Danny Alexander attacks Tories over EU exit 'flirting'

Danny Alexander

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Lib Dem cabinet minister Danny Alexander has weighed in to the growing coalition row over Europe.

In an article for The Independent, he accused senior Conservatives of threatening the economic recovery by "flirting" with an EU exit.

The chief secretary to the treasury warned jobs could be put at risk if the Tories kept up their rhetoric.

It comes after his Lib Dem colleague Vince Cable compared the Tory stance on immigration to Enoch Powell's.

Mr Alexander warned that Conservative anti-EU sentiment in the run up to May's European Parliament elections would send a "shiver of doubt" through the boardrooms of companies considering investing in the UK.

"The fact that some senior Conservatives are arguing that Britain should vote to leave the EU is already unsettling investors and threatening jobs and growth.

"Further pandering to anti-Europeans would be bad for the British economy."

'Too quiet'

Mr Alexander, who was a leading figure in the campaign for Britain to join the euro before becoming an MP, said the Lib Dems would be the only party campaigning in the elections on an "unambiguously pro-European message".

Start Quote

Vince Cable's a bit like an old uncle at Christmas - slightly rude, does not always make sense, but he is part of the extended family so you live with it”

End Quote Grant Shapps Conservative chairman

He said the party - which fears another drubbing in May's polls, which are being held on the same day as local elections - would campaign on the threat to British jobs if the country votes to leave the EU in David Cameron's promised referendum in 2017.

Citing research by academics at South Bank University which estimate 3.5 million jobs depend on exports to the EU, he said: "Pro-Europeans in Britain have been too quiet for too long. Next year is an opportunity to make our argument heard, and the Lib Dems will make sure we take it."

On Sunday, Vince Cable angered Conservatives by comparing their stance on the end of working restrictions on migrants from Romania and Bulgaria to Enoch Powell's "rivers of blood" speech.

'Hopelessly split'

Enoch Powell's speech in 1968, with warnings about inter-racial violence in the UK, led to it being known as the "rivers of blood" speech. It prompted his sacking from the Conservative front bench the next day.

Conservative MP Nigel Mills said Mr Cable should stand down from the coalition government over his "ridiculous" comments, saying it would now be "very hard" for the business secretary "to sit around the cabinet table" with the people he had criticised.

Conservative chairman Grant Shapps told the Evening Standard: "Vince Cable's a bit like an old uncle at Christmas - slightly rude, does not always make sense, but he is part of the extended family so you live with it."

The issue of immigration has been high profile ahead of the ending of the last work restrictions in the UK for people from Bulgaria and Romania on 1 January.

The Conservative and Lib Dem coalition have announced restrictions on access to benefits - but Mr Cable opposes the idea of a general cap on EU migration to the UK, which Conservative Home Secretary Theresa May has been exploring.

Labour immigration spokesman David Hanson said: "The government are hopelessly split and increasingly acrimonious on their approach to the end of transitional controls for Bulgaria and Romania.

"Rather than come up with practical measures in a calm and measured way, they have descended into name-calling and panic. Once again the rhetoric fails to match the reality with this government on immigration."

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Conservative conference

  1.  
    12:49: Robinson verdict Daily Politics Live on BBC Two

    BBC political editor Nick Robinson says the speech was a "classic Tory" one, arguing for tax cuts and a fight with Europe. But he also notes that Labour will immediately ask: "Where is this cash coming from?"

     
  2.  
    12:47: Big exit
    David and Samantha Cameron
     
  3.  
    Text: 61124 12:45: Get involved

    Chris, in Lancashire: Whatever your political views, you have to say that speech was brilliant.

     
  4.  
    @Kevin_Maguire 12:45: Kevin Maguire, Daily Mirror associate editor & New Statesman columnist

    tweets: On style, Cam gave Mili a lecture on how a podium and autocue can trump walking and forgetting. On substance, however...

     
  5.  
    12:45: Mac is back

    David Cameron leaves the stage to the sound of Don't Stop by Fleetwood Mac - a song much-heard at Bill Clinton campaign rallies in 1992.

     
  6.  
    12:44: It's over
    David Cameron and Samantha Cameron
     
  7.  
    12:44: Speech done

    Reaching his finale, David Cameron says: "Let's not go back to square one. Let's finish what we have begun. Let's build a Britain we are proud to call home, for you, for your family, for everyone." He receives a standing ovation from the crowd, and is joined by his wife Samantha on stage.

     
  8.  
    12:42: 'Better future'

    In an emotional plea to voters, David Cameron says he does not claim to be a "perfect leader". I'm your public servant standing here wanting to make our country so much better for your children and mine, he says. Mr Cameron expresses his love for the country and insists he has the track record and the right team to secure a better future for the country.

     
  9.  
    12:39: Cameron jokes about Farage and Miliband
    David Cameron addressing the conference
     
  10.  
    12:39: 'Proud again'

    We are making Britain proud again, David Cameron says of the Conservatives. He say exports to China are doubling, with manufacturing booming, record levels of employment and the country taking a lead on climate change. All the hard work is finally paying off and the light is coming up after some long, dark days, the prime minister adds.

     
  11.  
    12:37: Farage

    David Cameron says there is only one real choice - the Conservatives or Labour. A vote for UKIP is a vote for Labour, he adds. On 7 May you could "go to bed with Nigel Farage and wake up with Ed Miliband", the PM warns.

     
  12.  
    12:35: Healthcare spending

    Here is the breakdown of how the government allocated funds to healthcare services in the 2012-13 calendar year, via the BBC's Nick Triggle.

    Spending on health care services 2012-13
     
  13.  
    12:35: Bill of Rights

    David Cameron pledges a new British Bill of Rights under a future Conservative government, and the abolition of Labour's Human Rights Act.

     
  14.  
    12:34: Migration statistics

    Here are the official statistics on international migration since 1995.

    Long-term international migration
     
  15.  
    12:33: Immigration

    David Cameron recaps on his vision for a future Britain - where reward will follow effort and if you put in you get out. But it must also be strong in the world and control its own destiny, he adds, and makes reference to immigration. Mr Cameron says this will be at the very heart of his EU renegotiation strategy. He pledges that he will "not take no for an answer" on free movement. Anyone who thinks he can't achieve this should judge him by his record, he tells activists - pointing out that he secured the first ever EU budget cut. Only the Conservatives can offer the answer on Europe, and deliver the in/out referendum, he adds.

     
  16.  
    Text: 61124 12:32: Get involved

    BBC News website reader: Wow a tax cut for middle income earners. I must be dreaming. Now that would make a huge difference

     
  17.  
    @JohnRentoul 12:32: John Rentoul, Columnist, Independent on Sunday

    tweets: Got me. Well deserved standing ovation for Cameron saying, How dare Labour frighten people about his intentions on the NHS.

     
  18.  
    12:31: Unemployment

    Here are the official figures on unemployment and claimants of Jobseeker's Allowance since 1992.

    Unemployment and Jobseeker's Allowance in the UK 1992-2014
     
  19.  
    12:30: Deficit/surplus

    David Cameron has promised to cut the deficit and achieve a government surplus. Here is the official projection for the next five years.

    Structural deficit and surplus
     
  20.  
    @JamesManning4 12:29: James Manning, Head of Social at @TheSunNewspaper

    tweets: Huge emotion from Cameron on the NHS there. Remarkable moment.

     
  21.  
    12:29: Breaking News

    David Cameron promises to ring-fence the budget by increasing spending in real terms over the course of the next parliament, if the Conservatives win power. He says this is only made possible because of the government's economic management. Labour will "never understand" that you can only have a strong NHS if you have a strong economy, he adds. Remember, health care is a devolved matter in the UK, so these proposals are for the NHS in England.

     
  22.  
    12:28: NHS

    David Cameron accuses Labour of spreading "lies" about the NHS - and says Labour is the party of the scandal of Mid Staffordshire NHS Trust. He recalls his experience of the health service with his late son, Ivan, and tells conference: "How dare they suggest I would ever put that at risk for other people's children." The party rises to its feet in support.

     
  23.  
    12:26: Pensions

    David Cameron hails the government's pensions reforms, which meets with applause from party activists.

     
  24.  
    @DuncanWeldon 12:25: Duncan Weldon, Economics Correspondent, BBC Newsnight

    tweets: Raising the higher rate threshold to £50,000 would cost around £5.5bn. So this tax package has a total cost of approx £17.5bn.

     
  25.  
    12:24: Teenagers

    David Cameron praises the National Citizens' Service - and pledges that a future Conservative government would guarantee a place on the scheme for every teenage in the country.

     
  26.  
    12:23: Unions

    Some more Labour attack from David Cameron - as he criticises the party's links with the unions. He says the Conservatives are the trade union for ordinary hard-working people and families.

     
  27.  
    @patrick_kidd 12:23: Patrick Kidd, Editor of The Times Diary column

    tweets: This is a really good speech. Unless you viscerally hate Cameron and the Tories in which case nothing he could say would change you.

     
  28.  
    Tweet: @BBCPolitics 12:22: Get involved

    @Brynleydm tweets: @BBCLouise @BBCPolitics Cameron speech full of what no mention of how

     
  29.  
    12:22: Education

    David Cameron tells activists the education system has improved significantly thanks to the Conservatives' education reforms - "with teachers who feel like leaders again". But Labour would risk all this, he claims. He attacks shadow education secretary Tristram Hunt, who he claims is trying to restrict the educational advantages he had has a child - whereas "I want to spread them to every child" in the country.

     
  30.  
    12:21: Samantha Cameron hears her husband talk about their daughter
    Samantha Cameron watching her husband
     
  31.  
    12:20: Home ownership

    David Cameron turns to housing. He says planning reforms and the Help to Buy scheme have boosted housing supply and helped first-time buyers to get on to the housing ladder. Labour was wrong to oppose these policies, the PM adds. He reiterates the Conservatives' plan for 100,000 new starter homes for first-time buyers under the age of 40 at 20% off the market value. The Conservatives are the party of home ownership once again, Mr Cameron declares.

     
  32.  
    @paulwaugh 12:18: Paul Waugh, Editor of PoliticsHome.com

    tweets: Cameron conference audience feeling 'At last, a proper tax cut for those on middle incomes!'

     
  33.  
    12:17: Forgetting

    David Cameron goes on the attack now - criticising Ed Miliband for forgetting to mention the deficit in his speech. In a conciliatory note, Mr Cameron says people forget car keys and that he even forget his child in a pub (queue an apology to his wife, Samantha, in the audience). But you cannot be prime minister of this country if you forget to mention the most important issue it faces, he adds.

     
  34.  
    @rosschawkins 12:16: Ross Hawkins, BBC

    tweets: Cameron takes aim at Nick Clegg's fox

     
  35.  
    12:15: Spending choice

    Let the message go out that under the Conservatives, if you work hard and do the right thing, we say you should keep all of your own money to spend as you choose, David Cameron tells conference.

     
  36.  
    12:15: PM: Minimum-wage earners to pay "nothing"
    David Cameron on taxes
     
  37.  
    12:13: Breaking News

    Another tax announcement - David Cameron says far too many people have been dragged into the 40% tax rate - and pledges to bring back "fairness" to tax system. He says a future Tory government would raise the threshold from £41,900 to £50,00.

     
  38.  
    12:13: 'Zilch'

    David Cameron says raising the income tax threshold to £12,500 will take one million more people out of income tax, and give a tax cut to 30 million people. Those on the minimum wage working 30 hours a week or more will pay "zilch" in income tax, he says to applause.

     
  39.  
    12:11: Breaking News

    A future Conservative government will raise the tax free personal allowance from £10,500 to £12,500, David Cameron pledges.

     
  40.  
    12:11: More on taxes

    We need tax cuts for hard working people, David Cameron tells activists.

     
  41.  
    12:11: Taxes

    David Cameron says he wants working people to be able to take home more of their money. He cites previous action, including raises in the personal income tax allowance - which has taken three million people out of the income tax system altogether: a tax cut for 25 million people, he adds. The PM tells conference he wants to go further - but says it will only be possible by reducing the deficit, which requires a further £25bn of savings.

     
  42.  
    12:10: 'Yorkshireman' trending on Twitter

    @TradeDesk_Steve tweets: Cameron performs an impression of William Hague - says Hague is our greatest living Yorkshireman. @tonyhatfield tweets: Odd that political commentators are obsessed in debating whether Hague is 'best living Yorkshireman'. #cpc2014 #bbcdp

     
  43.  
    12:09: Welfare plan

    On tax avoidance, David Cameron adds that companies must "pay what you owe". Turning to welfare, he says the Conservatives will stick to their plan which is "working". He tells activists that 800,00 fewer people are on the main out-of-work benefits thanks to the Conservatives' welfare reforms. He reiterates policy announcements made this week, including more apprenticeships and a lower benefits cap. The Conservatives are the real party of compassion on social justice, Mr Cameron adds.

     
  44.  
    12:05: Corporate taxes

    David Cameron pledges that a future Conservative government will have the lowest corporate taxes in the G20.

     
  45.  
    12:05: If a selfie isn't possible...
    Audience member taking a picture of David Cameron
     
  46.  
    12:04: Commitments

    David Cameron sets out Conservative commitments for the next five years, including more jobs, help to buy homes, lower taxes - but says these are only possible if the government sticks to its long-term economic plan.

     
  47.  
    12:01: 'Nothing's easy'

    The prime minister says the past four years of government have been about "laying the foundations" for Britain's future growth by steering the economy to recovery - but that the next five years will be about improving people's living standards. It's about "you, and your family - and helping you to get on", he adds. But he warns that nothing comes easy - and says the British public know this.

     
  48.  
    12:00: 'Chance for all'

    I believe in something for something, not something for nothing, David Cameron tells conference. He stresses his deep patriotism and desire to make Britain a place that everyone is proud to call home. This is not just about making the lines on the graph go in the right direction - it is about helping people to live better lives, he adds. A country that rewards hard work, "not a free-for-all, but a chance for all".

     
  49.  
    11:58: Future

    David Cameron says he wants to secure a working majority at the general election, telling conference that entering into coalition with the Lib Dems was not what he wanted to do but what he had to do. He's now setting out his vision for Britain's future.

     
  50.  
    11:57: English devolution

    David Cameron says he has one more task for William Hague - to ensure "fairness" in the UK's constitutional settlement. He says further devolved powers for Scotland must be matched by greater English devolution - and vows English votes for English laws.

     
  51.  
    @toryboypierce 11:57: Andrew Pierce, Journalist

    tweets: Having met Michael Gove's puppy he's right. You would trust it more than Ed Miliband to do down Putin

     
  52.  
    11:57: William Hague laughs at David Cameron's impersonation
    William Hague laughing
     
  53.  
    11:56: Prime mimicker

    David Cameron draws laughter from the crowd as he attempts to impersonate ex-Conservative leader William Hague. He says he owes an enormous debt of gratitude to Mr Hague, who is standing down as an MP at the general election. Activists give Mr Hague a standing ovation.

     
  54.  
    11:56: Jihadists warning

    David Cameron highlights the UK's role in military operations against IS militants in Iraq - and says there is no walk-on-by option. He says the Conservatives will do whatever it takes to keep the country safe. To British nationals who go abroad to jihadist wars in Syria and Iraq, Mr Cameron sends a message: "You are an enemy of the UK and you should expect to be treated as such."

     
  55.  
    11:53: 'Hellish crucible'

    David Cameron tells conference he wants to set out how to build a Britain that "everyone is proud to call home". He pays tribute to UK combat troops in Afghanistan - who are returning from operations at the end of the year. Activists applaud. He goes on to stress the threat posed by Islamist extremism which has found a "hellish crucible" with IS in Iraq.

     
  56.  
    11:52: The cabinet stands to applaud
    The Cabinet applauds David Cameron
     
  57.  
    @janemerrick23 11:51: Jane Merrick, Political Editor of @indyonsunday & columnist for @independent

    tweets: "The run up to that referendum was the most nerve-racking of my life" says Cameron. Good honest admission #cpc14

     
  58.  
    11:50: David Cameron gets standing ovation
    David Cameron entering the stage
     
  59.  
    11:50: Scottish referendum

    David Cameron opens by talking about the Scottish independence referendum. He tells conference of his pride at being able to stand there as prime minister "of four nations in one United Kingdom". He pays tribute to Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson. He describes the lead-up to the referendum as one of the "most nervous weeks of my life".

     
  60.  
    11:47: PM is here

    Activists are on their feet as David Cameron takes to the stage. Union flags are being waved. His cabinet is lined up along the front row, clapping.

     
  61.  
    @BBCRichardMoss 11:46: Richard Moss, BBC

    tweets: The Killers providing the soundtrack to warm-up video for Cameron speech at #cpc14. Will PM be Mr Brightside? See what I did there.

     
  62.  
    11:45: Daily Politics Live on BBC Two

    Danny Finkelstein, columnist for The Times and a Conservative peer, says the confidence in the Conservative Party this week is based on the fact that Ed Miliband had a "very bad week".

     
  63.  
    11:44: Not long

    The audience is being treated to a short film before the leader's speech. David Cameron's wife, Samantha, has just taken her seat.

     
  64.  
    @BBCLouise 11:43: Louise Stewart, BBC

    tweets: Gove says he would trust his Bichon Frisée puppy dog Snowy over Ed Miliband to face down Putin

     
  65.  
    @BBCNormanS 11:42: Norman Smith, BBC

    tweets: Theresa May leadership stakes go up another notch as Michael Gove refers to her as "The Iron Lady" #cpc14

     
  66.  
    11:41: Miliband

    Michael Gove takes a swipe at Labour's record in office. He says the only way to secure Britain's future is with a Conservative government led by David Cameron. Ed Miliband cannot provide leadership as he's never offered anything other than a "warm bath of cliche", Mr Gove tells the hall. He comments that Mr Miliband's stance on UK air strikes against IS in Iraq and Syria was "as reassuring as a Kleenex parachute".

     
  67.  
    11:40: Gove warms up crowd
    Michael Gove
     
  68.  
    @Tinglepolitics 11:39: Len Tingle, BBC

    tweets: Outside #Conservative conference. No doubting what this bloke wants-he mentions 1940 and the Germans a lot #CPC14. See photo

     
  69.  
    11:38: Social justice

    Michael Gove says society is fairer, with the gap between rich and poor "closing". He brands the Conservatives as the party of social justice and progress - as "only we know" the importance of a secure economy and a strong leader. Labour is unfit to govern, he adds.

     
  70.  
    11:36: Praise

    Michael Gove praises David Cameron and George Osborne's "guts" for sticking to their long-term economic plan. Britain is on the rise again and we must not let Labour pull us back down, he tells activists.

     
  71.  
    @nigelfletcher 11:35: Nigel Fletcher, ex-Conservative adviser

    tweets: Didn't even try to get into the hall for the PM's speech- watching instead in the #LondonLounge, my conference home from home. #CPC14

     
  72.  
    11:34: What we've done

    Michael Gove is listing the government's achievement, including on the economy, housing and pensions.

     
  73.  
    11:34: Tax pledge? Daily Politics Live on BBC Two

    BBC political editor Nick Robinson describes the Conservative guarantee to ring-fence NHS spending as a "statement of the blindingly politically obvious", and says he suspects the rumoured big policy announcement by David Cameron will be related to tax: either raising the personal allowance on income tax up to a level ensuring no-one on the minimum wage pays income tax, or reforming National Insurance in a similar fashion.

     
  74.  
    11:33: Gove love

    David Cameron's warm-up act is Michael Gove - former education secretary, now Conservative chief whip. He's a huge hit with activists - who stand, whoop and wave their papers as he enters the hall.

     
  75.  
    Tweet: @BBCPolitics 11:32: Get involved

    @ultramodtro tweets: Just watchin' the @daily_politics while I finish my tea, before going into the spillover hall to watch the PM. #CFC14. See photo

     
  76.  
    11:32: Let the music play

    The hall is full and the press pack is huddled along the front of the stage. The Electric Light Orchestra's Mr Blue Sky plays through the speakers.

     
  77.  
    11:31: Cheers

    A standing ovation for Philip Hammond, as the hall readies itself for David Cameron. First up, though, is Conservative Chief Whip Michael Gove.

    Audience
     
  78.  
    11:30: Hammond concludes

    Britain cannot afford five more minutes, let alone five years, of Labour, Philip Hammond asserts. He tells conference only the Conservatives can deliver growth, jobs and an in/out referendum on the EU, as he brings his speech to a close.

    Philip Hammond
     
  79.  
    11:27: EU negotiations

    The foreign secretary says his priority between now and the general election in May is to lay the groundwork for EU reform negotiations, so that the Conservatives will "already be in pole position" if they win power.

     
  80.  
    11:26: Lib Dems attacked

    Philip Hammond quotes Margaret Thatcher now - which goes down well in the hall. He says slowly but surely other EU states are "coming round" to the need for change. Mr Hammond attacks Labour for "surrendering" sovereignty and taxpayers' money to EU - and counters that the Conservatives have started to "reverse that trend" - noting David Cameron's success in securing an EU budget cut. "All that in coalition with the most Brussels-loving bunch of Europhiles you could ever wish to meet," Mr Hammond says, and adds: "Just think what a proper Conservative government could do."

     
  81.  
    11:24: Daily Politics Live on BBC Two

    Treasury minister Priti Patel MP tells Andrew Neil she "will not speculate on other departments' budgets and cuts" at this stage, in a discussion about ring-fencing the NHS budget under a future Conservative government.

     
  82.  
    11:23: EU concerns

    Philip Hammond says foreign policy must support the government's long-term economic plan. He tells conference that worldwide exports are up 28% since 2009. Turning to the EU, the foreign secretary says he has been "aghast" as the common market has "morphed into an institution with the aspirations of a superstate" and "hoovers up" powers that belong to member states. It's not what the British people signed up to, he says.

     
  83.  
    11:20: Ukraine

    Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond says the UK has extended its hand to Russia over recent decades but President Putin has "torn up the rule book and chosen the path to confrontation" through his "illegal behaviour" in Crimea and eastern Ukraine.

     
  84.  
    11:18: Assad

    Philip Hammond rejects suggestions that a deal should be done with Syrian President Assad to defeat IS: "Assad is the problem and he cannot be part of the solution," he says, to applause.

     
  85.  
    11:18: Iraq action

    Philip Hammond talks about the "twisted ideology" of Islamic State and says the organisation is the "antithesis of everything we stand for". Britain must defeat it, he tells conference. As a defence leader in the world, it is right that Britain is taking part in international military action against IS militants in Iraq, Mr Hammond adds, and says it should be "proud".

     
  86.  
    @afneil 11:17: Andrew Neil, BBC

    tweets: We are on BBC2 now with two hour special from Tory party conference. Including Cameron speech #bbcdp

     
  87.  
    11:15: Hague quip

    Philip Hammond says William Hague is a very hard act to follow as foreign secretary - but quips that he has one thing that Mr Hague doesn't, and brushes a hand through his hair.

     
  88.  
    11:14: Philip Hammond, the foreign secretary, is addressing the conference
    Philip Hammond addressing the conference
     
  89.  
    11:13: Hammond time

    Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond now has the stage - and begins by paying tribute to his ministerial team, and his predecessor William Hague - "who will surely go down as one of the truly great British foreign secretaries". Activists show their appreciation.

     
  90.  
    11:12: Safety promise

    Michael Fallon concludes by assuring conference that "this party, this government" will ensure the armed forces have all they need to help keep Britain safe.

    Michael Fallon
     
  91.  
    11:10: Trident

    Labour left a terrible defence legacy, Michael Fallon tells conference, including a "£38bn black hole" in the budget - but this has been fixed by the Conservatives in government, he adds. He also launches an attack on the Lib Dems - noting that there are none in the defence ministry. He says the party is only interested in "downgrading" Trident, which is "in a dangerous world is truly dangerous thinking".

     
  92.  
    11:09: David and Samantha Cameron arrive at the conference centre
    David Cameron arriving with his wife Samantha
     
  93.  
    11:07: Jobs

    The defence secretary says it is because the Conservatives have "sorted out" the budget that the government is able to spend £164bn on defence over the next decade. He reiterates this morning's announcement of a £3,5bn investment in UK naval bases, securing 7,500 jobs.

     
  94.  
    11:03: IS 'barbarity'

    Michael Fallon says the UK now faces "new threats to our security" - as he talks about the "chilling barbarity" of Islamic State militants, which if left unchecked would result in "a terrorist state on Europe's doorstep".

     
  95.  
    11:01: Services tribute

    Michael Fallon pays tribute to the 453 British servicemen and women who died during combat operations in Afghanistan, and all those who were injured. A round of applause ensues.

     
  96.  
    10:59: Defence budget

    Over to Defence Secretary Michael Fallon now. He says the UK has the biggest defence budget in Europe and the second largest in Nato. He pays tribute to his predecessor Philip Hammond - now foreign secretary - who he says put the defence budget on a stable footing.

     
  97.  
    10:59: 'Long nights, strange men' Tom Moseley, political reporter

    What would David Cameron have made of Ed Sheeran's dedication of a number to him at a recent gig? The singer said the only tune he had left to play was The A Team. Will it join Radiohead and REM on the PM's playlist?

    The opening lyrics:

    White lips, pale face

    Breathing in snowflakes

    Burnt lungs, sour taste

    Light's gone, day's end

    Struggling to pay rent

    Long nights, strange men

     
  98.  
    10:57: Summit

    Justine Greening welcomes the global Girl Summit - hosted in London over the summer - to end female genital mutilation and forced child marriage, and thanks all those who took part.

     
  99.  
    10:55: Pride

    Britain's response to humanitarian emergencies "sets us apart" from many other countries, Justine Greening says. The international development secretary praises British aid workers and adds that "we should be proud of our country, because we don't walk on by".

     
  100.  
    @tnewtondunn 10:55: Tom Newton Dunn, Political Editor of The Sun

    tweets: David Cameron does indeed have a jumbo rabbit in his #CPC14 speech today. A big new tax move to help C2 voters especially, I hear.

     

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