General Election 2015

Nicola Sturgeon in the spotlight again: new pledges from Tories, Labour, and Lib Dems

Nicola Sturgeon 100% categorically denies Telegraph claim at SNP 'Scrap Trident' rally. Image: BBC

Nicola Sturgeon 100% categorically denies Telegraph claim at SNP ‘Scrap Trident’ rally. Image: BBC

  • Scottish National Party leader Nicola Sturgeon denies stating her preference for David Cameron over Ed Miliband for prime minister.
  • The Conservatives promise to enforce age limits on pornography websites.
  • Labour announces plan to build 125,000 new homes using government’s help-to-buy scheme.
  • Lib Dems pledge £2.5 billion healthcare fund.

SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon in the spot light again

The Daily Telegraph has published a story alleging that Ms Sturgeon told French Ambassador Sylvie Bermann in a private memo leaked to the paper that she would prefer to see David Cameron rather than Ed Miliband become prime minister.

She also allegedly said that the Labour leader isn’t ‘prime-minister material’.

Both the SNP and a spokesman for the French ambassador have categorically denied Ms Sturgeon made such a statement

Upon a request from Ms Sturgeon, Secretary Sir Jeremy Heywood has ordered a leak inquiry into how the Daily Telegraph obtained the document.

I can confirm that earlier today I instigated a Cabinet Office-led leak inquiry to establish how extracts from this document may have got into the public domain. Until that inquiry is complete I will not be making any further comment either on the document or the inquiry.

The Conservatives promise to enforce age limits on pornography websites

Culture Secretary Sajid Javid said the Conservatives would make sure those aged under 18 would be prevented from accessing adults-only content.

This is about giving children the best start in life; we do not want to prevent adults from accessing legal content, but we do want to protect our children from harmful material, so they are free to develop a healthy attitude to sex and relationships.

The party would set up an independent watchdog that would have the authority to oblige sites to block content, and ISPs that break the law would be fined.

Labour said the plan was ‘too little too late’.

The party’s culture spokesman Chris Bryant said:

After five years of inaction by the Tories, this proposal is too little too late. Protecting children from inappropriate material both on and offline should be a priority but the Tories have failed to act quickly enough.

Labour announces plan to address the housing crisis

The plan is to use the government’s ISA help-to-buy scheme to finance the building of 125,000 new homes at a cost of £5 billion.

To implement such a plan, Labour proposes that banks and building societies channel the investments they make from the first time buyer ISA into housing.

But the party admitted that banks and building societies can’t be forced to deliver the policy.

Campbell Robb, the chief executive of homeless charity Shelter, welcomed the proposal, but with caution.

Schemes like this will certainly help, but it’s crucial that we also build homes that are genuinely affordable to ordinary hard-working people, including to those on lower incomes.

Housing Minister Brandon Lewis said about the plan:

This ill-thought-through proposal from Ed Miliband … would harm the first-time buyers it claims to help.

Lib Dems pledge £2.5 billion healthcare fund

The Lib Dems have proposed a £2.5 billion fund to improve GP services and nursing home care.

The Care Closer to Home Fund is part of the £8 billion extra a year in health spending promised by the party by 2020.

At Fulwood Lodge care home in his constituency of Sheffield Hallam, Mr Clegg said:

The pressure our hospitals face is often symptomatic of problems elsewhere in the NHS. Our older people can’t get discharged because they don’t have a care home place or their home hasn’t been properly adapted.

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