29/09/2009

PM's Conference 'Fight Back' Underway

Gordon Brown has outlined a number of new policies as part of his 'fight back' at today's Labour Party conference.

Mr Brown (pictured) said Britain faced the "biggest choice for a generation" at the next election.

He said another Labour term would present the opportunity to "change the world again".

Tackling anti-social behaviour and increasing childcare provisions for poorer families were the centrepiece of the embattled Prime Minister's speech.

He told party delegates in Brighton that free childcare would be made available to those on the lowest incomes, which would be subsidised by cutting child tax benefits to higher earners.

Mr Brown also promised his government would combat anti-social behaviour "whenever and wherever" it was.

Introduced to the stage by his wife Sarah, many said Mr Brown's performance would be 'make or break'.

In her opening address, Mrs Brown conceded her husband was "no saint", but that "he loves our country", adding "he is the right man for the job".

On stage, the Prime Minister told the crowd of party faithfuls: "If anyone says to fight doesn't make a difference... Just look what we achieved together."

He went on to pay tribute to his cabinet team, particularly chancellor Alistair Darling.

Aiming his attention at the Opposition's spending proposals, Mr Brown said a Tory government would make cuts "coldly" and "callously".

He said: "Our country confronts the biggest choice for a generation. It's a choice between two parties, yes. But more importantly a choice between two directions for our country."
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The Prime Minister pledged an increased spend in education over the next five years, should Labour remain in government.

Among many other proposals, Mr Brown said a system would be implemented allowing constituents to expel MPs.

If more than 25% of voters in their constituency demand a recall there will be a by-election, he told delegates

Mr Brown promised continued reform of the House of Lords, eradicating seats for hereditary peers.

A significant change to how the British election system works could also be put to a public referendum.

Voters will be asked if they want to end the First Past the Post system for Westminster elections, and replace it with Alternative Vote - where voters select candidates in order of preference, similar to European elections.

The Prime Minister pledged to offer 10 hours per week of free childcare to 250,000 families with the next five years.

Speaking on anti-social elements in society, Mr Brown the "lawless minority" would not be allowed to disrupt the lives of the "lawful majority".

"Because the decent, hard working majority are getting evermore angry - rightly so - with the minority who who will talk about their rights but never accept their responsibilities," he said.

Family Intervention Projects will be pushed further in order to deal with "problem families".

These scheme normally encompasses some degree of parental responsibility through contractual agreements.

So-called binge drinking was also discussed by the Prime Minister, who said he would give greater 24-hours entertainment licensing laws to local authorities.

(PR/BMcC)

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