Politics Summary: Friday, September 25th

The Group of 20 developed and developing nations will become the world’s top economic forum, spreading influence to emerging powers such as China and India. In the future the G20 will focus on economic issues while the G8 rich nations will deal primarily with international relations and foreign policy. At talks in Pittsburgh, French President Nicolas Sarkozy – with support from German Chancellor Angela Merkel – says bankers’ pay should be capped at a certain percentage of their institution’s assets or revenue. The US and UK are said to oppose the move and instead want the G20 to have broad powers to restrain trade imbalances.

In New York, world leaders backed a landmark resolution calling for a world without nuclear weapons. The resolution is non-binding and the Guardian reports there are, “many obstacles to its aspirations becoming reality.” China pushed for the inclusion of a resolution calling on weapons states to emulate its own “no first use” policy. But the US has long resisted such an undertaking, reserving the right to carry out a pre-emptive strike. China also maintained its opposition to further sanctions on Iran.

A Times exclusive reports that 28 Conservative parliamentary candidates with a good chance of becoming MPs are working as lobbyists or public relations consultants. Francis Maude, the Shadow Cabinet Office Minister, said last week that lobbyists could face statutory regulation if they did not volunteer more information on clients and consultants.

The Governor of the Bank of England, Mervyn King, revealed yesterday that Halifax Bank of Scotland and Royal Bank of Scotland were both within hours of collapse. He told the BBC: “Two of our major banks which had had difficulty in obtaining funding could raise money only for one week, then only for one day, and then on that Monday and Tuesday it was not possible even for those two banks really to be confident they could get to the end of the day.”

House of Commons Speaker John Bercow wants both Peter Mandelson, the First Secretary of State, and Lord Adonis, the Transport Secretary, to take part in a new “experiment”, during which they could be quizzed publicly by MPs for the first time.

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