National News

On 5th May voters across Britain have a crucial decision to make: to vote for a strong Conservative who will stand up for you and your local area for the next four years, or for Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party whose policies include printing money, raising income tax and scrapping our nuclear defences.

Support the team that is delivering for the working people of Britain. Pledge to vote Conservative today: https://www.conservatives.com/votepledge

We are delivering for Scotland by devolving more powers to the Scottish Parliament. The fiscal framework agreed by the UK and Scottish governments will underpin the new powers being delivered in the Scotland Bill.

This agreement shows that we are fulfilling our commitments and making devolution in Scotland work – just as the Scottish people have said they want. It is a significant moment in the Scottish Parliament’s history, as this agreement will enable it to take on unprecedented new powers and responsibilities, and to become more accountable.

This deal is fair to Scotland, fair to the whole United Kingdom and built to last.

The debate about what the powers should be is now over. The debate is now about how the Scottish Parliament will use these powers to improve the lives of people in Scotland. 


More than 130,000 people have been able to become homeowners since the launch of Help to Buy in 2013.

New research found that 43% of new homes built under the Help to Buy: equity loan scheme since its launch would have not been built without introduction of the scheme.

The report also found that 82% of buyers under Help to Buy: equity loan would not have been able to purchase their home without the scheme helping them meet their ownership aspirations.

The Help to Buy scheme was set up to support hard-working people who could pay a mortgage but struggle to save the deposits required by lenders.

Recent figures also show that the number of new homes being registered across the UK is at its highest level since 2007.

By working closely with housebuilders, we’re ensuring that they have the skills needed to build even more homes that hard-working people want. Other initiatives such as Help to Buy have enabled nearly 270,000 people to buy since 2010.

All of this is good news for anyone who works hard and aspires to own their own home.

Police and Crime Commissioners are the democratic link between the police and the public.

They are visible, public figures, elected in the most powerful way possible - at the ballot box - with the mandate to take executive decisions to improve policing in their area.

PCCs help to cut crime by setting the objectives for policing in their area and helping to deliver an effective, efficient police service within the force area by:

  • Holding the chief constable to account for the operational running of the local force. The PCC will hold the chief constable to account, and holds the responsibility and powers to appoint a new chief constable when a vacancy occurs and, where necessary, to dismiss the chief constable and appoint a new one.
  • Setting out the police and crime plan. PCCs are required to publish the Police and Crime Plan for their term, setting out the priorities for policing and crime and what they intend to deliver. They are also required to publish an Annual Report which reports progress on the delivery of the plans. The public use this information to hold the Commissioner to account and to inform their view on the Commissioner’s work.
  • Setting the force budget and precept. PCCs have control of the police force budget. They take decisions on the annual force budget and decide what amount local council tax payers should pay towards local policing through the element of council tax dedicated to policing, known as the precept.
  • Act as a champion for the public and victims. Police and Crime Commissioners will be a strong voice for the victims of crime and the communities they serve. They will be responsible for commissioning local victims’ services and holding the police to account for how the respond to victims’ concerns. They will also liaise directly with communities to ensure that policing reflects the priorities and needs of local people.
  • Cut the cost of policing to increase efficiency. Police and Crime Commissioners have control of the budget and can use their significant powers to drive reform of policing.By holding the chief constable to account for how money is spent, or using their considerable convening power to join up local services, PCCs can drive better effectiveness at lower cost.

To find out more about Police and Crime Commissioners and find your local candidate, visit http://www.policeandcrimecommissioners.info/

There are two things everyone needs to know about Sadiq Khan:

  1. He backed Jeremy Corbyn to be Labour Leader
  2. He says he’d do it again

That’s right: Sadiq Khan backed Jeremy Corbyn to lead his Party – the man who wants to print money to fund more spending, ramp up taxes on working people and abandon our nuclear defences.

And even 5 months into Corbyn’s disastrous leadership of the Labour Party, Sadiq Khan says “I don’t regret it”. (Source: Telegraph 16/1/16)

Everyone needs to know about this. So please share this graphic on Facebook and Twitter to let people know:


Sadiq Khan experimented with Corbyn and wrecked the Labour Party. We can’t let him experiment with the Mayoralty and wreck London – the most important city in the world.

If he’s elected, Sadiq Khan will be Corbyn’s man in City Hall, and will use London as a 4-year test lab for Corbyn’s radical policies. They won’t work, and will result in fewer homes, no improvement to our transport infrastructure and tax rises for Londoners.

In contrast, Zac Goldsmith has an Action Plan for Greater London. He’ll deliver more homes, better transport cleaner air and safer streets. He’ll stand up for Greater London just as he’s stood up for the people Richmond Park and North Kingston as their MP over the last six years.

You can help elect Zac Goldsmith and help London avoid the Khan experiment. Share this graphic on Facebook and Twitter to let everyone know about the risk Corbyn's man poses to our city’s future.

Will you be watching tonight’s Evening Standard London Mayoral hustings, taking place at 6.30pm?

It will be on London Live (Freeview channel 8, Sky channel 117, Virgin channel 159, YouView channel 8) and you can also watch a webcast here.

If you’re tweeting during the event, the hashtag is #ESHustings – and here are some facts everyone needs to know:

Zac Goldsmith has an Action Plan for Greater London. #BackZac2016 and he’ll deliver more homes, better transport, cleaner air and safer streets – all without raising Mayoral council tax:

If elected, Zac will stand up for Londoners and work with Government to secure the funds needed to get a good deal for Greater London – just like he stood up for the people of Richmond Park and North Kingston over the last six years. His #RecordOfDelivery is recognised by his constituents, who increased his majority by 19,000 votes at the last election:


In contrast, it’s clear Sadiq Khan’s constituents think #KhanCantDeliver. That’s why, at the last election, his constituency become a marginal – with a majority 7,500 smaller than when Khan inherited it.

We already know #KhanCantDeliver on transport. During this campaign, he’s made claims to have ‘led on’ the vital Crossrail project. But even his own Labour colleagues says he didn’t:


And we know #KhanCantDeliver on housing – the single most important issue at this election. When Sadiq Khan last served in Government, house building fell to its lowest level since the 1920s:


But here’s the most important thing you need to know about Sadiq Khan: he backed Jeremy Corbyn for the Labour leadership, and says he’d do it again. And since Jeremy Corbyn was elected Labour leader, Sadiq Khan hasn’t voted against him – not even once:

Khan experimented with Corbyn and wrecked the Labour Party – and now he wants to experiment with London. If he’s elected, we’ll get #TheKhanExperiment – 4 years of London being used as a test lab for Corbyn’s radical policies.

That’s why the vital election on May 5th is a clear choice: between #CorbynsMan in City Hall, or your man in City Hall:


We need your help to get these key messages out there.

So please watch tonight’s event, tweet using the hashtag #ESHustings, and play your part in helping Zac Goldsmith deliver real action for Greater London.


This Government is committed to supporting families at every stage of their lives – ensuring parents have access to high quality, affordable childcare is a priority.

In our 2015 manifesto we committed to doubling the amount of free childcare for working parents to 30 hours a week the biggest ever investment in free childcare.

And in just a few months’ time, a year ahead of schedule, thousands of families will begin to benefit from this commitment, with £13 million going directly to eight local councils across the country.

These councils will be supported by 25 Early Innovators nationwide, which will look at how the offer works in specific circumstances, including for children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities, and address a number of potential difficulties.

Hundreds of families from Hertfordshire, Newham, Northumberland, Portsmouth, Staffordshire, Swindon, Wigan or York, from September this year you will start receive 30 hours of free childcare a week.

By doubling free childcare, we are continuing to deliver on the commitments we made to the British people - to support working people and to deliver security for working families.

Investing in childcare, by the numbers:

  • More than £1 billion extra per year by 2019-20 to fund the extension of the free childcare entitlement.
  • From 2017, this investment will fund 30 hours of free childcare for working families with 3 and 4 year olds, and support £10,000 of childcare costs tax-free.
  • To make this affordable, it will be available to parents working more than 16 hours a week and with incomes of less than £100,000.
  • The Department for Education will also be piloting a new contract with councils, and consulting on a fairer funding formula for the early years, to help ensure that local authorities are passing the money on to providers, and that providers are given a fair rate.

New figures show that the number of new homes being registered across the UK is at its highest level since 2007.

By working closely with housebuilders, we’re ensuring that they have the skills needed to build even more homes that hard-working people want. Other initiatives such as Help to Buy have enabled nearly 270,000 people to buy since 2010.

All of this is good news for anyone who works hard and aspires to own their own home.

Will you be watching the first hustings of the London Mayoral campaign, taking place tonight?

The London School of Economics will be webcasting the event from 6.30pm, and you can watch the live stream by clicking here.

If you’re tweeting during the event, the hashtag is #londontomorrow – and here are some facts that everyone needs to know:

  • Zac Goldsmith has an Action Plan for Greater London: more homes, better transport, cleaner air and safer streets – all delivered without raising Mayoral council tax.
  • If elected, Zac will build on Boris’s record – and work with Government to get a good deal for Greater London – something he has done time and time again as MP for Richmond Park and North Kingston.
  • Zac Goldsmith’s record of delivery is recognised by his constituents. Zac won his seat from the Lib Dems in 2010, and at the last election increased his majority by nearly 19,000 votes.
  • You can find out more about Zac Goldsmith at BackZac2016.com
  • In contrast, Sadiq Khan inherited a safe Labour seat and has reduced the majority there by 7,500 votes. It’s clear even Khan’s constituents don’t think he’s delivered for them.
  • Sadiq Khan will be Corbyn’s man in City Hall. He has no regrets about backing Corbyn for the Labour leadership, and says he’d do so again. And if elected, Sadiq Khan would use London as a 4-year trial run for Corbyn’s radical policies.
  • Sadiq Khan is heavily reliant on the Unions. He’s accepted tens of thousands of pounds in donations from the very unions trying to stop the Night Tube – and it’s clear he’d take their side every time when in City Hall.
  • You can find out more about Sadiq Khan at SadiqWatch.com

The choice on 5 May is clear: Corbyn’s man in City Hall or your man, Zac Goldsmith, in City Hall.

Craig - we need your help to get these key messages out there.

So please watch tonight’s event, tweet using the hashtag #londontomorrow, and play your part in helping Zac Goldsmith deliver real action for Greater London.

New figures show that 268,000 new apprenticeships have already been started since the last general election.

These figures, covering August to October 2015, also show that over 2.6 million apprenticeships have now been started since May 2010.

By continuing to create more high quality apprenticeships, we are delivering our manifesto commitment to help more young people get the skills they need to secure a good job and get on in life.