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The Guardian (U.K.) 

Labour conference: Ed Balls tightens Labour's austerity stance - Politics live blog

*Carwyn Jones calls for home rule all round*Jim Murphy denounces exploitation of migrant workers in Qatar*Douglas Alexander rejects Blairite hubris that UK can re-order the world*Ed Ballss speech -Snap verdict*Lunchtime summary*Afternoon summary 5.37pm BST There is a tension within the Labour Party at times between one that goes something like - well governments lose elections ra

Cameron faces pressure to seal Scotland deal

Prime minister's bid to outflank Ed Miliband on new constitutional settlement derailed by Danny Alexander's objectionsAn attempt by David Cameron to outflank Labour on a new constitutional settlement for the UK ran into trouble on Sunday night when a senior Liberal Democrat cabinet minister said that the plans for devolution in England should not proceed without attempting a cross-party consens

Ed Balls leaves mark on reporter during politicians v journalists football match

Shadow chancellor's elbow catches Northern Echo reporter as politicians fall to 3-1 defeat in annual conference battleEd Balls unveiled an aggressive cuts strategy during the annual football match between Labour and political journalists leaving an opponent bloodied after connecting with a stray elbow.The shadow chancellor was involved in a nasty clash with Northern Echo reporter Rob Merrick

Ed Miliband comes under pressure to back Britain in/out referendum on EU

Polling for thinktank finds 45% of Labour supporters back EU membership poll against just 36% who oppose itEd Miliband is under increasing pressure to back an in/out referendum on Britains EU membership, after a survey showed more Labour supporters are in favour of a vote on Europe than against it.The thinktank British Future said a referendum was the only way to help Labour regain public tr

David Cameron to meet Iran leader over Isis campaign

PM to meet Hassan Rouhani in New York for first bilateral talks in decades, signalling improvement in countries relationsDavid Cameron is to hold the first bilateral talks between a British prime minister and an Iranian president since the 1979 revolution when he has a face to face meeting with President Hassan Rouhani in the next two days in New York.The meeting, a significant thaw in diplo

Labour conference diary: no thanks for no vote, Gordon

Conspicuous absence in those whom Ed Miliband thanked for helping anti-independence vote in Scottish referendum A militant pensioner disrupted proceedings on the burning issue of the moment: devolved powers for English regions to match those granted to the Celtic and London fringes. Many Labour types in Manchester feel guilty about their own failure to address the anomaly thrown back up the age

Miliband aims to ensure there is no chance of NHS falling off the radar

Strategy to emerge at Labour conference plays on looming funding crisis and anxieties over privatisationThe big call in Tuesdays speech by Ed Miliband is to place the National Health Service at the heart of his election campaign, and to put rocket boosters under this commitment by promising to inject extra funding into the NHS through a mansion tax and a windfall tax on tobacco, the substance

Ed Miliband: tax on tobacco giants will boost NHS

Labour leader will tell sceptical voters in speech to Labour party conference that he can bring the country back togetherEd Miliband is to put the nations health at the centre of a 10-year plan for Britains future on Tuesday, backing the NHS with funding from a novel windfall tax on the profits of UK tobacco companies and the proceeds of a mansion tax on homes worth more than £2m.In his fina

Politics as usual deflates Labour activists after campaigning in Scotland

As one delegate dismisses the last pre-election conference as boring suits, others look at how to restore trust in WestminsterLabours conference is feverish with talk of polling day but not about the one that decides whether Ed Miliband walks into No 10 in eight months.It is still Scotland, four days after a win for the anti-independence campaign, that is dominating the exhibition hall, frin

William Hague throws down gauntlet to Labour over Scottish MPs voting rights

Opinion poll shows nearly two-thirds of voters believe Scottish MPs should not vote on English-only matters at WestminsterWilliam Hague warned on Monday that the Tories were prepared to take the fight to Labour at next years general election on restricting the voting rights of Scottish MPs if no agreement was reached by January on a new UK constitutional settlement.The leader of the House of

The choice for Balls: balance the books or burn them | @guardianletters

Three cheers for the proposal by Labour, when next in government, to introduce a phased increase in the minimum wage (Report, 22 September). What are we going to hear next? Business leaders will doubtless be flatly opposed to such an increase, on the basis that the policy will reduce profits and result in jobs being cut. They will be backed up by a screaming rightwing press. When are we as a soc

SNP poised to become one of UKs largest political parties

Scottish National party announces that membership has jumped 70% in four days, with more than 18,000 people joiningThe Scottish National party is poised to become one of the largest in the UK after Scotlands pro-independence parties saw a surge in membership after last weeks referendum.As evidence emerged of the extent of the Labour no campaigns referendum defeat in Glasgow, the SNP announce

Regional government in an unequal country | @guardianletter

Yes, we need more powers to be given to local areas, such as the Greater Manchester city region and, presumably, shire counties (Report, 22 September). So much has been stripped away, which needs to be returned and considerably enhanced. The electorate generally has no appetite for more tiers of bureaucracy, but would welcome far more powers being exercised by current local bodies working togeth

MPs discuss English Labour party plans as Ed Miliband concerns deepen

Private meeting of senior MPs held over fears Labour leader has been outmanoeuvred into anti-English positionA group of Labour MPs have met in private to agree plans for an English Labour party and a more distinctive voice for England in the Commons, amid deep concerns that the party leader Ed Miliband may have been manoeuvred into an anti-English position by the prime minister David Cameron.

Ed Balls speech: light on jokes and lighter on spending pledges

Shadow chancellor believes Labour will only be heard on tax and spending priorities if it looks serious about deficit reductionBusiness liked what it heard from Ed Balls in his speech to Labours conference.There were no surprises and no surprises is good, said the CBIs director general, John Cridland. He liked the commitment to deficit reduction, and the fact that the shadow chancellors spee

Ed Miliband: we need 'greater devolution of power in England' - video

Ed Miliband outlines Labour's proposal for a constitutional convention to discuss the future of devolution and power at Westminster. The convention will be a form of semi-representative assembly going beyond elected MPs. It would begin before the next election with every nation and region in the country engaged in dialogue with the people about how power needs to be dispersed Continue reading...

Scottish referendum vote-rigging claims spark calls for recount

Tens of thousands sign petitions wanting recount or fresh vote based on videos that purport to show evidence of electoral fraudBy mid-afternoon on Monday the number of names on change.org had topped 87,000. We the undersigned demand a re-vote of the Scottish referendum, counted by impartial international parties, reads the petition, which goes on to cite countless evidences of fraud documented

Sensitive Balls goes looking for love at Labour party conference

Balls came to Manchester with a variety of measures, but they were all just window dressing for letting the world see the real EdEd Balls was in Soulmates mood. People rightly want to know what sort of person I am, he confided. So he told them. I am a realist and an optimist. I dont believe in ducking difficult decisions. Thats who I am. He could have added, I can be a bit clumsy, I get angry t

Im a data geek, says City trader who bet £900,000 on Scotlands No vote

Anonymous gambler says he put 30 years as a market analyst to good use and denies being feckless or superficialA former City trader who bet a record £900,000 on Scotland voting no to independence has insisted it was a rational decision based on scores of opinion polls that showed the yes campaign would lose.The trader won £193,333 after increasing his original stake of £400,000 with William

Ed Balls proposes spending watchdog role in vetting expenditure plans

Shadow chancellor also proposes a 1% cap on child benefit for two years and a 5% reduction in ministerial payEd Balls, the shadow chancellor, has sought to reassure voters that Labour can be trusted with public finances by announcing plans to allow the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) to check future governments spending commitments are affordable.He said he would bring forward legisla

Ed Balls outlines Labour's economic policy at party conference in Manchester video

Shadow chancellor Ed Balls speaks at the Labour party's annual conference in Manchester on Monday. Balls says the party has more work to do to persuade people it can deliver the economic change people want to see. He also announced Labour plans to freeze child benefit and cuts to ministerial pay, should Labour win the general election in May 2015 Continue reading...

Are you a first time voter? Share your views with us

As conference season gets underway, we want to hear from people planning to vote for the first time in 2015One of the stories of Scotlands independence referendum was the number of young voters politicised for the first time. But with a no vote secured in Scotland, what do first time voters make of next years British general election?As conference season gets underway, we want to hear from

English votes for English laws are a must, says Tory MP video

James Wharton, Conservative MP for Stockton South, is among the Tories invited by David Cameron to Chequers, the PM's official country residence, to discuss plans for constitutional reform in response to the Scottish referendum. Wharton says Scottish MPs should not be allowed to vote on issues that do not affect their constituents Continue reading...

English votes plan is most un-prime ministerial thing Cameron has done

Shadow chancellor Ed Balls attacks plan to start talks on only English MPs voting on English lawsBacking English votes for English laws is the most un-prime ministerial thing David Cameron has ever done and shows he is prepared to play fast and loose with the constitution, Ed Balls, the shadow chancellor, has said.The senior Labour politician said Cameron has come up with a half-baked answer

Ed Balls says tackle that left opponent bleeding was entirely accidental

Shadow chancellors elbow catches reporters face in politicians v journalists football match at Labour conferenceEd Balls has admitted a tackle which left an opponent with a cut eye during the annual football match between Labour and journalists looked awful.The shadow chancellor also said he had been rebuked by his wife, fellow frontbencher Yvette Cooper, over the clash but insisted it was e

Miliband failing to win over business leaders

Former trade minister Digby Jones says Labour must be wary of spoiling a successful economy with a flight to populismLabour must be careful not to embark on a flight to populism when it comes to business policy, Lord Digby Jones, a former Labour trade minister, has said.Jones, an ex-head of the CBI business group who last year spoke at Ukips annual conference, said Miliband was failing to wi

Labour conference: pay cut for ministers, child benefit cap, but more NHS cash

Shadow chancellor Ed Balls unveils plans for next parliament, while Ed Miliband highlights wages, health and 50p tax bandEd Balls, the shadow chancellor, will underscore his willingness to take tough fiscal decisions when he reveals he will cap child benefit increases at 1% for the first two years of the next parliament, and force all government ministers to take a symbolic 5% pay cut.Balls,

UK poised to get parliamentary ombudsman: from the archive, 22 September 1964

The advantage of the ombudsman was that he would investigate directly and, unlike MPs, he would not come up against ministers tending to protect their officialsThe Danish Ombudsman, Dr Steven Hurwitz, said on the BBC television programme Panorama last night that more than one ombudsman would be needed to cope with the volume of work in a country the size of Britain.When his office was intr

Defeat of Isis cannot be achieved without ground troops, says Tony Blair

In essay on threat posed by group, former UK prime minister says Britain and other nations must form wide-ranging coalitionBritain must be prepared to join a wide coalition of countries in deploying ground troops, including special forces, to combat forces from the Islamic State (Isis), the former prime minister Tony Blair has said. In a lengthy essay on the threat posed by Isis on the eve of t

Caroline Flint: Labour pledges to insulate five million draughty homes

Shadow energy secretary says the policy would be intended to save the average family £270 a year from their energy billA Labour government would insulate at least five million draughty homes to help families save £270 a year on their heating bill, Caroline Flint, the shadow energy secretary, will say on Tuesday.The senior Labour MP will make the announcement at the party's autumn conference


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