • Health insurance firm forced to drop misleading advert about NHS deaths – The Observer

News in brief

  • The ashes of Margaret Thatcher have been laid to rest – Mail on Sunday
  • Italy’s coalition government is on the brink as five ministers quit – Mail on Sunday
  • Former Conservative party treasurer Michael Spencer has been turned down for a peerage – Sunday Times (£)
  • Ex-MI5 agents target school Islamists – Sunday Times (£)
  • Splitting RBS will allow the taxpayer to make bigger profit, suggests report – Sunday Telegraph
  • Peers plot to revive shelved law on plain cigarette packs – The Observer
  • Insider claims top academy “inflated grades” – Independent on Sunday

And finally 1)… Cameron responds to those wanting to #savelarry

Larry tweet

“Matthew d’Ancona suggests in the book, In It Together, that the Camerons ’do not like the Downing Street cat, Larry, amid suggestions that the pet is a PR prop’. … As fur flew, the revelation sparked a Twitter storm using the hashtag #savelarry. … In an attempt to quell the row, Mr Cameron took to Twitter tonight to insist: ’I can set everyone’s mind at rest in the #SaveLarry campaign.” – Mail on Sunday

And finally 2)… Gove’s new battle (against flab)

“Michael Gove has spent a week at an Austrian ‘fat farm’ to help him show off his Tory leadership credentials at this week’s party conference in Manchester. … The Education Secretary, tipped as an heir to David Cameron, padded around the £2,500-a-week spa in his bathrobe and fluffy slippers – and was the only man there.” – Mail on Sunday

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