Adonis quits Labour to work for Osborne…

timesadonis“George Osborne will announce today that a former Labour cabinet minister is to be the head of a new body to help to drive through projects such as nuclear power stations and airports. Lord Adonis, who was Tony Blair’s policy chief and became transport secretary under Gordon Brown, is to lead a national infrastructure commission, a policy lifted from Labour’s last election manifesto….Lord Adonis, who ran Dame Tessa Jowell’s failed bid this summer to become the Labour candidate for London mayor, is the first senior Blairite to leave the party after Jeremy Corbyn’s election as leader. He will sit as a crossbench peer to underscore his independence.”- The Times(£)

  • “George Osborne will pledge an extra £5bn in this Parliament for major schemes. In a speech later, he will say he plans to “shake Britain out of its inertia.” – BBC
  • “Osborne declares war on the shires” – Daily Mail
  • Tories hope more Labour resignations will follow – Daily Telegraph
  • Lloyds shares to go on sale to the public – BBC

…as ConHome poll puts the Chancellor as front runner to succeed Cameron

“George Osborne has become the firm frontrunner among Tories to succeed David Cameron, despite concerns he risks peaking too soon in the contest. After a week that has seen senior figures jostling for position, a poll of Tory members has found that the chancellor — who revealed in an interview yesterday that he was a fan of controversial “gangsta” rap group NWA — has established a robust lead in the race to be the next Conservative leader. The regular poll, by the respected ConservativeHome website, found that 32 per cent backed Mr Osborne. Sajid Javid, the business secretary and one of Mr Osborne’s protégés, was 15 percentage points behind him in second place.” – The Times(£)

>Today: ToryDiary: As he prepares to make his speech, Osborne leads our future leader survey for the third month running

Montgomerie: Osborne can’t be sure of moving inton No 10 just yet

“The biggest danger for George Osborne is that he might face a “time for a change” candidate. The Cameron-Osborne project will be 15 years old by the time of the next election and 780 weeks is a very, very long time in politics. He will therefore need to decouple from David Cameron at some point and that should not be an impossible task. As close as they are personally they actually have some very different political priorities.” – Tim Montgomerie The Times(£)

Hammond says Commons support growing for airstrikes against ISIS

HAMMOND Philip white background“MPs are moving towards a consensus in favour of military action against Islamic State in Syria, Philip Hammond has said. Speaking at the Conservative party conference in Manchester, the foreign secretary declared there was a growing feeling in parliament that something must be done to tackle Isis in its Syrian stronghold as well as Iraq. “We have made a very clear commitment that before we get involved in airstrikes in Syria – other than very targeted cases where we are dealing with direct threats to the UK – yes, we would come back to parliament and get the authorisation,” he told the BBC after addressing the main hall.” – The Guardian

  • Hammond’s eyes peared out like tow angry oysters – Quentin Letts Daily Mail

New GP contract for seven-day service…

“GPs in England are to be offered a voluntary contract to provide seven-day-a-week cover for patients, David Cameron has announced.Seven-day hospital services will also be extended to “half the country” by 2018 and the whole of England by 2020.” – BBC

…but Poulter challenges the offer for junior doctors

Dan_Poulter2013“The government has provoked the potential strike by NHS junior doctors by tearing up an agreement that would have settled the dispute, the Conservative minister who was in charge of the negotiations has told the Guardian. In a scathing indictment of the government’s handling of the new contract for England’s 53,000 junior doctors, Dr Dan Poulter, a health minister until May, revealed that Jeremy Hunt had triggered “understandable” widespread anger among them by reneging on the basis of a deal.” – The Guardian

  • This junior doctor contract puts patients in danger – Dr Dan Poulter MP  The Guardian
  • Disillusioned GPs threaten to quit Britain – Daily Mail

PM says tax credit cuts to proceed

“David Cameron has rejected calls to rethink cuts to tax credits, as the Conservatives gather in Manchester for their annual conference. The PM told the BBC’s Andrew Marr the cuts were part of a “bigger picture” of increased wages and lower income tax. But a think tank headed by former Tory minister David Willetts warned low paid families will be out of pocket until the other changes kick in.” – BBC

Grayling sets down marker for EU referendum

Chris Grayling“Eurosceptic Cabinet minister Chris Grayling upped the ante, telling activists at the conference in Manchester that the renegotiation must result in Britain becoming a ‘sovereign nation’ again. He said: ‘At the end of this process we have to be a sovereign nation able to look after our national interests.’ ” – Daily Mail

  • Cameron ready to call for an EU exit? Pull the other one – it’s got bells on! – Dominic Lawson Daily Mail
  • The EU needs to listen – Leader Daily Telegraph
  • Reform EU or let’s quuit says top fund manager – The Times(£)
  • Cameron will never campaign to leave says Heseltine – The Independent
  • Trade may be a stumbling block – Brian Monteith The Scotsman

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: What renegotiation? Our latest poll finds Party members unmoved in their resolve to support Brexit

Cut pensioner benefits says TaxPayers Alliance

“Ministers should waste no time to make unpopular cuts to pensioner benefits, a think tank director has said. Many of those hit by a cut to the winter fuel allowance might “not be around” at the next election, said Alex Wild of the Taxpayers’ Alliance. And others would forget which party had done it, he added. At the group’s meeting at the Conservative conference in Manchester, former defence secretary Liam Fox said spending cuts must be “for keeps”.” – BBC

Left wing demo turns ugly at Tory Conference

FIST Red“Health Minister Jeremy Hunt needed a police escort as he was jostled and harried on his way to the conference centre. Union leaders and supporters were bussed in from across the country to take part in the TUC-led rally. TUC led the rally, with union leaders and supporters from across the country joining. Labour were forced to distance themselves from the ugly scenes as Jeremy Corbyn prepared to join a second wave of protests.” – The Sun(£)

Boris defends war on Uber

“Some of TfL’s proposals are clearly stronger than others; and in general it must be much better to crack down on illegal behaviour than to try to fetter new technology. But the aim is clear. We want competition, we want choice – but if Margaret Thatcher believed in one thing it is that freedom is only possible under the rule of law.” – Boris Johnson Daily Telegraph

Tory grassroots are dying says The Times

Rosette shield“The new intake of Tory MPs is also impressive, but the Tory grassroots are dying. Nine times as many people voted in Labour’s mayoral selection race as the Tory ballot that selected Zac Goldsmith. There are perils in being taken over by unrepresentative activists but there are also risks in relying on big donors to try to compensate for the lack of activists. Donors are often fairweather friends, while it is a party’s ground troops who knock on doors, understand a community’s problems and give politics a human face. The Tories are in a strong political position at present but the withering of their grassroots suggests the party is winning without enthusing.” – Leader The Times(£)

>Today: Columnist Paul Abbott: The bursary scheme will boost Conservative prospects in target seats


Moore: How the IRA failed to silence Thatcher

MOORE Charles blue background“In my biography of Margaret Thatcher, which this paper has been serialising, I relate the story of the bomb at the Conservative Party conference 31 years ago, when the IRA nearly succeeded in killing her. (Jeremy Corbyn invited Sinn Fein/IRA representatives to the House of Commons two weeks later.) One feature of that night was the extreme importance of The Speech. The bomb went off just before 3am on the day that the leader’s speech was due to be delivered. As usual, Mrs Thatcher had agreed the text only in the small hours and her assistants were still typing it up when the bomb went off…Mrs Thatcher was still in full evening dress from the agents’ ball that night, so she dashed into her room to get a navy suit, two blouses and a pair of shoes for the coming day. “Don’t worry, Prime Minister,” said her assistant, Amanda Colvin, “I’ve got the speech”, and she put the latest draft into Mrs Thatcher’s bag. The Prime Minister left the Grand Hotel reassured. This proves that there was never any point at which Mrs Thatcher considered abandoning the conference – saving the speech was the key thing.” – Charles Moore Daily Telegraph

  • Margaret Thatcher biography part 14: Wobbly Thursday- Charles Moore Daily Telegraph

News in brief