Politics Summary: Thursday, October 1st

The Guardian report that the Government will use the Pre-Budget Report to set department budgets for next four years and put pressure on the Conservatives “to set out how they will meet their commitment to cut the deficit more quickly.”According to The Times “senior ministers are demanding that the pay of judges, top civil servants and NHS managers be frozen within weeks.” The remaining five million public sector workers can expect only minimal rises, union leaders have been warned privately. Gordon Brown is also looking at “a very big list” of defence procurement orders. Meanwhile the Telegraph report that Cameron, “has hinted that he is prepared to reverse the 50p tax rate that Labour plans to introduce for higher earners.”

On the conference floor, Andy Burnham offered free parking passes for hospital inpatients while Ed Balls announced he is writing to every local authority in the country demanding that school discipline is made a priority and setting out advice on how to achieve it, including the introduction of a “smart uniform policy.” Balls also said that Labour would not “threaten child benefit.” Harriet Harman turned on the BNP describing them as the party that “wanted Nazis to win the war.”

Fallout from The Sun’s decision to back the Tories continued. “Jilted party discovers fighting spirit” according to the Financial Times. Tony Woodley, joint general secretary of the Unite union, won a standing ovation when he tore up a copy of the newspaper. It was alleged that Unite paid for an advert on Google which read: “You can’t trust The Sun. Wrong on Hillsborough, Wrong on Labour.” The Guardian reports that Lord Mandelson, the business secretary, told News International’s Rebekah Brooks: “You will be regarded as a bunch of chumps, we will not lose sleep over this.”

The Times report that France and Germany are planning a new treaty of friendship in a move that “could push Britain to the sidelines in Europe.” The move came on the day that Cameron’s advisers said that he will stick to his pledge to offer a referendum on the Lisbon treaty regardless of how the Irish vote. Liberal Conspiracy have revealed that one of Cameron’s European Lithuanian ally’s has just supported “deeply homophobic legislation.”

British banks are likely to face a stricter regime on bankers’ bonuses than the US. The UK Treasury said five banks would apply the rules to the 2009 bonus round setting “the standard for all other UK and international financial institutions to follow”.

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