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David Cameron MP

Prime Minister

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Stories involving David Cameron

EU referendum bill pulled by Tories

The Conservatives have accused their Liberal Democrat coalition partners of blocking David Cameron’s bid to legislate for a referendum on Britain leaving the European Union, and have pulled their plans.

The Lib Dems have insisted that the Conservatives have added terms to the negotiations that they could not agree with.

Tory MP Bob Neill told the Mail: “The Lib Dems have killed off our chances of putting into law, this side of an election, an in-out referendum by 2017.”

It was claimed that Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg wanted the Tories to make changes to the so-called ‘bedroom tax’ as agreement for the bill to continue. However, the Conservatives offered a money resolution and government time to debate the bill.

Liberal Democrat Deputy Leader Malcolm Bruce said that the Lib Dems were “never going to block their referendum bill”.

“The truth is they have folded like a cheap deck chair and are trying to make us take the blame by adding ridiculous conditions they knew we would not and could not accept.

"It is amazing that the Tories are prepared to sacrifice a bill they say they care about for some short-term tactical distinction from UKIP. They clearly never wanted the referendum bill to pass."

The bill, which was sponsored by Mr Neill, and supported by Mr Cameron, was hoped to become law before the May 2015 general election.

A senior Liberal Democrat source added: "The Tories put forward a proposal they know for certain will be turned down by the Lib Dems - a completely unfair deal.

"We can only assume they would prefer it hadn't become law by the time of the General Election. They would prefer not to be talking about their bottom lines in their proposed grand renegotiation and instead try and deal with UKIP by saying the only way to get a referendum is to vote Tory. They couldn't do the latter if their bill had become law."


Brown blasts Cameron over English votes 'trap'

Gordon Brown has accused David Cameron of laying a "Tory trap" for Scottish voters with his plans for devolution.

The former prime minister wrote to constituents to warn that his successor's plans to tie greater devolution to a fresh settlement for English MPs would undermine the "no strings attached" promise made to woo 'no' voters in the Scots referendum.

Mr Brown wrote: "The Tory trap that we are in danger of falling into is to devolve all decisions on Scotland's income tax rates away from Westminster and then to deny Scotland representation in votes on budget decisions on income tax rates."

He said "no party leader ever suggested... any further caveats" in discussions over the vow to give Scotland more powers, which was made just days before the independence vote.

Mr Brown told BBC Scotland that the Conservative plans meant "budgets at Westminster will be distorted by having two classes of members of Parliament voting on them."

“It is not in Scotland’s interest," he added.

"Scotland has an interest in the decisions on income tax, indeed all tax, that are made in the UK, because even under the Conservatives’ proposals, about half of the budget of the Scottish Parliament is still financed from Westminster.”

The intervention by Mr Brown comes after David Cameron told a Scottish Conservatives reception his party needed to target areas that voted 'No' to independence to encourage a Conservative comeback in Scotland.

He named a series of regions, including Alex Salmond’s Aberdeenshire constituency, that used to vote Tory but were now voting SNP.

“We’ve got the people, we’ve got the message, we’ve got the leader,” he said. “Now I think we can really turn the next 200 days into the opportunity to deliver more Conservative seats in the Westminster parliament for Scotland."


Boris' former deputy defects to Ukip

David Cameron has attempted to downplay the defection of a former Boris Johnson aide to Ukip.

Former deputy Mayor of London Richard Barnes announced the move this morning, saying that the Tories, Labour and Lib Dems do not “speak the language of normal people”.

He told the Evening Standard that Ukip was the only party with answers on Europe, immigration and transport, and branded Conservative plans to renegotiate a deal with Europe were “unrealistic”.

But the Prime Minister told 5 News: "I don't think this one was particularly significant. I don't think it was a name on your lips before this morning, was it?"

He added: "The election isn't changed by this defection or that defection. The choice still comes down to a very straight one."

Mr Johnson attempted to tackle the subject as he addressed delegates at the Conservative party conference today.

He asked: "Are there any quitters or splitters? Anyone feeling a bit yellow around the edges – like a kipper?"

The Mayor added: "If I can quote a great Midlands author: 'He which hath no stomach to this fight, let him depart.'"

There were also reports this morning that Mr Cameron had launched an extraordinary attack on Mark Reckless, whose defection to Ukip was announced on Saturday.

According to MailOnline, Mr Cameron is said to have told Tory members at a conference event that if Mr Reckless "got off his fat arse and worked harder he wouldn't have to defect to UKIP to save his skin".

Michael Dugher MP, Labour’s Shadow Minister for the Cabinet Office, said the Conservative Party appeared to be "falling apart at the seams."

“The defection of Boris's right-hand man and former Deputy Mayor also shows once again that UKIP is a party of Tory politicians, Tory policies and Tory money," he said.

Mr Barnes served as deputy mayor from 2008 to 2012. He was embarrassed last year after naked self-portraits appeared on his Facebook account.

Also today, Ukip announced that the son of Eurosceptic Tory MP Bill Cash had joined the party. William Cash Jr is being appointed heritage spokesman for Ukip and is hoping to stand in Warwickshire in the general election next year.


UK towns risk being 'swamped' – Fallon

New restrictions on immigration from the European Union are needed to prevent UK communities being "swamped" by an influx of migrants, Michael Fallon has said.

The Defence Secretary was commenting on reports that Angela Merkel looks set to block David Cameron's plan to introduce a cap on the number of people arriving from the EU.

The German Chancellor told the Sunday Times she would not support the Prime Minister's plan to limit freedom of movement.

"The Germans haven't seen our proposal yet and we haven't seen our proposal yet, and that's still being worked on at the moment to see what we can do to prevent whole towns and communities being swamped by huge numbers of migrants," Mr Fallon told Sky News' Murnaghan programme.

"In some areas of the UK, down the east coast, yes, towns do feel under siege, large numbers of migrant workers and people claiming benefits, and it's quite right that we look at that."

But the Environment Secretary admitted this afternoon that the UK still needed EU migrants to come in to do low-skilled, badly paid jobs that Britons are reticent to take for its agricultural system to work.

"I accept that we do, yes. I’m an MP in Norfolk and there is an element of migrant workforce, that’s certainly true," Liz Truss told the BBC's Sunday Politics.

And Mr Fallon's fellow Cabinet minister Ed Davey accused him of resorting to hyperbole to appeal to voters tempted by Ukip.

"I think those comments are more based on the Conservatives' concerns of the Ukip threat in the Rochester by-election than they are based on the facts," the Liberal Democrat Energy Secretary told the Murnaghan programme.

Mr Fallon's comments come just days after Mr Cameron declared a £1.7bn EU surcharge imposed on the UK in the light of its economic performance relative to other countries "unacceptable".

On this issue, at least, Mr Davey seemed more in tune with his Tory colleagues, casting doubt on the methods used to calculate the contributions of respective member states.

"Rules that are being used to decide these amounts of money, whether it’s for the UK or for Greece or for Ireland, they look pretty suspect," he ventured.

"And sometimes the rules need to be revisited. These rules clearly need to be revisited here."



Cameron vows seven-day GPs

David Cameron has unveiled plans to see GP surgeries open 12 hours a day, seven days a week by 2020.

The policy is part of a new contract for GPs set out at the Conservaitve Party conference in Birmingham.

“People need to be able to see their GP at a time that suits them and their family. That’s why we will make sure everyone can see a GP seven days a week by 2020,” the Prime Minister said.

 Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt confirmed that 5,000 more GPs would receive training, and said a future Conservative government would "have no greater priority than to protect and invest in our NHS."

He promised to give patients access to their medical records online by next April, and also warned Labour against claiming to be the party of the NHS.

"It's not a Labour health service or a Conservative health service, it’s a National Health Service," he said.

Conservative MP and chair of the Health Select Committee Sarah Wollaston welcomed the move to boost GP numbers.

"What I was pleased about is to see recognition that it can’t be achieved without addressing the workforce shortfall in general practice," she told BBC News.

But Dr Chaand Nagpaul, chair of the British Medical Association's GP committee, warned that the announcement failed to take into account "the current reality" facing doctors.

"We need immediate solutions to the extreme pressures that GP practices are facing, with inadequate numbers of GPs and practice staff to manage increasing volume of patients, who are already having to wait too long for care," he told ITV news.


Leave ISIS war to military, PM told

The Prime Minister’s former chief military adviser said yesterday that David Cameron must not become too wrapped up in the action against Islamic State in Iraq.

General David Richards, head of the armed forces until last year, said he should “give his military commanders the flexibility to meet his political intent.”

He praised Mr Cameron’s “highly effective” leadership and said he was better than previous prime ministers at engaging in debate about military action.


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