Statue of Mahatma Gandhi to be erected opposite Parliament

Kasia Madera went to Parliament Square to see the sculpture's new home

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A statue of the Indian political leader Mahatma Gandhi is to be erected opposite the Houses of Parliament.

The memorial will stand in Parliament Square alongside those of Abraham Lincoln and Nelson Mandela.

Speaking on a trip to the Gandhi memorial in Delhi, Foreign Secretary William Hague said the statue would be a "fitting tribute" to a "great man".

Gandhi studied in London for many years before leading non-violent resistance to British rule in India.

He was assassinated in January 1948, months after India secured independence.

The sculptor Philip Jackson, whose works include statues of the Queen Mother and RAF Bomber Command, has been approached to take on the project - which will be paid for by charitable donations and sponsors.

'Source of strength'

It is intended that the statue will be completed early next year and become a focal point for future commemorations, including the 70-year anniversary of Gandhi's death in 2018.

Mr Hague said Gandhi remained a "towering inspiration and source of strength".

"Gandhi's view of communal peace and resistance to division, his desire to drive India forward and his commitment to non-violence left a legacy that is as relevant today as it was during his life," he said.

An advisory panel is to be set up to spearhead the project. Its members will include prominent members of the Indian community in London, such as Lord Bilimoria, as well as National Portrait Gallery director Sandy Nairne.

Culture Secretary Sajid Javid, who will chair the panel and whose parents were born in India, said the statue would celebrate Gandhi's "reverence and greatness".

"No matter what your background, history, or religion, this statue will allow people from around the world to look upon him and appreciate his endeavour and successes for humanity."

The statue will be the 11th to be erected in Parliament Square. Others public figures memorialised include former Prime Ministers Winston Churchill, Benjamin Disraeli and Robert Peel.

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Conservative conference

  1.  
    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

     
  2.  
    @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.

     
  3.  
    12:31: Unemployment

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    Unemployment and Jobseeker's Allowance in the UK 1992-2014
     
  4.  
    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
     
  5.  
    @JamesManning4 12:29: James Manning, Head of Social at @TheSunNewspaper

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

     
  6.  
    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.

     
  7.  
    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.

     
  8.  
    12:26: Pensions

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

     
  9.  
    @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.

     
  10.  
    12:24: Teenagers

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  11.  
    12:23: Unions

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  12.  
    @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.

     
  13.  
    Tweet: @BBCPolitics 12:22: Get involved

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

     
  14.  
    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.

     
  15.  
    12:21: Samantha Cameron hears her husband talk about their daughter
    Samantha Cameron watching her husband
     
  16.  
    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.

     
  17.  
    @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!'

     
  18.  
    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.

     
  19.  
    @rosschawkins 12:16: Ross Hawkins, BBC

    tweets: Cameron takes aim at Nick Clegg's fox

     
  20.  
    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.

     
  21.  
    12:15: PM: Minimum-wage earners to pay "nothing"
    David Cameron on taxes
     
  22.  
    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.

     
  23.  
    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.

     
  24.  
    12:11: Breaking News

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

     
  25.  
    12:11: More on taxes

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

     
  26.  
    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.

     
  27.  
    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

     
  28.  
    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.

     
  29.  
    12:05: Corporate taxes

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

     
  30.  
    12:05: If a selfie isn't possible...
    Audience member taking a picture of David Cameron
     
  31.  
    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.

     
  32.  
    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.

     
  33.  
    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".

     
  34.  
    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.

     
  35.  
    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.

     
  36.  
    @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

     
  37.  
    11:57: William Hague laughs at David Cameron's impersonation
    William Hague laughing
     
  38.  
    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.

     
  39.  
    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."

     
  40.  
    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.

     
  41.  
    11:52: The cabinet stands to applaud
    The Cabinet applauds David Cameron
     
  42.  
    @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

     
  43.  
    11:50: David Cameron gets standing ovation
    David Cameron entering the stage
     
  44.  
    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".

     
  45.  
    11:47: PM is here

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

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  47.  
    11:45: Daily Politics Live on BBC Two

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  48.  
    11:44: Not long

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  49.  
    @BBCLouise 11:43: Louise Stewart, BBC

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  50.  
    @BBCNormanS 11:42: Norman Smith, BBC

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  51.  
    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".

     
  52.  
    11:40: Gove warms up crowd
    Michael Gove
     
  53.  
    @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

     
  54.  
    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.

     
  55.  
    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.

     
  56.  
    @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

     
  57.  
    11:34: What we've done

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  58.  
    11:34: Tax pledge? Daily Politics Live on BBC Two

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  59.  
    11:33: Gove love

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  60.  
    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

     
  61.  
    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.

     
  62.  
    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
     
  63.  
    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
     
  64.  
    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.

     
  65.  
    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."

     
  66.  
    11:24: Daily Politics Live on BBC Two

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  67.  
    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.

     
  68.  
    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.

     
  69.  
    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.

     
  70.  
    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".

     
  71.  
    @afneil 11:17: Andrew Neil, BBC

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

     
  72.  
    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.

     
  73.  
    11:14: Philip Hammond, the foreign secretary, is addressing the conference
    Philip Hammond addressing the conference
     
  74.  
    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.

     
  75.  
    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
     
  76.  
    11:10: Trident

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  77.  
    11:09: David and Samantha Cameron arrive at the conference centre
    David Cameron arriving with his wife Samantha
     
  78.  
    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.

     
  79.  
    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".

     
  80.  
    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.

     
  81.  
    10:59: Defence budget

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  82.  
    10:59: 'Long nights, strange men' Tom Moseley, political reporter

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    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

     
  83.  
    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.

     
  84.  
    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".

     
  85.  
    @tnewtondunn 10:55: Tom Newton Dunn, Political Editor of The Sun

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  86.  
    10:53: Ebola threat

    Justine Greening describes Ebola as "one of the most serious threats facing the world today", with estimates that 1.4 million people will be infected by January 2015 "if we don't act". She says an international coalition is working to contain and defeat the virus - and adds that the UK is overseeing the construction of treatment centres, and will treble the number of Ebola treatment beds.

    Justine Greening addressing the Conservative conference
     
  87.  
    10:50:

    Justine Greening says international aid - including the government's commitment to spending 0.7% of national income on it - is a vital component alongside the defence and diplomacy.

     
  88.  
    10:48: Greening

    International Development Secretary Justine Greening is introduced to the hall. She opens by saying she is "proud" of what the Conservatives have achieved in government. Ms Greening says her department's international development programme has been improved since 2010, with a much greater focus on jobs and economic growth.

     
  89.  
    10:47: 'We'll deliver'

    London Conservative MEP Syed Kamall is addressing the hall now - and stresses that "only the Conservatives can and will deliver" a referendum on the UK's relationship with the European Union. He criticises the previous Labour government which "gave away" British taxpayers' money and powers to Brussels. Now is the time for the Conservatives to "roll up our sleeves" and make the case for reform, he says - and adds that this must be done by working with Britain's allies across Europe. Mr Kamall leads the European Parliament's European Conservatives and Reformists group.

     
  90.  
    The Times 10:46: Newspaper round-up

    Theresa May, says (£) Ann Treneman, gave "the best speech of her life" yesterday. Her "unflinchingly serious" performance was followed by "clown-man" Boris Johnson, whom the Tory audience adored.

    The paper claims David Cameron will today attempt to move the discussion from being about the party's "long-term economic plan" to talking about "individual benefits offered by a recovering economy". A YouGov poll commissioned for the paper shows 41% of those questioned saying they trust the Conservatives more to clear the deficit, compared to 13% for Labour, but when asked which party is most likely to improve living standards "for people like you" 31% chose Labour against only 25% for the Conservatives.

     
  91.  
    10:44: Ed inspired by Dave

    Here's Ed Sheeran, who apparently dedicated a song, called the A Team (not the A-list), to the PM at a recent gig he attended. His music was not in evidence in the conference hall this morning before speeches got under way. Instead the Starship song Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now was blasted out of on the PA system. The year of its release - 1987 - was when Mrs Thatcher won her third term in office. Some misty eyes in Birmingham?

    Ed Sheeran
     
  92.  
    10:37: Jess Denham, for the Independent

    writes: Ed Sheeran dedicates song to David Cameron. Ed Sheeran has admitted dedicating a song to the prime minister at a private house party this summer. Read more

     
  93.  
    10:33: Out of the blocks

    The conference is officially under way. Steve Bell, vice-president of the National Conservative Convention, is opening proceedings.

     
  94.  
    10:32: Sell off the banks?

    Conservative MP and former Welsh Secretary John Redwood proposes a way to tackle the deficit on his blog: "Total borrowing in the next Parliament could be reduced substantially by selling all the remaining shares in banks. This would be a good idea for a variety of reasons and would be the single biggest way of reducing the loan mountain."

     
  95.  
    10:28: Newspaper round-up The Daily Telegraph

    Peter Oborne, chief political commentator, says (video) that David Cameron must navigate three major points of controversy: projecting himself as a "war leader" after the recent Commons authorisation of action against Islamic State; scrapping the Human Rights Act; and, the "most dangerous" potential pitfall, drawing a line under the recent defections to UKIP.

    Michael Deacon, in his sketch of yesterday's conference activity, describes Boris Johnson as "the politician who reduces the sketch writer's role to mere transcription", but says that despite the theatrics Boris's great strength is that he makes the party "believe they can win, and deserve to win".

     
  96.  
    10:22: Story

    David Cameron appears at 11:15 BST. In the meantime, here's our main story about his speech.

     
  97.  
    10:19: Line-up

    Just over 10 minutes until we get going again. The first of the big-name speakers will be International Development Secretary Justine Greening.

     
  98.  
    @TheGreenParty 10:17: The Green Party

    tweets: #Cameron=austerity forever; #Miliband=austerity-lite. If you're fed up with their policies join us. Please RT #CPC14

    The Green Party slogan
     
  99.  
    10:11: Newspaper round-up The Guardian

    Theresa May's speech is described as "both highly accomplished and highly disturbing", saying that for a Conservative home secretary to open by issuing a "frank challenge" to the police "felt like a kind of cultural revolution". She now proposes, however, a range of powers which "in classic abuse-of-civil liberty mode, could be misused", not least the so-called "snoopers' charter" which was "rightly blocked by the Liberal Democrats two years ago".

    Looking forward to David Cameron's speech today, Denis Campbell, the paper's health correspondent, notes that Labour has been outflanked by the Conservative leader on NHS spending, and says that unless Ed Miliband "outbids the Tories yet again he risks being accused of not matching his fine words about saving the NHS with the cash needed".

     
  100.  
    Email: haveyoursay@bbc.co.uk 10:08: Get involved

    Adam Rees: Labour keep banging on about the Tories privatising the NHS. I've been hearing it for as long as I remember. It's still free at the point of use. There are some NHS services provided by private companies for sure but who introduced it for the very first time? Labour!

     

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