Thousands of delegates have arrived in Birmingham for the annual Tory party conference.
Four-year-old sniffer dog protects Birmingham's ICC against threats ahead of the Conservative Party Conference.
The Conservative party conference in just over a week, is set to bring an estimated £16.5 million for business in the city.
Politics will resume today following the death of Margaret Thatcher as the Prime Minister visits the Midlands as he resumes his local election campaign.
It has been confirmed there will be no Prime Minister's Questions next Wednesday because of Baroness Thatcher's funeral.
Following the achievement of Loughborough Students' Action Group becoming the latest winners of David Cameron's Big Society Award, the Chair of the group has spoken of the action's joy.
– Billy Marsh, Chair of Loughborough Students' Action Group
Winning this Big Society Award is indescribable - it's something I've always believed in and I believe that Action embodies. There's a hundred and one reasons why people volunteer but at the end of the day, we like to think that our volunteers do it because they genuinely care.
Last year, the group recruited over 2,300 volunteers equating to 19,000 hours of time and £120,000 at minimum wage.
The Award was created to recognise and celebrate individuals, groups or organisations doing exceptional work in their community.
Students from Loughborough have become the latest winners of David Cameron's Big Society Award.
Loughborough Students' Action Group, which was set up in 1997, helps to inspire and harness the volunteering power of students across Loughborough. Last year they helped over 2,000 students to give something back to the local community.
In the last year the group have made a number of achievements:
- Recruited 2,303 volunteers equating to 19,000 hours of time and £120,000 at minimum wage.
- Raised over £70,000.
- Overseen over 40 regular projects and 130 one-off projects
For more information about the Big Society Award, click here.
Incentives which mean it is better for NHS managers to allow standards of care at hospitals to fall rather than admit they are failing led to the scandal at Stafford Hospital, a health service expert has said.
In an interview with the Daily Telegraph, Roger Taylor, co-founder of the health information service Dr Foster, said every incentive in the NHS system pushes NHS chief executives to "cut costs" and "cross (their) fingers".
"As an NHS chief executive in that situation, you could simply overspend and breach your targets - and quite likely lose your job.
"You could try to argue to reorganise services but you are likely to face considerable opposition from both clinicians and the public.
"Or you can just cut costs, cross your fingers and hope that no one notices if the standards of care deteriorate."
His warning comes ahead of tomorrow's publication of a report into the scandal at Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust between 2005 and 2009, during which up to 1,200 extra deaths may have occurred.
Conservative MP for Peterborough Stewart Jackson has taken to Twitter to criticise the Prime Minister's plans to support gay marriage but to delay a tax break for married couples:
I wonder who's advising Cameron at the moment? His political strategy - no to marriage tax breaks and yes to gay marriage - stinks.
The Prime Minister says the money to pay for HS2 will need to come from 'a balance' between the Government and 'the train user' - but expensive tickets are necessary for 'Britain to be a success'. See the full interview above.
The Prime Minister's team has tweeted this photo of a Cabinet meeting in progress at Leeds Museum to discuss "how billions will be invested in [the] Midlands and North, creating thousands of jobs".
David Cameron was resolute when asked about Tory opposition to the HS2 project: "This is going to happen. I have been a strong supporter right from the start." The Prime Minister continued:
– Prime Minister David Cameron
These are difficult economic times, but I think that is precisely the time you should be planning for the future, working out how we link up the cities of our country, how we reduce journey times, how we spread wealth and prosperity around the country.
We do need to rebalance the economy, it has been too dominated by the South and by certain industries and high speed rail will really help to create a better balanced economy.