Latest Conservative Party news

  • Party leaders poised for TV debate
    Party leaders poised for TV debate 7 hours ago

    The party leaders will line-up tonight for a high-stakes television debate with the potential to shape the future course of the General Election campaign. More »

  • First TV debate of UK election campaign to pit Cameron against six others
    First TV debate of UK election campaign to pit Cameron against six others 7 hours ago

    By William James LONDON (Reuters) - Prime Minister David Cameron will face off against six political rivals later on Thursday in the first TV debate of Britain's national election campaign, hoping the format will allow him to cast himself as a statesman against squabbling pretenders. The contest comes before an unusually close election on May 7 in which neither Cameron's Conservatives nor Ed Miliband's Labour Party have a clear lead, leaving the stewardship of Britain's $2.8 trillion economy in the balance. The debate, due to be held in a former pie factory near the northern city of Manchester, puts leaders of fringe parties like the anti-EU UK Independence Party (UKIP) and the left-wing Green Party on an equal footing with the Conservatives and Labour, who have dominated British politics for decades. Leaders of nationalist parties from Scotland and Wales and Nick Clegg, the leader of the Liberal Democrats, the junior party in the country's coalition, complete the lineup. More »

  • GOP's Ted Cruz calls religious liberty a defining issue
    GOP's Ted Cruz calls religious liberty a defining issue 7 hours ago

    SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) — Texas Sen. Ted Cruz says concern about religious freedom, awakened in the debate over a new Indiana law, could unite conservative Republicans and rally some Democrats to the GOP in 2016. More »

  • Japan PM Abe to craft war history comments with eye on U.S.
    Japan PM Abe to craft war history comments with eye on U.S. 8 hours ago

    By Linda Sieg TOKYO (Reuters) - When Prime Minister Shinzo Abe addresses Japan's wartime past in a statement marking the 70th anniversary of the end of World War Two, the reaction of ally Washington will likely be as much, if not more, on his mind than that of Asian nations that suffered from Japanese military aggression. U.S. officials have welcomed Abe's push to strengthen the alliance and give Japan a bigger global security role less constrained by its pacifist constitution. Abe, whose conservative agenda includes a less apologetic stance over Japan's wartime past, has previously expressed reservations about earlier apologies. One option, experts say, is for Abe to endorse past government apologies but stop short of repeating, as many in China and South Korea want, key phrases such as references to "colonial rule and aggression" and a "heartfelt apology". More »

  • Tories Continue To Chase Down Business Support
    Tories Continue To Chase Down Business Support 8 hours ago

    A Labour government would threaten jobs, deter investment and put Britain's economic recovery at risk, according to a letter signed by more than 100 leading business figures. Senior executives from some of Britain's best-known businesses hailed the Government's economic policies, which they claim show that "the UK is open for business". The move was orchestrated by Conservative Party co-chairman Lord Feldman, who is continuing to email business leaders asking them to "consider adding your name as a signatory to this letter" . The top executives - including BP's CEO Bob Dudley and West Ham United vice-chairman, the Conservative Peer Baroness Brady - argue that keeping the Tories in power is the best way to ensure continued growth. More »

  • Why Arkansas governor won't sign the Religious Freedom Restoration Act 8 hours ago

    Responding to sharp criticism from local businesses and civic groups, Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R) announced Wednesday that he would not sign his state's new religious freedom bill, unless it is amended to reflect federal law. The bill, which passed the GOP-controlled legislature on Tuesday, would have “a negative impact on our state’s image," Governor Hutchinson said. His decision comes as Indiana lawmakers face a backlash over their own version of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), which critics say permits discrimination against sexual minorities. More »

  • Kerry extends Iran talks, French foreign minister returns
    Kerry extends Iran talks, French foreign minister returns 9 hours ago

    By Louis Charbonneau, John Irish and Parisa Hafezi LAUSANNE, Switzerland (Reuters) - U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and his German and French counterparts extended marathon talks in Switzerland on Wednesday for a second day beyond a self-imposed deadline to reach a preliminary agreement with Iran on its nuclear programme. Kerry and German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier announced they would stay at least until Thursday. In a potentially hopeful sign, French Foreign Secretary Laurent Fabius returned for more talks after flying back to Paris the previous day because progress had been too slow. Six world powers - the United States, Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China - aim to stop Iran from gaining the capacity to develop a nuclear bomb. More »

  • Labour's Counterpunch From 'Working People'
    Labour's Counterpunch From 'Working People' 9 hours ago

    Labour has returned fire after more than 100 business leaders came out in support of the Conservatives, with a letter from "working families" calling for a change of government. The letter, signed by business chiefs, workers on zero-hours contracts and figures from the entertainment industry, says the country needs a Labour government "to put working people first". It says the General Election offers a "fundamental choice" between a Britain that only works for "those at the very top" and one which rewards ordinary people. "Britain only succeeds when working people succeed. More »

  • Britain calls for peaceful transition in Nigeria
    Britain calls for peaceful transition in Nigeria 11 hours ago

    Britain on Wednesday hailed the successful presidential election in its former colony Nigeria and voiced hope that the transition of power to vote winner Muhammadu Buhari would be "peaceful". More »

  • 'Google Tax' In Force To Tackle Avoidance
    'Google Tax' In Force To Tackle Avoidance 12 hours ago

    Multinational companies that shift their profits offshore to avoid tax now face being slapped with a levy. The diverted profits tax (DPT), which has now come into force, aims to crack down on the controversial practice which has sparked criticism of companies like Google, Starbucks, Amazon and Apple. Only last month, a financial watchdog highlighted its continuing concerns that multinational companies trading in the UK were not paying the right amount of tax. Members of the Commons Public Accounts Committee said evidence given by Google, Starbucks, Amazon and large accountancy firms showed the use of tax avoidance measures was "widespread". More »

  • Second £1m seek 'dream home'
    Second £1m seek 'dream home' 13 hours ago

    A couple who won £1 million in the EuroMillions lottery for a second time, beating odds of more than 283 billion to one, are finally planning to move out of their static caravan home. More »

  • Parties trade blows on job policies
    Parties trade blows on job policies 13 hours ago

    The big parties exchanged blows on jobs on the third day of the General Election campaign, with Chancellor George Osborne accusing Ed Miliband of "an assault on everyday working people", while the Labour leader said Tories were only interested in "looking after a few big firms and individuals at the top". More »

  • FTSE ends higher, manufacturing data supports
    FTSE ends higher, manufacturing data supports 14 hours ago

    By Atul Prakash LONDON (Reuters) - Britain's top share index bounced back on Wednesday, with data showing the country's manufacturing sector grew at the fastest pace in eight months, prompting investors to buy equities on the first trading day of the quarter. Online fashion retailer ASOS gained after saying its strategy of cutting prices in international markets was building momentum. The blue-chip FTSE 100 closed 0.5 percent higher at 6,809.50 points after a 1.7 percent slide on Tuesday that trimmed its first quarter gains to 3.2 percent. The index extended gains after data company Markit said its monthly manufacturing purchasing managers' index (PMI) rose to 54.4 in March from 54.0 the month before, the highest since July 2014. More »

  • Charities that funded Cage, one time supporter of IS's Emwazi, under pr …
    Charities that funded Cage, one time supporter of IS's Emwazi, under pr … 15 hours ago

    By Ahmed Aboulenein, Michael Holden and Simon Falush LONDON (Reuters) - The financial backers of a campaign group that had contact with the man later known as 'Jihadi John' are under pressure from British politicians and a regulator's investigation to explain why they gave it several hundred thousand pounds. The Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust, a Quaker foundation, and The Roddick Foundation, set up by the late founder of beauty retailer Body Shop, are among those now being asked how they came to fund Cage, a small activist group that called Mohammed Emwazi, killer of American, British and Syrian hostages, a once "beautiful young man". "I condemn anybody who attempts to excuse that barbarism away in the way that has been done by Cage," British interior minister Theresa May told parliament in response to the comment by Cage's research boss Asim Qureshi to media last week. Cage was set up by a group of London Muslims with the aim of supporting British suspects being held by the United States in Guantanamo Bay. More »

  • Nearly 11.7 million signed up for Obamacare health insurance -HHS 16 hours ago

    By Yasmeen Abutaleb NEW YORK (Reuters) - Nearly 11.7 million people have either signed up or re-enrolled for insurance coverage under the U.S. healthcare reform law, more than the 9.1 million predicted by the Obama administration, health officials said on Tuesday. As of Feb. 22, about 8.8 million signed up in one of the 37 states that use online exchanges operated by the federal government and 2.85 million were in the 14 states, and Washington, D.C., that operate their own exchanges, the Department of Health and Human Services said in a statement. The Democratic-backed Affordable Care Act, narrowly passed by Congress in 2010 over unified Republican opposition, aimed to help millions of Americans without health insurance obtain coverage. The online exchanges, or marketplaces, are geared toward those who do not receive insurance through their employer and provide tax subsidies on a sliding scale to make health coverage affordable for low-income people. More »

  • Obamacare foe Ted Cruz to sign up for coverage under the plan 16 hours ago

    Republican Senator Ted Cruz, who has vowed to repeal "every word" of Obamacare if elected president next year, will soon be signing up for coverage under the plan. Cruz, according to media reports, had been covered under the health plan of his wife, Heidi, who is taking a leave of absence from Goldman Sachs to help his campaign. "We will presumably go on the exchange and sign up for health care, and we're in the process of transitioning over to do that," the Texas lawmaker told the Des Moines (Iowa) Register on Tuesday. Under President Barack Obama's signature Affordable Care Act, members of Congress seeking insurance must sign up through an exchange. More »

  • I'm going to keep seat, says Clegg
    I'm going to keep seat, says Clegg 16 hours ago

    Nick Clegg said he was confident of remaining an MP despite a poll putting Labour ahead by two points in his constituency. More »

  • China World Bank Rival Draws Global Queue
    China World Bank Rival Draws Global Queue 16 hours ago

    Even Taiwan, which split from China in 1949 and has been at loggerheads ever since, is seeking to join the Beijing-led Asian Infrastructure and Investment Bank (AIIB). China had set a 31 March deadline to become a founding member of the AIIB, which is set to increase Beijing's regional and global influence. Washington had initially attempted to persuade allies not to join the organisation , viewing it as a rival to the US-led World Bank. Britain's decision to join triggered a rebuke from Washington , with one official saying it appeared to be part of a trend towards "constant accommodation" of China by the UK. More »

  • Caribbean tax haven resists UK pressure for company register 17 hours ago

    The government of the British Virgin Islands (BVI) said it has no plans to establish a central register of true company owners, despite pressure from Britain to adopt the anti-money laundering and tax evasion measure. The BVI said in a statement on Wednesday it was backing other measures it said would be at least as effective in ensuring law enforcement agencies can find out who is behind shell companies involved in financial crime. British Prime Minister David Cameron proposed plans for a public register of the beneficial owners of all companies in 2013, during a G8 summit in Northern Ireland. Some of the UK's overseas territories, including the BVI, have opposed the move. More »

  • Texas House gives tentative approval to $210 billion budget 17 hours ago

    AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) - The Republican-controlled Texas House of Representatives gave tentative approval on Wednesday to a $210 billion, two-year budget that includes funds to boost security along the state's border with Mexico. The budget also includes a measure sought by social conservatives to divert $3 million in funds for the prevention of HIV and sexually transmitted diseases toward programs to promote sexual abstinence. The Republican-controlled Senate is working on its own budget proposal. (Reporting by Jon Herskovitz; Editing by Bernadette Baum) More »

  • Labour's Miliband makes election pledge on job security
    Labour's Miliband makes election pledge on job security 17 hours ago

    British opposition leader Ed Miliband on Wednesday promised greater job security and a clampdown on "zero-hours contracts" -- a hot-button election issue despite the country's strong economic recovery. More »

  • Deputy PM, Nick Clegg, set to lose seat in election - poll
    Deputy PM, Nick Clegg, set to lose seat in election - poll 17 hours ago

    Nick Clegg, Britain's deputy prime minister and the leader of the Liberal Democrats, the junior partner in the country's coalition, is set to lose his seat at a national election next month, according to a poll published on Wednesday. Clegg's centre-left party's share of the vote has more than halved since it joined forces with Prime Minister David Cameron's Conservatives in 2010, and polls show Clegg has gone from being the most popular party leader to the least liked now. A constituency survey commissioned by former Conservative deputy chairman Michael Ashcroft put the opposition Labour Party on 36 percent in Clegg's Sheffield Hallam seat, in northern England, compared to 34 percent for the Liberal Democrats. With opinion polls predicting neither the Conservatives nor Labour will win the May 7 vote outright, Clegg's party could again be called upon to help form a government. More »

  • Miliband: Epidemic Of Zero-Hours Contracts
    Miliband: Epidemic Of Zero-Hours Contracts 17 hours ago

    Workers on zero-hours contracts will be able to demand a regular contract after 12 weeks under proposals set to be announced by Ed Miliband. The Labour leader will promise to outlaw "exploitative" zero-hours contracts in a commitment to be included in Labour's election manifesto. The proposal strengthens Labour's previous policy on the contracts, which sought to give workers the right to a regular contract after 12 months. Mr Miliband first set out the 12-week proposal in 2013 at the Trades Union Congress (TUC) conference, but later backtracked. More »

  • Texas measure cuts HIV funds, boost abstinence education 19 hours ago

    Texas would cut $3 million from programs to prevent HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases and spend that money instead on abstinence education under a contentious Republican-sponsored measure tucked ... More »

  • Tories Woo New Backers As Boots Boss Says No
    Tories Woo New Backers As Boots Boss Says No 19 hours ago

    The Conservatives have embarked on a fresh attempt to court backing from the business community hours after the publication of a letter warning against "a change in (economic) course" pursued by a Labour administration. Sky News can reveal that Lord Feldman, who chairs the party's board and was responsible for organising a pro-Tory letter in Wednesday's Daily Telegraph, has urged other business leaders to add their support for a Conservative government. "I hope you have seen the Daily Telegraph today that has published a letter with over 100 business leaders supporting the Conservative’s policy to lower corporation tax to 20% effective today," Lord Feldman wrote in an email to company executives obtained by Sky News. More »

  • UKIP: Pro-EU Colouring Books 'Brainwash' Kids
    UKIP: Pro-EU Colouring Books 'Brainwash' Kids 20 hours ago

    Sixteen and 17-year-olds should not be allowed to vote in a referendum on Britain's membership of the EU because they have been "brainwashed" by pro-union colouring books, UKIP has said. The party said the EU was pouring money into propaganda for use in the UK education system, including colouring books on the Common Agricultural Policy. Economics spokesman Patrick O'Flynn described it as "brainwashing" and they claimed the Lib Dems call to include 16 and 17-year-olds in the referendum was "gerrymandering". The Conservatives have pledged to hold a referendum on EU membership by 2017 if they are returned to power after the General Election. More »

  • The Kind Of Advert Money Just Cannot Buy
    The Kind Of Advert Money Just Cannot Buy 20 hours ago

    The front page of the Daily Telegraph is devoted to a letter, signed by more than 100 business leaders, backing Conservative Party policies and warning "a change in course" would "put the recovery at risk". It's a long way from the "prawn cocktail offensive" of New Labour, who expended huge efforts in wooing big business and the city. Some of the signatories are former Labour Party supporters, including Dragons' Den star Duncan Bannatyne, theatre director Sir Cameron Mackintosh and Sir Charles Dunstone of the Carphone Warehouse. Firstly, I understand that it was organised by the Conservative Party, with co-chairman Andrew Feldman reaching out to his contacts in his little black book. More »

  • George Osborne to stay Chancellor if Conservatives re-elected - Cameron
    George Osborne to stay Chancellor if Conservatives re-elected - Cameron 21 hours ago

    George Osborne will remain Chancellor if the Conservative Party wins a closely-contested national election on May 7, Prime Minister David Cameron said on Wednesday. Osborne has overseen Britain's economic policy since 2010, when he launched an austerity programme, fiercely criticised by some, designed to eliminate the country's deficit. He missed his fiscal targets, but Britain's $2.8 trillion (1.90 trillion pounds) economy has returned to growth ahead of the vote. Osborne has set out a post-election fiscal plan to convert Britain's large budget deficit into a surplus in 2018/19 without increasing taxes, by cutting spending by government departments, and by slashing the welfare bill. More »

  • Labour are still acting like they own Scottish voters
    Labour are still acting like they own Scottish voters 21 hours ago

    It is now widely accepted that nothing has damaged the Labour party in Scotland more than their role in the independence referendum campaign. A new poll of Labour-held Scottish seats suggests that support for independence is now the overwhelming reason why former supporters now back the SNP. Tellingly, almost a third (29%) say “the way Labour campaigned with the Conservatives during the referendum” has caused them to vote for the SNP. More »

  • Over 100 business bosses back PM Cameron's Conservatives ahead of British …
    Over 100 business bosses back PM Cameron's Conservatives ahead of British … 21 hours ago

    By William James and Sarah Young LONDON (Reuters) - Over 100 British company bosses publicly backed Prime Minister David Cameron's Conservative-led government on Wednesday and warned a change of course for Britain's $2.8 trillion economy under a Labour government would put the recovery at risk. Opinion polls ahead of the May 7 election indicate neither Cameron's Conservatives nor the opposition Labour Party will win an overall majority in the 650-seat parliament as millions of voters turn to once marginal parties. It is a highly unusual situation for Britain, which has only had one formal coalition government since the end of World War Two. This would send a negative message about Britain and put the recovery at risk," the chief executives said. More »

  • Over 100 business bosses back PM Cameron's Conservatives ahead of elect …
    Over 100 business bosses back PM Cameron's Conservatives ahead of elect … 21 hours ago

    By William James and Sarah Young LONDON (Reuters) - Over 100 British company bosses publicly backed Prime Minister David Cameron's Conservative-led government on Wednesday and warned a change of course for Britain's $2.8 trillion (1.9 trillion pounds) economy under a Labour government would put the recovery at risk. Opinion polls ahead of the May 7 election indicate neither Cameron's Conservatives nor the opposition Labour Party will win an overall majority in the 650-seat parliament as millions of voters turn to once marginal parties. It is a highly unusual situation for Britain, which has only had one formal coalition government since the end of World War Two. This would send a negative message about Britain and put the recovery at risk," the chief executives said. More »

  • Malaysian police release media CEO, editor held in sedition probe 22 hours ago

    Police released the publisher of a Malaysian media group and a senior executive on bail on Wednesday, after earlier detaining them on suspicion of sowing sedition through a news report published last month. Scores of people have been detained under the Sedition Act, which dates back to British colonial times, since the imprisonment of opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim in February. Prime Minister Najib Razak's coalition government has faced mounting criticism also over its handling of the economy and corruption in state-run investment fund, 1MDB. Police have targeted opposition politicians - including Anwar's daughter - lawyers, journalists and political and social activists, as conservatives in Najib's United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) party have pushed a more hardline approach. More »

  • 100 UK business leaders back Conservatives in election
    100 UK business leaders back Conservatives in election 23 hours ago

    Over 100 leaders of British companies have declared support for a Conservative-led government ahead of the May 7 general election, weighing in on the tight-fought race. More »

  • Is David Cameron really related to Kim Kardashian?
    Is David Cameron really related to Kim Kardashian? 23 hours ago

    The Prime Minister claimed today that he is the reality star’s “thirteenth cousin”. More »

  • People are taking drugs like Ritalin to help them perform better in school and …
    People are taking drugs like Ritalin to help them perform better in school and … 23 hours ago

    And scientists aren’t sure that’s a good thing. More »