Conservative Conference 1) PM promises weekend access to GPs by 2020

untitled“Everyone will have access to a family doctor seven days a week by the end of the decade, David Cameron will pledge on Tuesday. The Prime Minister wants GPs to open for up to 12 hours every day by 2020 to relieve pressure on hospitals and give working people access to a doctor at weekends. Groups of GP surgeries will be encouraged to band together in order to share the workload of covering clinics at evenings and weekends.” – Daily Telegraph

  • “The government has also promised to bring back “named GPs” – to take charge of care outside hospital. It will form part of a new contract for GPs to be announced later on Tuesday.” – BBC
  • “The government in April launched a seven-day-a-week-access pilot scheme costing £50m and covering 7.5 million patients in 1,195 practices. An additional £100m wave of access pilots is to be launched in 2015-16, culminating in a nationwide scheme costing £400m over the next five years.” – The Guardian 
  • “The Prime Minister said: “We will also support thousands more GP practices to stay open longer, giving millions of patients better access to their doctor. This is only possible because we’ve taken difficult decisions to reduce inefficient and ineffective spending elsewhere as part of our long-term economic plan.” – Daily Express

Conservative Conference 2) Boris uses ConHome Rally to Victory to urge Farage to join the Conservatives

Boris Johnson event“Boris Johnson has mocked the “quitters, splitters and kippers” who have defected to Ukip as he re-extended a 20-year-old invitation to Nigel Farage to join the Tories…..The London mayor told a rally organised by the ConservativeHome website: “I did meet Nigel Farage in a pub about 20 years ago, mid-1990s. As is traditional in such cases, he pushed across the caviar and the vodka that Moscow Central always used when they were trying to woo a potential defector. “Do you know what I said to him? I said: ‘no Nigel – you join us.’  ” – The Guardian

  • “Mr Johnson said: ‘In an ideal situation what I would like to see is a reformed EU where we remain squarely at the heart [of the EU].’ But he said: ‘If we couldn’t remain in the current EU we would remain within that free trade zone. I think it would be very easy to set up a free-trade, tariff free zone – so for international investors they would have that reassurance. It’s perfectly possible to construct a vision for this country, where we do better and better on our wits, on our fantastic ability to innovate.’ ” – Daily Mail
  • Boris “piles on pressure over immigration” – The Sun(£)
  • Former Boris deputy Richard Barnes tipped to join UKIP – The Sun(£)
  • Paul Goodman named as the 34th most influential right winger – “As the election draws ever nearer the influence of ConservativeHome grows…” – The Times(£)

Conservative Conference 3) May pledges a Conservative Government will ban hate groups

MAY Theresa menacing“A future Conservative government would seek new powers to ban extremist groups and curb the activities of “harmful” individuals, Theresa May is to say. Banning orders and “extreme disruption” orders will feature in the party’s 2015 election manifesto, the home secretary will tell the Tory party’s conference. People could be stopped from speaking at public events and their social media use limited under “extremism ASBOs”.”- BBC

  • “The Extremist Disruption Orders – which have been dubbed Asbos for hate clerics – will target the likes of Anjem Choudary, who for years has spread bile at public meetings or on the internet.” – Daily Mail

Conservative Conference 4) Osborne says working age welfare benefits must be frozen

001_1ST_IA_NAT_()_NWS_20140930.pdf“The Chancellor won a rapturous ovation at the Conservative Party conference in Birmingham but his measures were disowned by the Liberal Democrats and attacked by anti-poverty groups. Most benefits, including child benefit, tax credits, jobseeker’s allowance, housing benefit and income support will be frozen in April 2016 for two years if the Tories remain in power, to save £3.2bn. They are currently rising by 1 per cent a year after the Lib Dems blocked Mr Osborne’s previous proposal for a freeze. Payments to pensioners, the disabled and carers and statutory maternity pay will be exempt.” – The Independent

  • “In a speech that showed how much he has matured in office, he spelt out the remarkable economic achievements of the past four years – and put a broad stretch of clear blue water between the Conservatives and Labour.” – Leader Daily Mail
  • “AFTER nearly five years of austerity, George Osborne yesterday delivered a blunt message: There’s more to come. And he deserves credit for doing so, as he was only telling it like it is.” – The Sun Says
  • “Although it was not without its risks, Mr Osborne effectively laid down a challenge to Ed Miliband’s party: this is one way we will cut the deficit – how would you go about it? So far, there has been a deafening silence in response.” – Leader Daily Telegraph
  • Clamp down on tax avoidance – The Times(£)


Conservative Conference 5) Maude pledges to restrict strikes

“Francis Maude has restated a pledge to outlaw strikes where fewer than half of eligible union members have voted. The Cabinet Office minister said a future Conservative government would stop strikes being called on the basis of “out of date” ballots….Mr Maude said: “It just isn’t right that an unrepresentative trade union baron should be able to close schools, and bring the Tube to a standstill, when they can’t even persuade half of their own members to vote.” – BBC

Conservative Conference 6) IDS outlines plans for pre-paid benefit cards

IDS on Marr“The government is to introduce pre-paid benefit cards to stop claimants spending their money on alcohol, drugs or gambling habits. Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith said it would help those “on the margins break the cycle of poverty”. The cards could only be used for some items in some stores, and would not be valid in betting shops or off licences. The scheme will be initially piloted on a voluntary basis and will be targeted on those with addiction problems.” – BBC

  • White Dee backs the idea – BBC

Conservative Conference 6) Cameron’s relief at referendum result

“David Cameron has hailed his decision to grant Scotland an independence referendum with a single question, saying; “it was the right call”. The prime minister was addressing a packed – and jubilant – reception for Scottish Conservatives at the party’s annual conference in Birmingham. The PM has been criticised by some for not allowing a third question – on “devo max” – on to the ballot paper. He also recalled his sleepless night as the results came in on 18 September.” – BBC

  • Scottish Conservatives must use referendum as springboard for General Election – Daily Telegraph


Conservative Conference 7) Truss wants the British apple at the top of the tree

s216_Elizabeth-Truss“When it comes to British food and drink we have never had it so good,” Environment Secretary Liz Truss has told the Conservative Party conference. She said the British used to have an “inferiority complex about some fantastic British dishes”. But food and farming was now one of “our biggest success stories”. However she said it was a “disgrace” that “we import two-thirds of our apples, nine-tenths of our pears, and two-thirds of our cheese”.” – BBC

Conservative Conference 8) Fallon pledges to stop human rights law hampering troops

“A crackdown on ‘absurd’ human rights rulings which threaten to hamper British troops carrying out vital missions was last night signalled by the Defence Secretary. Michael Fallon said he was ‘appalled’ that legal challenges over incidents that happened in Iraq and Afghanistan have cost the taxpayer £85million – money which could have been spent on new kit. The Government is determined to introduce laws restricting a string of court judgements which decree that the European Convention on Human Rights applies on the battlefield.” – Daily Mail

Conservative Conference 9) Hammond admits we can redraw European treaties

HAMMOND Philip white background“Britain may not be able to rewrite European Union treaties as part of its renegotiation with Brussels, Philip Hammond, the foreign secretary, has admitted in a significant climbdown by the government. In January David Cameron suggested that he would demand changes to EU treaties as part of the overhaul of the relationship. However Germany has become deeply sceptical about the prospect of initiating a treaty change which needs to be agreed in all 28 EU countries, forcing Britain to explore other options.” – The Times(£)

Conservative Conference 10) Davis warns of Isis trap

“Britain is in danger of committing itself to an “open-ended limitless war” in northern Iraq that is doomed to failure, a veteran Conservative warned on Monday night. David Davis, who was speaking at the Independent/i fringe meeting, warned that the West is at risk of falling into the trap laid by the Islamic State which wanted to provoke all-out conflict. The former shadow Home Secretary revealed he came close to joining the six Tory MPs who voted against the action in last Friday’s emergency debate on military action, before abstaining.” – The Independent

  • The RAF is too run down for campaign against ISIL – Con Coughlin Daily Telegraph

Party activists round on Reckless

RECKLESS Mark“Mark Reckless allowed his local Tory association to spend £6,000 on personalised leaflets a week before he defected to Ukip, activists have claimed. Conservative party members in Rochester & Strood are said to be furious with their MP….Members of Mr Reckless’s Conservative association said last night that a huge amount of literature would now be wasted, including leaflets for nine local wards, which feature photographs of Mr Reckless. “It just shows that he’s a complete bastard,” one organiser said.” – The Times(£)

  • Conservatives “to throw kitchen sink” at by-election – The Sun(£)
  • Reckless: “I may lose” – BBC

IPSA wants to keep allegations of MPs expenses fraud secret

“MPs accused of expenses fraud will be protected by secrecy under rules unveiled last night. The expenses watchdog wants to withhold the names of those under investigation to save them from ‘reputational damage’. The Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority, which has outraged voters with plans to raise MPs’ pay by 10 per cent, also wants to bar the public from hearings.” – Daily Mail

News in brief

  • Jail for man who sent threatening tweets to MP – BBC
  • School fees rise – Daily Mail
  • Imperial measures should be used in schools says Cameron – The Guardian
  • British firms rely on migrant workers – Daily Telegraph